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A Mom's Manifesto for Soaking Up All of Summer {Plus a Giveaway from Miraclesuit to Make it a Little Easier!}

I've been gloriously absent from the internet for a while, soaking up family time at the lake, enjoying lazy days playing cards, building forts, and watching my babies run through glistening sprinklers in the sunshine. Three weeks of bure bliss. . . . and then, as all things do, it came to an end. My husband had to fly across the country and get back to work, and while the beauty that he had three solid weeks to spend frolicking with us is not lost on me, I have found my self in quite a slump the last few days. 

The thing is? The end of vacation is not the same thing as the end of summer, it has so much glory to still share that is ours for the taking! 

I can keep slipping away into long days with little meaning or I can soak them up for all their worth, build into them with intention, and make a plan to enjoy the rest of this season to the hilt! To encourage myself, I wrote a little manifesto. I thought I'd share it for any other mamas needing a bit of mid-summer moxi. Plus, using the word manifesto makes me feel serious and professional- there's no messing with a manifesto, you know? Its all about legit goal setting right here. So without further adieu, I give you:

A Mom's Manifesto for Soaking up All of Summer

 1. I Will Not be Afraid to go Slow.

I will not fight, but will instead, savor, the quieter rhythm of these days. I will enjoy my coffee in small sips, and remember that it is a luxury not to have to warm it at least twice in the microwave (whereby it loses a bit of its coffee bean soul each time.) I will welcome pajamas and tousled hair and jelly on faces and delight in my children's pleasure of the freedom this season brings.

2. I Will Not Sit on the Sidelines.

I will put on my swimsuit, despite my curvy edges and squishy tummy that make me blush now and then. I will show my children that mothers are strong and courageous, that we are proud of the bodies that bore them. I will show them that I am fierce and playful and theirs, and that diving for rings and holding my breath in a contest to infinity is much more precious to me than hiding all the jiggly parts of myself. 

3. I Will Become an Explorer and Lead My Children toward Adventure

In the simplest of moments, I will guide them into wonder. I will hunt for it, for the sake of my own heart and theirs. We will frolic in the cool grass and picnic, we will collect insects and sketch flower petals and spend as many afternoons as we can deciphering the pictures of the clouds. We will howl at the moon and stargaze, and build forts and sandcastles- and I will be okay with the dirt that will surely cover us because it is the sign of a day well spent.

4. I will Not See the Summer as Half Empty

It may be mid July, but I refuse to dwell on the idea that the summer as nearly over. Instead, I will embrace the mid-summer dream, ala' Shakespeare and see this day as one of the fullest, where the sunshine lingers longer than any other time of year, where whimsy abounds and where I have the opportunity to show my kids that I am ALL in for ALL of summer (not just the first half where I was full of energy and ideas, ahem).

5. I will Not be Afraid to Let Fun Reign

I will let the popsicles drip, let my kids stay in their swimsuit all day long, let a sprinkler count for bath time occasionally and be perfectly ok with only serving chips and salsa for dinner every once in a while. I will recognize that the blessing of these days comes in the form of something other- in a rhythm that is loose and in the bug eyed looks of amazement from my children when their mama says "yes, let's do that!" more often than any other time of the year.

6. I Will End These Days Well

I will close out our days with a with songs and beautiful books and back rubs, with soft sheets and cuddles and words of delight. Even when I am drained, I will let the last thing they see before closing their eyes, be a smile from me and a whisper for an invitation to play again tomorrow. Because, I only have one summer with these little people at these little ages in my home. This is it and I'm going to choose to love every moment.

Miraclesuit Giveaway- Valued at Up to $200!

 

As we talk about soaking up all of summer, I have to be honest about one thing that has held me back in recent years- putting on a swimsuit. I'm fighting hard to be strong and restore wellness in my life (and the life of my family), but in the place I have found myself in recent years I've been left feeling all shades of self conscious.

Recently I had the chance to meet the amazing PR team at Miracle Suit. It only took knowing them for about 30 minutes to bring me to tears. These women were so encouraging, so life giving and ALL about empowering women to feel beautiful. I was chosen to model a suit at the MomTrends Trendy Travel Event in Manhattan and was a little nervous about the idea of wearing a swimsuit in front of fellow bloggers and the press! I was given several suits to try on and, truly, I couldn't believe what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I couldn't believe how great I felt. I had to touch up my makeup before pictures because I cried hugging the Miraclesuit team. I knew that I could soak up this summer with my kiddos with confidence- and I really hadn't recognized how much that mattered to me until that moment.

