Tuesday Tiny Tips

  • Parenting Tip- Parents One Word

    One Word.

    If you could describe your mom or dad in one word, good or bad, what would it be? For me, the word for my dad would be “Loyal”. How about your mom? My mom in one word would be “Laughter”.

    Now, if your kids were all grown up, looking back to this time, how would they describe you in one word, what would they say?

    Would it be overall positive or overall negative?

    If you think it would be negative, you can change that.

    Start today. Make a change.

    Parenting is tough. Our kids don’t always like us. Bottom line though, they need to know we are always in their corner rooting them on.

    I know it’s a simple concept, but one a lot of people lose sight of in day-to-day living. Parent in such a way to have a positive impact on your kids, not a negative one. Keep that in front of you every day in everything you do.

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  • Family & Parenting Tip-Dinner At Home

    I recently heard one of my sons talking with someone about something that was significant to him as he was growing up: Suppertime.

    It was very important to Carol and me to try and have a sit-down dinner several days a week, and our kids loved this. Nothing too fancy. Pizza on Fridays. Something simple we could all gather around and share.

    University of Michigan did a study of young adults who were living healthy and productive lives. There was a common thread in those interviewed. These adult children had parents, or a single parent, while growing up who made it a priority to have a sit-down dinner at home on a regular basis.

    So many great memories were made in our family as we took time to have a meal together. If this is a struggle for your family, start with once a week and be encouraged. Try to eventually work on adding another day after that one meal becomes a habit.

    It may take rearranging some priorities, but each of my grown children would say that even if it wasn’t perfect, our meals together were always time well spent and very memorable. Connect with Brett’s 10-minute class that corresponds with this Suppertime Tip: Here

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  • Faith Tip- Take A Leap Of Faith

    Since today is my daughter Kelly’s birthday, I’m going to tell a Kelly story.

    We were at a summer camp in South Carolina and my young boys were all harnessed in and jumping off a zip-line that soared over a lake.

    Little Kelly and I (I think she was around 4 or 5 years old) were sitting on a dock and had a great view of her brothers speeding by in the air.

    I looked at Kelly and asked her if she wanted to try the zip-line. A look of fear came over her face and she said, “Papa don’t tease me. I’m too small.”

    I let her know it was okay and that she didn’t have to do it if she wasn’t comfortable.

    After watching her brothers take several turns she shocked me and said, “Papa, if you climb up there with me I’ll do it.”

    “That’s my girl,” I said and we raced over to the zip-line.

    I asked the man in charge if by chance they had a harness and helmet her size and he said they did.

    We got Kelly all secure and ready to go. I was standing behind her with my arms around her way up in the air on the take-off deck. I asked her if she was ready, and before I was ready for her to go emotionally, I got a little nervous way up there, she leapt out of my arms and zipped across the lake.

    When she got to the other side and stood up, she turned around and yelled loud enough for everyone around the lake to hear her, ” I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN!” There were loud cheers for Kelly from staff and campers around the lake!

    And so she did it again.

    When I got to the chapel to speak that night, the youth pastor stopped me just outside and said, “Hey Brett, I saw your daughter jump today.” I said, Oh yeah, wasn’t that great!” He said, “Yes indeed but you missed something.” I said, “What did I miss?”

    Then he said something I hope to never forget. He said, “You were standing behind her and I was on the dock and you didn’t see her face. It had one thing written all over it before she jumped.” I said, “Oh yeah, what did it say?”

    He said, “It was written all over her face, I TRUST MY DAD.”

    Dear readers, Is God asking you today to take a leap of faith? Your Heavenly Father is trustworthy. Trust Him because if He is the one asking you to jump, He will be with you every step of the way.

    May it be said of us, we have one look written all over our faces. “I trust my Dad”

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
    in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
    Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

    Happy birthday Half Pint! I love you so much.

    This story and many more like it about Trusting God can be found in my book Stories From A Life.

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  • Marriage Tip- Anniversaries

    Make your anniversary something special. Don’t wait for your spouse to move, take the initiative.

    Plan a great date night.

    Get away for the night if you can.

    Take a trip down memory lane with videos or pictures.

    Visit some of the special places from your past.

    Make sure it doesn’t just slip by like any other day.

    Be creative. Put some thought into it. Put a little work and effort into it and see what you can come up with.

    Our first ten anniversaries we took a short trip each year.

    This took a great amount of scrimping and saving.

    I started planning our tenth anniversary before the first.

    Our first year we went to the city I grew up in: Livonia

    Our second year we went to Disney: Orlando

    Our third year we went to a place Carol always wanted to visit in the fall: Vermont

    The fourth year we went on a circle tour around one of the great lakes: Erie

    The fifth year we went up into northern Michigan: Upper Peninsula

    The sixth year we went to a Bed and Breakfast near our home: Clarkston, Michigan

    The seventh year we went to a quaint little Michigan town on Lake Huron: Alpena

    The eighth year we went on a missions trip: Russia

    The ninth year we went to Jamaica: Ocho Rios

    The tenth year we went back to Disney: Lake Buena Vista

    On our tenth anniversary, I revealed to Carol that all the places we had gone the last ten anniversaries spelled something.


    Upper Peninsula

    Ocho Rios
    Lake Buena Vista

    Celebrate. It’s important. Make some new memories.

    Carol and I are celebrating in two weeks with a special dinner this year with a little surprise at the restaurant.

    Carol’s planning a special surprise for me but I have no idea what it is.

    Don’t let it just slip by. Make it a special day.

    Don’t wait for your spouse to act. Get something started.

    To the men reading this, take the initiative, guys. Don’t think I’m some kind of wizard. Everything I have done for Carol has taken planning, effort, and energy. You know when you’re at work, in your garage, hunting, fishing, gaming or with that hobby you love, there are some things you do really well. Channel that effort and do something memorable. Take a shot at this. Strategize, Execute, Rekindle.

    Have a great week everyone,

    Much love to each of you and your loved ones,
    Brett Ray

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