Archive for childhood

The King and I

I was born a Princess.  I wasn’t like other little girls who played dress-up in pink dresses with crowns, gaudy jewelry and glittery plastic wands. No. I was a real princess. No question about it. I was sure of it because my daddy said so. He’d say over and over, “Kimmy, you know you are my Princess. And if you are the princess, do you know what that makes me? King of the House!”

So in honor of Fathers Days I’d like to thank His Majesty for his years of faithful service to his Kingdom and for making me feel like royalty every single day.

There are a few things that make my dad an extraordinary King. First, like King David, he is a man of great faith. He has always looked towards his Heavenly Father for guidance on how to be a dad and has taught me to look the same direction for my help.

Secondly, like King Solomon, he is full of wisdom. There is rarely a time you will catch my dad without a book under his arm—in the mall, at the supermarket, at the beach, in the car, on the train, at church. He is ALWAYS stealing a moment to learn more. He is a walking encyclopedia, always ready to share a quote, a study, or a story at anytime. Most importantly, he has instilled that same love of learning in me.

My daddy has always been a King with a heart for service. He never hesitated to drive us to India and back every weekend to make soccer practices, ballet classes, Girls Scouts, golf lessons, Sunday School, summer camps, etc. And in the midst of these endless errands and long days, he still found time to chase monsters from underneath our beds, or run around the house for giggles.

Like a good King, my father has always been determined to protect his Kingdom. His protection was not limited to physical and financial protection. My daddy has been committed to protecting us from those who didn’t appreciate our value as well. The first time I got a clear glimpse of this was in the 9th grade. New to high school, I was beginning to receive regular calls from hormone-crazed teenage boys, some of which did not know they were calling a Princess.

One day one unsuspecting young man by the name of Chris Howard called my number. My dad picked up…

“Hello is Kim there?”

“Yes. But you can’t talk to her asking for her like that! If you are gonna call my daughter, you better ask for her  properly! You say ‘May I please speak with Kim.’ Don’t call my house sounding like a hoodlum!” CLICK.

I was MORTIFIED. Needless to say, Chris Howard NEVER called my house again. But as I look back, now that the embarrassment has faded away, I appreciate that my dad had standards for his Princess and only extraordinary would do.

I am so grateful to have grown up a princess and I am forever indebted to the man who taught me what it means to be royalty. Thank you, daddy, for giving me the honor of being your princess into Eternity.

I love you and Happy Fathers Day!

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A Real Life Superhero

“If you were a superhero, what would your power be?”

Most have thought about or have been asked this question before. What if the answer to this question determined your day? Your life?

The answer has for Rishi Nair. He is an 8-year-old real life superhero. Rishi is just his alter ego. His superhero name is Peaceful Warrior. His superpower? “Fighting fear, sadness, and pain with music.” Rishi flies through the halls of Seattle Children’s Hospital saving the day with the sound of his drums, his flute, and his commitment to loving people to wholeness. Children Hospital is a place he knows well. Rishi was born without working kidneys and spent his first five years connected to machines before his transplant. Now, he uses his superpowers to heal others. “When I play, the world feels better….everyone is soothed,” he says.

I’ve never met Rishi personally—only on the TODAY show. But I was inspired that this 8-year old discovered that he didn’t have to dream about superpowers. He already had them.

We all already have superpowers but sometimes forget which identity is the alter ego. We were created to be superheroes for one another….to use our supernatural gifts and talents to make a difference…to be THE difference. Our writing. Our cooking. Our art. Our coaching. Our teaching. Our discernment. Our scientific minds. Our poetry. Our leadership. Our humor. Our compassion. Our creativity. Our humanity. These are our powers.

Who are you called to be a superhero for today? What is your superpower and how are you going to use it for good? Lets follow Rishi’s lead. Pick a superhero name and get to work!

I invite you to reveal your secret identity in the comments section. Us superheros need to stick together.

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To get your superhero juices going, I share what I thought was a brilliant  hero idea by my friend Delores:

Me: Who could you be a superhero for?

Deacon D-Mack:  Jesus

Me: Ok. But what would it look like to be a superhero for Jesus?

Deacon D-Mack: I am like Robin from Batman and Robin. I am like Jesus’ trusty sidekick.

Me: Oh snap! I want to be Jesus’ Robin too!

Thats our secret identity. Now whats yours?