Miraclesuit is known for making swimsuits that make you "look 10 pounds lighter in 10 seconds," and its a magical moment when you see that happen for you in one of their suits. What I was more impressed with though? The amazing quality and structure. I absolutely love their styles- they are fashion forward and always on trend, but these suits stay put. I can literally run all day, run on the beach or dive in the pool again and again with without worrying about any slipping or sliding or adjustments to be made in order to preserve my modesty. As investment pieces, these suits will last- no more buying a suit here and there every year and hoping it will get me through the season- I will pull out my Miraclesuits for many summers to come.

I am beyond thrilled to be partnering with Miraclesuit today to offer one of their suits to one of you! Squee!!! I don't know if I've ever been this excited to share something with you. Its a big kiss to my readers from the middle of summer sunshine. You can enter using the rafflecopter below until Friday at midnight EST. You can even enter multiple days in a row by sharing on social media or get multiple entries by commenting. The winner will be connected with the lovely team at Miraclesuit (the sweet ladies that brought me to tears) and able to have the suit they love best delivered straight to their home next week! 

Good luck friends!

Living Room Idea Board

 Ikea is wooing me (as always) with their fab small space solutions. I love the look of those glass door, wall mounted shelves and the industrial feel of the mint green hutch. The wood and metal accents feel almost country cozy, with just enough edge to make it in Manhattan.

Ikea is wooing me (as always) with their fab small space solutions. I love the look of those glass door, wall mounted shelves and the industrial feel of the mint green hutch. The wood and metal accents feel almost country cozy, with just enough edge to make it in Manhattan.

One thing about life in an apartment is that its always giving me reasons to re-evaluate the way we use our space. Most of our things have followed us since our early married days- they're a little tattered and in need of some updating. Small space living keeps me intentional about how we live, what items we use in our day to day life and how we store it all. I'm finding I'm drawn more and more to neutrals (and gasp! White walls!) that allow me to change the look of my space in small ways in various seasons and also enlarge the room by keeping the palate fresh and clean. Here's some of my favorite inspirations right now.

 Apartment Therapy blends the cozy and modern vibe so well here! I love the soft textures and floral curtains paired with the sleek tv console and coffee table.

Apartment Therapy blends the cozy and modern vibe so well here! I love the soft textures and floral curtains paired with the sleek tv console and coffee table.

 Refinery 29 knows how to pull off orange! I love how livable and (large?) this space looks. The height of the plant, the dreamy chaise for space saving seating- so pretty! 

Refinery 29 knows how to pull off orange! I love how livable and (large?) this space looks. The height of the plant, the dreamy chaise for space saving seating- so pretty! 

  Smitten Studios Online  has won me over completely. I am absolutely drooling over her living room. Be sure to click over and check it out!

Smitten Studios Online has won me over completely. I am absolutely drooling over her living room. Be sure to click over and check it out!

  Design Sponge  has inspired me that I can make any size space look amazing with the photos of this little studio! Wow.

Design Sponge has inspired me that I can make any size space look amazing with the photos of this little studio! Wow.

 I can't escape my love of emerald couches like this one from  Melisa Mercier . And that coffee table? Perfection.

I can't escape my love of emerald couches like this one from Melisa Mercier. And that coffee table? Perfection.

My love of grayscale couches continues with these great finds via Design Sponge

 The textures here are like...whoa.

The textures here are like...whoa.

Are you on Pinterest? I'd love to go follow you and check out your own inspiration! Leave your username in the comments? And tell me what you're digging here...I need help! 

Winter Workout Playlist

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New Resolutions

A new year often brings a new incentive to get fit, get moving, and get healthy. My own fitness goals are near the top of my list for 2014. After over two years of facing big physical challenges and illness, I have never been so excited about my recovery and I can honestly say for the first time in my life- I love to get moving! For my own routine, I mix in yoga, a variety of workout videos at home, and for cardio I love to bike the loop in Central Park. This winter I'm learning to love running, but it takes some serious discipline to get out in the cold and go for it. Can anyone relate? If you're like me, slowly stepping back after injury into this world of exercise or maybe making your first small steps toward a healthier life, I think we need eachother. You need to know this new discipline can actually be really fun and life-giving and that you are not alone. You might even need some tools to help you enjoy fitness along the way (I know I do!)

