Category Archives: Family

Taking your finger out of the water

There is a metaphor that has been around a long time. The imagery is a person sticking a finger in a pool of water and pulling it back out. When you pull the finger out of the water, the water just closes back up as though your finger was never there. The metaphor is meant to symbolize your life after you die and how life around you will close back up and quickly moves on.

I had a friend pass away early this summer. He was very good at his job, maybe even one of the best ever. His office was filled with awards and monuments to his success. I was visiting some friends recently at his old office and looked in his office and what I saw, broke my heart. The staff there wasn’t doing anything wrong, but they were putting all his papers in the trash and clearing out all the sales awards and mementoes of his success. The thing that stuck me standing there was how fast life moves on without us.

Clearly, his family will carry his memory close for the rest of their life, but the business world just moves on, like pulling your finger out of the water.

Another friend with our company 20 years younger than me, passed away two weeks ago. He was with his wife and children when the Lord called him in front of his family. Much like the first example, there was sadness but the world around him just quickly moved on, like pulling your finger out of the water.

My point is, make sure those you love, know it. Hug them every time you see them even if they act like they don’t want you to. I ask my granddaughters from time to time, “do you know that Papa love you?” Their answer always pings my heart. They say, “yes, because you tell us all the time.” That is what I wanted to hear and wanted to know, that they have no doubt how much I love them.

Hug those around you and tell them every chance you get that you love them. KT

When “I don’t think I can” really means “I don’t think I am.”

That title may be a little confusing. Many times, when people say, “I don’t think I can,” what they really mean is, “I don’t think I am.” Huge difference. A deeper dive is they don’t see themselves as being talented enough, worthy enough, smart enough or capable enough. They have lost some of their confidence and therefore it is much easier to just say, “I can’t,” instead of what the true reason is.

We all go through periods in life when things are going good and periods when things are not going so well. It is in the not so good periods, that we sometimes lose some self-confidence and forget who we are and how we got here. This is what I want to speak to.

It is amazing how the first step can be so hard and so full of dread yet feel so rewarding once we take it. It could be the first step to an exercise program, completing a project, making a change that is long overdue, taking some new educational course, repairing a relationship etc. etc. and the list could go on for pages. Like any decent salesman, I have a call list for every day but many times I find myself looking for anything else to do other than simply call the list. When I take that first step and call the first name, it is interesting how much easier calling the second and third etc. becomes because I took the first step and called the first name on the list.

When you feel a little slower in your step or a little less self-assured, I find that doing a quick personal inventory is what helps me. I think through all the areas of my life (family, friends, work, financial, socially) and it doesn’t take long (for me at least) to realize how very blessed I already am. I also acknowledge that it was God who got me here and not myself. I began to think through all the turns in life that could have gone the other way and yet by the sheer grace of God, here I am.

Again, for me at least, looking back how I got here seems to help me take on the next challenge so I can say “yes I can” because what I am really saying is “yes I am.” KT

Test to tell if someone is authentic and genuine

If you ever need to confirm if a person is authentic and genuine, just ask to meet with them at their home. Take one look in the spouse’s eyes and their children and you will know. If they have a dog, just watch the dog around that person and you will undoubtedly know.  If they have a cat,,,, it won’t tell you anything. Ha

See, you will be able to tell if the person is trustworthy and honest by the way their spouse and children act around them. If their children run up to the person and hug them, you probably have a good person. If they shy away or are inhibited, you should be aware.  If the spouse is a woman, one look at her face, tells you everything you need to know. She can’t hide it. You will be able to tell if she believes in her husband or not.

If they have a dog, it’s a slam dunk. A dog regardless of how it is trained, either feels comfortable around a person or not. It is their instinct, and it will override any training. A dog is an open book, and you will know if a person is who you think they are or not. See, a dog doesn’t have work, entertainment, and friends, they only have you. A dog forgives easy but never forgets how you treated them.  The actions of a dog mirror how they feel about their owner and a dog is the best judge of character you can find.

We could probably do away with much of the criminal court system we have today if we would just video the person on trail in a room with a bunch of dogs. Seriously, the way a person’s spouse, children and animals act around them will give you a good look into the soul of a person. I’m not saying I am a good person, but If you come to my house, I have one little fat dog that won’t even bark at you but will sit at your feet of he trusts you and another little runt (Yorkie) that will lick your face. KT

Difference between being respectful and afraid

Have you ever seen a child that is afraid of their parent (s?) They cower down in fear. There is an enormous difference between a child being respectful and minding their mom or dad and the child that minds out of fear.

This mainly happens when the parent is not consistent in their mood and often gets angry very quickly. Children (thank goodness) have a built-in coping ability that adults don’t have. The greatest gift a parent can ever give a child is the knowing that they are safe and loved unconditionally. Read that last sentence again please.

When I was moved to Georgia to live with my father and stepmother, I was 15 years old. Try as hard as I might, I could never please my stepmother. She would send me to do a job like sweeping the driveway and it didn’t matter how long I worked at, she never one time told me I did a good job or thank you. She always pointed out some area I missed.

The problem with this type of parenting is it stays with the child for the rest of their life. Perfect example – I am 63 years old and was doing something around the house the other day and when I finished, I had a flash back to my stepmother and what she would say. This is not healthy for a child and many parents have or are currently making these mistakes. A child needs acceptance. That’s right, a child or teenager needs acceptance even though they may act like they don’t care. Deep down inside they really do. Basically never (regardless of what they do) withhold your acceptance and love from them.

Here is another example of the right way. My stepfather always told me he loved me. Like every kid, I did things that got me in trouble. I remember vividly one time I messed up and my stepfather had to whip me. You know what he did right after he whipped me? He took me in his arms and told me he loved me. That type of love is what I am talking here. Children, preteens and teenagers are very vulnerable and need all the love you can give them but most importantly, tell them and ** show them that they are accepted, loved and they are safe.

Those are the greatest gifts you can give your children. If you don’t believe it, just look at your parents and ask yourself, was I really loved, safe and accepted growing up? That’s all the proof you need. KT

Time travel – 5 years

Imagine for a moment you could time travel back five years while still knowing what you know now? What a do over that would be. The only problem is you couldn’t tell anyone you came back from five years in the future or you would lose the opportunity. I promise there is a point to this blog post below.

Keeping in mind that you still know everything now but simply slip back five years ago for a do over. Clearly some people would froth at the mouth at stock values because they would already know the future. They would sell everything at the end of January 2020 and reinvest everything on March the 16th, 2020.

Once you get past the economic side, what else would you do next? This is the point of this blog.

I suspect you would show love to those you know will be gone within the next five years. You would fix relationships, make better choices, spend more time with your children and basically be a more gentle, kind and caring person. You would recognize the special moments as they are happening because again, you already know the future five years. You would listen much more closely and give better advice and take the moments much more serious. You would know the future five-year life path of your children and you would intensely attempt to guide them.

Because you can’t tell anyone you know the next five-year future, you will be limited in how you try to advise others.  You couldn’t just say, “trust me” or “I know what I am talking about” or you have to believe me.” You would need to really think through how to influence those you love.

Here it is – you don’t know the next five-year future, but you do know today, who are the most important people in your life. Like the paragraphs above, listen intently and take the moments seriously and above all things, give the very best you have to those you love. Merry Christmas. KT