I reach up to take down my favorite pair of boots this morning. They are a pair of blue Pikolinos my St. M purchased for me four years ago in our favorite shoe store outside Mt. Airy. We always stop and shop in this family-owned establishment on our way up the mountain to the Blue Ridge Parkway; excellent quality and great value for exceptional wares. M buys running shoes and I buy everything else. 🙂 This particular style of ankle boot has a slight heel and are well-formed for my achy, aging feet. I walk securely and with a slight “swag” when wearing them because I feel their steadfast power on my unsure feet…all sass and class rolled into a cute if practical boot. I notice, though, the heel needs attention on one. It’s a reboot, so off I go to town to have our local repair shop help them last another season.

Metaphorically speaking and in an effort to reboot and jump start November in the focused season of thanks and giving, these next few blogs will focus on gratefulness. Personally, gratefulness is a practiced mindset in my world, a feeling of appreciation for a kindness or a welcome experience of gratitude and thankfulness. Authentic gratefulness brings pleasure and contentment on a level all of us could benefit from in daily life. The word itself comes from the Latin derivative, gratus, “showing grace, blessing, and JOY…” Just like daily physical exercise, cultivating creative and mindful ways to practice daily gratitude is sometimes a challenge in an effort to recharge and reboot mind, body, and soul. Finding gentle ways to nurture it are paramount to daily practice.

Day One:   What is ONE thing today you are grateful for in this moment?

Me?  REBOOT.  Waking up to a beautifully blue, crystal crisp fall morn following the torrential rains and winds from the storms of last night, the air is quiet and washed clean. The woods have regenerated to start a new day, beginning with more leaves fluttering gracefully to the ground as I rake. I run to town to repair the boot; all is well once again. My personal battery is recharged today and the multitude of worries from yesterday are more distant because of restful sleep, cooler temperatures, and calmness in my grateful thoughts. The blank page in the journal of today is clean and ready to unfold a fresh story. What will the story be today?

More patience, forgiveness, kindness, understanding, and generosity are the focus for these remaining weeks of 2022. Working to right wrongs, learning from mistakes, listening more, talking less, seeking truth, and remembering to embrace the bounty…these are the touch points. Hope is not lost. Grace and mercies are abundant. “I am grateful for what I am and have…my Thanksgiving is perpetual.” (Henry David Thoreau) So, go ahead; throw caution to the day…what’s your ONE grateful thing in this moment? 

Having enough…

gratitudewordle2In walkabout today, several learners commented to me about their gratitudes and blessings of this school year–what they really were grateful to have learned along the journey this school year.  While this is a common theme in our classrooms this time of year, I genuinely hope it becomes practice throughout each child’s life.  In talking with one particular learner who is dealing with a great deal more than a young child should know, I was reminded of this saying my Granny B often quoted:

May you always have enough…

  • happiness to keep you sweet,
  • trials to keep you strong,
  • sorrows to keep you human,
  • hope to keep you JOYful,
  • failure to keep you humble,
  • success to make you eager,
  • friends to give you comfort,
  • wealth to meet your needs,
  • enthusiasm to look for tomorrow,
  • faith to banish worry, and
  • determination to make each day better than before! 

Yes, it is important to teach our children to share and embrace the gratitudes of daily life along with the necessary coping skills to deal with stress and pressure too.  Our daily focus on strong character traits at school (like trust, respect, responsibility, service and more) help to reinforce these coping skills and focus on the blessings all around us.  Together, we are working to truly design dreams and build leaders for today and everyday.  Thanks for walking the journey with us; thanks for sharing your most valuable blessing, your child, with us this year!

“The highest form of wisdom is kindness…”  The Talmud

As we get ready to close out 2013 and prepare to embark on the educational adventures of 2014 as a learning community, the simple reminder to be kind on our personal quest for educational greatness and excellence resonates soundly.  There are so many profound daily gifts in this life we are given, especially when you move within the walls of an elementary campus each day!  question-mark2It starts with being grateful. What are you grateful for each day?  How do you show kindness each day?  When you are grateful for the gifts in your life, big and small, you always seem to find more things to be grateful about, thus abundance continues to flow into our life when gratitude flows out of our heart.

We are challenging ourselves at LME to find ways in 2014 to be grateful and kind along our personal and educational journeys.  Our classroom leaders are challenging our families to find more ways to model this example in action to each child on the educational journey each day; it takes all of us.  Be optimistic and excited about the new gifts coming our way and allow kindness (to you and yours to others) be one way to show peace, JOY, and love in action…Be wise; be kind!

In closing, the powerful words of John Wesley sum it up best:

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can…

…So what will 2014 bring?  Blessings and best wishes for a most prosperous, kind, grateful, extraordinary 2014, LME!  Happy New Year!  🙂

Note:  We look forward to everyone returning on Tuesday, January 7th!

Seeds of Success…

A parent stopped me today in the midst of final day (organized?) chaos SeedsofSuccessand shared this  beautiful note with me:

I’m the voice of a grateful parent whose child was in your school; the one who needed lots of help to find his way.

You and so many have been a blessing to our family as everyone helped my child succeed; we are grateful for the part each person had to play.

You gave him so much more than just lessons or books or boundaries; you gave him wings so he could learn to fly.

You ignited a flame within his soul, a passion to learn and grow, and to never give up and always be willing to try!

The encouragement inspired him, and everyone’s kindness was so real, but the thing thrilling my heart the most is this;

Building his self-confidence has changed his life forever because he believes in himself, and a brighter future is now his!

WOW…may we never underestimate the powerful impact of the work we choose to do everyday at LME!  Here’s hoping we always continue to plant seeds and be a catalyst for success!

Bravos, Team Miller, on a job well done this school year!