Motivation to Move

My playlist was my game-changer.  I can start pumping this mix when I'm getting ready to go or when I'm feeling sluggish and not sure about following through with the time I've set aside for a workout. This music is a total kick-back to my 16 year old self, full of old favorites (Marky Mark, anyone!?) and some new classics. I have amended all the versions shared below to be profanity free, but its not super tame (sorry mom!) 

I hope that it can be a fun addition to help get you moving with me in the New Year! Share your journey with me on Instagram or twitter by tagging @kristenkill or using the hashtag #getitdone I would be so very honored to cheer you on and celebrate your success with you in 2014!

Just click the links to the whole playlist or individual songs below

A Fall Get Away - A Seasonal Anchor of Renewal

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Oh Autumn, you used to be my very favorite. Inviting me in to snuggle with books under blankets and hot tea in hand, putting your wild colors on display, and your wind whisping through my hair sometimes made me feel like a movie star. I craved your fresh start feeling and your new school supplies and was so so thankful that you made it ok to eat pumpkin and cinnamon and apples at every meal. I thought I would love and adore you all my days, truly. But, Autumn, we've suffered a break-up and I don't know that I ever even let you in on the fact.

Something slowly started to change as my children grew older, September wasn't just about the gorgeous temperatures or Harvest abundance, but became more about kissing summer's saltiness and sunshine goodbye. It meant welcoming a rhythm of routine and, maybe even more painful...responsibilities. There's never truly any vacation for mothers, but sipping an iced toddy every afternoon while the babes splashed in the pool sure felt nice, and even, dare I say...free? 

I'm open to reconsidering our relationship, but Autumn, could you just please go out of your way to wow me this year? This girls needs some Fall glory something fierce if its ever going to be the same. 

Love, Kristen (the one in New York, on the Upper West Side...near the park, so (ahem) extra folliage effort by the resevoir would be so appreciated)

All jesting aside, the reality is that my aversion to fall runs deep. As of late, it has been the harbinger of grief in my life. One of the reasons I haven't blogged much in a year is because when death is all that is happening in your life, you just question how much of it to share with readers who want to hear about homeschooling and the joys of raising a crew of kids. I wondered if the bitterness I was fighting fiercely would fade as my words hit the page, if joy would shine through, if truth would prevail, or if you would all see straight through to my heart- for real- and bitter would be what I passed on. 

But this Autumn? Its business as usual. I could barely remember what that felt like until my husband whisked us away to the pumpkin patch last weekend. I drank it in. The beauty and memories and Apple Cider doughnuts? They redeemed as season I had begun to dread. Until the last few years, every October of my life has been about taking in fall colors: thermoses of cocoa packed, sweaters on, cameras ready and sweet oohs and ahhs from all of us. Its a steady force to celebrate the changing of seasons the same way time and time again throughout your childhood- and the passing on of the tradition? It makes it all the sweeter.

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Maybe that's all it takes? Just jumping in again and committing to make a memory worth keeping together? To steal away with those we love and shout a giant "whoo-hoo!!" from our car windows as we let the road take us away? To welcome our children into the midst of a great adventure- even if the reward is simple? Oh that my heart would remember that its not always about where we travel, but the thing is just to...move.

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So how will you cast an anchor to welcome Fall? What are some of your favorite traditions from your childhood that you want to pass on to your own babes?

 

 

And Just Like That I Need to Throw on a Sweater

 I am a huge fan of the comfort of a great pair of leggings. I love pairing mine with my riding boots and a chunky sweater. 

I am a huge fan of the comfort of a great pair of leggings. I love pairing mine with my riding boots and a chunky sweater. 

September is a doozy! A friend recently mentioned to me that our images of the beginnings of an ideal NYC fall is all from romantic comedies (ala When Harry Met Sally ), but in reality, most moms are running like crazy trying to keep the new routine together: schoolwork, sports, dance, clubs, moms groups- its all thrown back in and jerks from our laise' fair summer vacations. 

