We all know that we need 8 hours of sleep. But who really has time for that? Who really gets 8 hours (or in the case of parents 8 consecutive hours) and feels rested? I know I do my best to get the sleep I need but honestly it is rare that this happens.
This became very evident the other day. I was sitting in a meeting and was looking at the wall thinking about what we were talking about. As I stared at the wall the phrase painted on the wall stood out to me, “Rust in the Lord”. What?? “Rust”? What in the world is this talking about? I got completely distracted thinking about how they had misspelled the word knowing it should read “Rest in the Lord”. I was completely thrown off. I had no idea why they would just leave that on the wall and not fix it, until later that night.
At dinner that night I was telling some friends about what I had seen and still trying to figure out. They laughed immediately and said, “You mean ‘Trust in the Lord’?”, I laughed too and said wow I must really be tired.
Many things can create opportunity. This blog is about 2 separate opportunities. One has been created because of the work we do at Teen Lifeline and the other comes from a friend’s life experience. As the two intersect something cool happens and a new opportunity is created to impact students lives.
Let’s begin with Teen Lifeline’s opportunity. Over the past 5 years our nonprofit has continued to build relationships with schools as we offer our services to teens to help them make better choices. This time one of those relationships translated into an invitation to speak at a local high school. I accepted before I realized it would be a group of 700 high school freshman. Regardless I saw this as a chance to speak on some important topics and help these freshman shape their view on these matters. As I prepared, my wife had a great suggestion. She thought I should invite someone to join me that could speak from personal experience about one of the topics.
I thought about who this would be for a long time before realizing I should invite Kyle (pictured above). Kyle was a student in the youth group when I was a youth minister. I had worked with him some to try to help him create positive coping skills rather than the drug and alcohol use he was choosing. Though things didn’t change immediately I trust that our conversations helped influence his later decision to stop using and turn things around. Unfortunately he experienced all kinds of drugs, prison, and dropped out of high school 3 credits short of graduating.
Thankfully the story does not end there. Kyle chose to start getting help. His help has included church, a 12 step program, and his sponsor. These steps have made it possible to take on the responsibility of getting married, starting a new job and expecting a baby anytime.
This turn around has created Kyle’s opportunity. He accepted my invitation to be interviewed at the high school. As he spoke you could tell the students were really listening. Afterward he stayed around and was swarmed by students asking questions and thanking him for what he shared.
These opportunities come from what Teen Lifeline is intentionally doing to help teens live life better.
Thanks goes to Kyle for turning things around and for being vulnerable enough to share that with an auditorium full of freshmen.
Here’s the truth, we cannot act on these opportunities without your help. Your support of our efforts makes it possible for us to build relationships with schools, students, and other organizations. Right now is the perfect time to do just that. Our 5th annual 5K is coming up this Saturday October 26, 2013. Please take a moment to learn more about our only fundraiser each year at lifelivedbetter.org/tl5k13. You may already have a heart for teens and want to go ahead and donate which you can do at TL5K 2013.
If you are unable to support us financially would you help us spread the word by sharing on your social media choice below?
Before you click away, do you have a story you are willing to share? Comment below, you never know who’s life it may change for the better.
For many of us parents sending our kids to school can be a little unnerving. Either because it is their first year or just the first year of middle or high school.
Okay, so many of us are probably ready for our kids to go back to school. The anxiety comes from wondering who our kids will be around, who their teacher will be, and what they will hear and learn (aside from the text book stuff).
I’m writing from the perspective of a parent with 2 elementary schools kids. If you are about to send your kid to Kindergarten, Middle School, or High School for their first experience on that campus you are likely a little stressed and anxious about what they will face.
Here are 4 things that will help you be prepared and reduce the stress level for you and your student.
Over the last few months I have periodically shown a video to my groups about a rock climber named Alex Honnold. The first time I watched this video, I squirmed in my chair, just like I suspect you will. This climber climbs without ropes, and does so on the most difficult routes in the world. Sometimes I will show this video to students to get the conversation started about choices, support, and relationships. Really, this video will get people talking.
Inevitably, another topic comes up with students as we discuss this video, and usually I have to point it out. The sheer magnitude of what this guy is doing tends to overshadow a quote he makes between the 9:06 and 9:45 mark as the interviewer challenged his mindset as he takes these incredible risks. What is interesting is how he confidently states that he knows what he is doing while also admitting that he might not have the ability to know how dangerous his actions are because he is “too close”.
(This post is part of a series from a weekend hosted by The Hills Church of Christ called Renew. You can find it and other posts targeted at making a difference in the world by visiting the linked websites above.)
Things are bad, real bad. We see more of the bad in the world today than at any point in history. With 24 hour news and social media reporting every thing that happens within seconds, it is impossible to get away from the negative. People in poor nations see what it’s like too have to much. American teens think they deserve a diploma, degree, or job.
I have often said I would not want to be a teenager today. School is harder, families are broken, the future is uncertain. Stress is higher today for most of us than it has been in a long time or maybe ever.
Generally the outlook on life is just plain bad.
Or is it??
As we listen to teens in our support groups, we find they are embracing their world. Stressed? Certainly. Confused? Absolutely. And yet they are embracing the world they live in. This embrace contributes to much of the stress and confusion. They are recognizing that life is not fair and there are a lot of injustices in the world. The problem is they don’t know what to do with what they see. They have the energy and momentum to make things right; they simply lack direction much of the time.
This is where Teen Lifeline comes in. Our support groups offer a safe place where teens can be heard. We listen and offer a new perspective. We talk about resources, stress management, goal setting, and positive relationships. Our goal is to offer them resources and support to make their world a better place.
One example of this happened in our teen parents program. I was leading a discussion about parenting skills and the group told me no one had talked to them about parenting skills. Seriously? Honestly, I was not that surprised but it was definitely something that needed to be corrected. Since then we have been focusing on parenting skills to help them parent in ways that will positively shape their kids.
In our support groups, teens often express how unhappy they are with how their parents handle things. This is not new, I felt the same way at times. What they need though is to take steps toward something better. If they don’t, it will be too easy to fall into the same pattern. Teens need to know there are good options and how to move toward them.
Will you consider partnering with us as we try to meet kids and students where they are and use the momentum they bring to help them have a life lived better?