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    You’ve Got to Play with Your Soul

    As a little girl escaping into the backyard to play alone, an old wooden jungle gym awaited me. To the unknowing eye, it wasn’t anything special. There were no fancy tunnels to crawl through or swings—just a ladder that led to a splintered slide and a rope. But this was no ordinary jungle gym. It was the headquarters for an after school arts program. I was the director and met parents at the jungle gym to explain to them the program offerings and supply lists. The best program we offered was jump roping class! Nearly every day during the summer, practice would be held for the imaginary students. I would make up routines and demand they do them to perfection. In an effort to get the routines down for the pretend parent recital, we would practice ALL afternoon if need be. I would shout out encouragement and reprimands into the air, happily jumping my day away. As the rope hit the ground faster and faster, the vision of the applauding parents became clearer and clearer. Proud of our collective success, I would take a humble bow before stepping out of the way for my invisible students to do the same at the end of every recital in front of the garage.

    Solo play-dates left space for my imagination to create the most outlandish scenarios. They created a creative sanctuary where the only rule was to embrace freedom. When people asked the everlasting question, “What do you want to be when you grow up,” at nine years old I had an answer. I knew in my heart I could be whatever I told them. In fact, I had practiced being that director, teacher, or coach out in the jungle gym the week before. I learned the foundations of leadership in that splintered oasis. Playtime was more than a way of filling time. Play was about learning the world and creating your space within it.

    Mr. Rogers once said, “When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet. A small child can be a superhero.” Somewhere on the road from imaginary friends, freeze tag, and legos to careers and “realistic ambitions”, moving beyond the bounds of reality became a childhood memory. We have “real” things to figure out, “more important” adventures to pursue. But what could be more important than believing in the impossible, or playing with your soul?

    How much bigger would our world be if we all made playtime a priority? Play isn’t just for kids. How we play and the things we play with reflect who we are, how we learn, how we relate to each other, and what we value. What realities did your childhood play allow you to explore and what could you do now to rediscover those places? Who’s superhero can you be? How can you save the world? What can you build? What stories are waiting on you to create them?

    Come on, lets play!

    “Culture arises and unfolds in and as play.”- Johan Huizinga

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    Swing Over the Top

    I believe the most powerful dream I have ever had is to do a full 360 over the top of the swing set. Sure, I have had other competing aspirations—to jump to the fourth bar on the monkey bars; to travel to different countries; to go to a great college. Yet none of these dreams has held a candle to the adventure of swinging over the top of the swing set.

    I can remember rushing out the big red doors of Nishuane School at recess. I had little difficulty conquering the other obstacles of the playground—merry go-round, monkey bars, jungle gym—CHILD’S PLAY. After making my rounds to the more menial amusements, recess always ended with the ultimate challenge: swing over the top. Each time I climbed into that worn black rubber seat, I knew there was a destiny waiting for me, and it was on the other side of that bar.  I’d pump with as much power as my 34 lb body could muster, each time inching just a little bit closer to my kid-dom heaven. I’d close my eyes and imagine the moment I crossed over to the other side. Sometimes I’d imagine crossing over into a parallel universe where everything was upside down. Sometimes, I’d imagine a crowd of envious onlooking 2nd graders who had tried their whole lives to accomplish what I would accomplish in kindergarten. As the visions got more clear, my leg pump would get more pronounced. My arms would pull vigorously on the chains to help build momentum. I’d give more…and more…and more…looking up at the bar for inspiration. Just as I’d approach my life changing moment, the chain would buckle and I would jump off into the pile of sand and woodchips below–the dirt on my knees my sign of defeat.

    What was so miraculous about this dream was the fact that no number of dirty knees ever discouraged me from believing that parallel universe over the top of the swing set bar actually existed and that I could, in fact, reach it. It was a dream of my heart, not my head, and nothing but my commitment could get in my way.

    That belief in the impossible has fueled every dream ever worth dreaming. I’d like to think that Jackie Robinson, Gandhi, Orville and Wilbur, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa might have given it an extra leg pump on the playground. Just one ounce of childlike faith in the adventure to the impossible has led to cures to polio, the end of apartheid, the building of the Sphinx, and the discovery of continents.

    Challenge: Can you believe in one impossible thing this week?  Take it on with the same reckless abandon that made recess the best time of the day and then leave a comment and share what you are daring to believe in.

    What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.”- Tony Robbins

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