Not uncoincidentally, the way I'm coping with the hectic pace of September is with rom-coms on the weekend. My older girls just watched Runaway Bride and Sleepless in Seattle  with me for the first time and You've Got Mail is on tap for this week. You know what I'm noticing more than anything else about these 90s visions of love and life in New York City? Those heroines knew how to rock a sweater.  I even spotted penny loafers in one of the shots! Be still my soft fabric, comfort loving self. Something about their relaxed style spoke to me that there really is hope for laughter and margin and casual walks through Central Park with my Pumpkin Spice Latte- its just probably going to have to happen in October...

In the meantime, I'm piecing together updated for 2013 cozy, comfort clothes.  I always stick to basics, simple tees in neutral tones, chunky sweaters, leggings and jeans, and I make sure everything can work with a boot. Scarves, hats and necklaces give layer and diversity and are easy to update. So how do you keep it simple for the season?

What pieces are you excited to put on this Fall? 

 

 My yellow flats take me from Spring all the way through Fall. They are such a surprising , fresh twist on the bright oranges and reds that are typical of Autumn Fashion- I love the simplicity of pairing them with white and gray tees and distressed jeans.   

My yellow flats take me from Spring all the way through Fall. They are such a surprising , fresh twist on the bright oranges and reds that are typical of Autumn Fashion- I love the simplicity of pairing them with white and gray tees and distressed jeans.

 

 Sometimes just one unexpected pop of color can transform your look- this aqua ring does the trick and compliments the coral eternity scarf beautifully! 

Sometimes just one unexpected pop of color can transform your look- this aqua ring does the trick and compliments the coral eternity scarf beautifully! 

The Heart of A List Maker

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I am a list maker. It can’t be helped. I keep track of life through pages and pages of notebooks and to-do lists and half- used journals. Upon our recent move, I was faced with three, yes three full boxes of  leather bound tomes to lug to our new apartment. The movers might have given me a few eye rolls, but these babies are my treasures! Here’s why: I will never scrapbook. I get itchy just thinking about how to print my bazillion photos from the last 12 years. How on earth could I ever catch up and write stories and create borders to match at this point? I can’t.I’ve tried.

Sometime after my third child was born, a new kind of memory keeping began for me. I’d love to share it with you in case, like me, you long to have a record of how you build into your days,  but wonder where to begin or how to journal about your family life simply.

Read the rest today at Mom Heart by clicking here

Freefall to Fly

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"Every woman is in some way searching for or running from her beauty and every man is looking for or avoiding his strength. Why? In some deep place within, we remember what we were made to be, we carry with us the memory of gods, image bearers walking in the garden. So why do we flee our own essence? As hard as it may be fore us to see our sin; it is far harder still for us to remember our glory. The pain of the memory of our former glory is so excruciating, we would rather stay in the pigsty than return to our true home." -Brent Curtis and John Eldredge in "The Sacred Romance"

 Rebekah and her cutie family in NYC

Rebekah and her cutie family in NYC

What makes your heart sing? What is that one thing that you love to do, that stirs your heart and makes you feel alive? Whatever it is, its something God placed in you, as he delighted over you, as he wove you together in your mother’s womb- it is, as Rebekah Lyons calls it, “your birthright gift.” Did you know you had one? Sometimes as moms, in the busy years, the years with tug a pull and very, very little margin, we can forget those gifts were ever even there. We can forget who we truly are.

I’ve spent a good long while in seasons that felt too busy to breathe, too dark to see any light. They felt crushing and I felt so alone, so far from what I thought my life would be like. At the time I couldn’t imagine any other mom felt like me, so out of control and displaced, a bit lost and beat down, a little too shabby to cultivate the dreams that had been stored up in my heart.

It is still a rare delight when a story feels a part of my soul almost instantly, when before I’ve finished the prelude, I’m already in tears as I nod and agree and see some of my own story woven in the fabric of words expressed. Freefall to Fly was one of those rare delights. Rebekah Lyons shares her own journey of her family’s move to New York City, her own struggles of how anxiety and fear began to lead her into a downward spiral that ultimately led to total surrender to, and a tender rescue by a loving Heavenly Father.

I'm so thrilled to share the journey of this life before the Lord with my sweet friend and honored to be able to write about it today at The Better Mom. Would you join me there?

xx Kristen

 

 

Something Beautiful Born of Something Buried

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I buried my blog.  

Something in me has been stirring for a good long while- rumbling in my belly : A vision of rest. For the parched, for the weary, for my sisters who feel alone, for the ones who feel the squeeze of motherhood, the disillusion of a life that doesn't look quite like they thought it might, or maybe, like me, the hectic pace of a large city. We need water. We need a thirst quenched deep, and a tall glass just won't do. 

I buried my blog for a while to let my thoughts swirl and while it was underground I thought about just letting it go to seed- I thought about how I really want to spend my days, carry out my minutes, fill my home and I said out loud no less than a few times that I was done with this business of sharing my heart  with you all. I just craved quiet. 

And somehow in the interlude, in the place where my cries met God's beauty, he whispered that you just might need some quiet too. The very thing I was to create was the kind of place I desperately long for: a place where we can gather beauty together, where we can find safety to pause and inspire, to foster eyes that see the light... to remember who we truly are.

Kick your feet up and catch your breath. You are welcome here.

Here's a bit more about what I'm up to : About

Having a Ball- Cinderella on Broadway

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Oh how I love a good fairytale! The girls and I had the chance to attend Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway last week and had a ball! (Pun absolutely intended). I wasn’t really sure what to expect, since I’m mostly familiar with Disney’s animated version- and I always wonder what kind of effects will be brought to life on stage!

The show opened with a battle scene that was incredible and drew my girls in right away. It was certainly appealing to little boys in the audience as well, which I’m sure consoled all their mothers who had set them up to come to a Princess show. If you are a boy mom, your guys will love it, straight out of the gate!

The storyline had some serious heart: after being away at University, the Kindom’s Prince returns, naive to the plight of the poor in his kingdom. Cinderella not only delivers the plot we expect to see one stage (glass slipper, fairy godmother and happily ever after included) but also reveals a girl who has compassion on those who are undervalued or marginalized, as she is such, and who wants to lend her voice to restore the Kingdom’s kinder days. This Cinderella is not a passive princess, but a girl of action, using her charm to help her fellow villagers.

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Maia and I snapping a photo at Intermission

Although the musical had substance, it was really just a whole lot of fun! This is a show that is unpredictable and entertaining for all ages! Certainly not a kids only show, parents will join their children in amazement for the on stage costume transformations and flying fairy god-mother, giggle quite a bit and likely tap their feet to tunes like “Possible” (my crew are still singing!)

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I don’t know why I am always so surprised by the caliber of Broadway shows, but I continue to be stunned.  With a stream of Broadway revivals, somehow this show has really hit the mark.  The story really would have appealed to Jones just as much as it did the girls, with no lack of gusto from the male cast members. The show has struck a great balance between being light and fun, but also not quite as fluffy princess as I was expecting. Cinderella felt fresh, colorful, sharp and clever.

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Meeting the Cast after the show- such a treat!We had a chance to meet the cast after the show as they fielded questions from bloggers and their children. They were so great with the kids, many of whom could not differentiate between their real lives and their characters. My favorite interaction was with a young girl who wanted to talk to the actress playing Cinderella’s stepmother about her bullying behavior- she wanted to be certain she was truly sorry! Precious.

The cast seemed to have a sweet comraderie together in real life- and they love their characters. I think their passion and warmth translate to the entire show- they really are enjoying themselves every night! You don’t want to miss them in action- definitely add Cinderella to your theatre must see if you live in or are traveling to New York. You can purchase tickets here.

Hope With Feathers was not compensated for this post, but did receive tickets to the show. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks to The Moms for inviting us to join you!!

Childhood Nostalgia, Sparkles, Plaids and a Great Cause {Annie on Broadway!}

Growing up in a small town and not being one to excel in athletics (ahem), I fell in love with the theatre at a young age. There was just nothing like being backstage, butterflies all swirly in your stomach, mom, dad and grandparents waiting to see you on stage- so many hours of commraderie and silliness and really hard work coming together to tell a story for the packed house.

I was a newly minted eight year old when I sang and danced in the chorus for my first show- Annie. I knew every line, loved every minute and day-dreamed of New York in the 30s. My own kids have of course seen the movie (Singing It’s a Hard Knock Life is pretty much how they make through chore time!), but I never dreamed they’d be able to see it live on Broadway! 

What a treat when I learned it was being revived and that we were invited to see it in preview by our friends, The Moms. It was magical. My children loved seeing the story they knew so well brought to life in front of them- the scenes of New York, particularly, were excellent and a wonderful display for the coming holidays. We likely won’t make the Rockettes show this year, but felt that we’d been able to celebrate just the same with the festive atmosphere Annie provided.

My whole family agreed that Ms. Hannegan is still our favorite character (so full of life and sass!)- but the dog who played “Sandy” came in a close second! The show did run a bit long, so for very young children who would certainly love the show too, a matinee might be a good option unless you can sleep in the next day! There aren’t a lot of surprises or new twists, but for parents wanting to share the magic of a show they loved as children with their own kids, Annie is a must see. 

We were also so thrilled to be able to partner with The Children’s Place who were so kind to deck out the kids in some of their great new holiday fashions (think sparkles and plaids!) for the show!! It was all to bring attention to a cause The Children’s Place, The Moms and Annie on Broadway are investing in: The Pajama Program, an initiative to support and provide pajamas to underpriveldged children in our city. Theatre go-ers can take part in this program as well by bringing new pajamas with them to the show and using the drop off box in the lobby. What better way to respond to the “Annie’s” in our own city that to help them feel warm and cozy at bedtime this holiday?  All the information about the Pajama Program, Annie on Broadway and the newest holiday line from The Children’s Place can be seen in the reel above (including cameos by my own fab- four!)

Disclaimer:I was not paid for this post, however I was provided with tickets to Annie for review purposes and outfits for each of my children compliments of The Children’s Place. As always, all opinions are my own.

On Learning to Read as a Grown-Up

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“A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink of it deeply, or taste it not, for shallow thoughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking deeply sobers us again.” ~ Alexander Pope

We live in a soundbyte world. 

Sometimes I feel like I’m walking in an endless Times Square, lights flashing, constant buzz, everyone crying out to be heard…marketing their ideas and wares in the way that will grab my attention fastest and longest, enticing me to stay just one more minute to take the cream…

Writers and bloggers are achingly aware of this.

We care about the spaces where we write and live and welcome friends and strangers, and we do our best to create words that matter, words that capture….and we should. It is a noble pursuit to craft and labor and honor the time you spend in our little corners. It is right that if we have a message we are passionate about sharing, we do our best to share it well. 

But how does it feel to be the reader?

Among all the noise, all the headlines, all the messages coming at you today, how will you choose? How will you truly engage and really read, and really know, and take away something all your own today?

As I wander myself through library pages and blog posts, much of what I connect with is a reflection of my own soul. When a writer echoes a part of me in their words, that always draws me in…because like most people, I want to be understood, I want to be known. {I will probably never tire of hearing about myself this side of heaven, ahem} But, I’m finding now that its more important than ever to develop the art of knowing and to discern what I take in.

Beyond connecting with I want to hear, I’m also concerned with how I measure its value and digest its meaning, because if I miss this, I miss the opportunity to grow.

As I teach my children how to read, not for phonetics and fluency, but for meaning, I’m finding clarity in how I want to approach learning to read as a grown-up. I want my babes to drink deeply from the words they encounter, to measure them against the truth they know and hold.  I want their own impressions to be forged deep, to be marked with ideas that are unique to them and to their experiences so that they add to the conversation that has already begun.

Because the cream, really, is that sweet spot of connection, isn’t it?

You know the place.

It’s where our knowing and understanding collides fully with the ideas expressed by another, and soon we share something together…a troupe banded by the experience of words striking deeep and becoming a part of us. Community grows this way, with words exchanged and shared and digested together. 

The thing is, its hard to share what you do not know.

So how do you learn to read as a grown-up? How do you learn the art of knowing? 

The Four Questions (adapted from the work of Mortimer Adler and Charles van Doren)

1. Read. Keep Reading. Read some more. Immerse yourself in the work of great minds, of those who have gone ahead of you, of those you admire, esteem and even disagree with. Just don’t stop. Carve out time to apprentice yourself to great writers and great ideas. Read actively and with intention.

2. Ask What is this About? What is the main theme or idea, what is the message? What details are important and how are they being shared?

3. Determine if it is true. Measure what is being said with the Scriptures, with what you know and believe to be true about humanity, yourself, and the world that is being shared. Dig in to the details and don’t be afraid to disagree. {Conversely, don’t be afraid to have your opinions and thinking challenged and changed}

4. Decide if what you have read is significant. Why is it important to you? Why is it important to others? If you find it meaningful, Share it. Add to the conversation. Respond. 

Friends, don’t won’t waste your reading. Engage it. And engage the communities you are a part of.