“Teaching Little Kyla…”
A series on Travis and Sarah’s journey of parental flubs, flaws, failures and accidental^ fortune.
Kyla now begins all her prayers by saying, “God, thank you.” That’s it. “God, thank you.” When is the last time that has been your prayer? Are your prayers prayed out of worry? Selfishness? How about gratitude? Thankfulness for the activity of God amongst his people.
When Sarah and I purchased Kyla’s bed to transition her from crib to awesome Malm from Ikea, I finished putting it together and Kyla looked up at me from a little less than a meter high and said, “Sank you, daddy.” She had a bed. And she was thankful.
Since then there have been a number of times that Kyla has surprised me in her simple statements of “thank you.” For what are you thankful? To whom are you thankful? Are you satisfied with what has been provided for you or do you normally feel ripped off? Like you drew the short straw. Like things never go your way. Or… like you deserve more? What gives us that sense of entitlement? What makes us so centered on having more? What keeps us from being grateful?
Is Kyla’s gratitude actually something that exists due to what she receives or possesses? How has she learned to be grateful? How do you exemplify gratitude and for what are you grateful?
^ There is someone(s) greater than me/us (a divine being and a community of people) that intercede with grace and giving.
It appears as though my last post was published on August 11 – almost a month ago. I suppose there is a reason why I have not written in nearly a month. On August 12 I was offered and accepted a new position at MVNU, where I have served as a Resident Director for the last 3 years. I am now in the position formerly known as the Associate Dean. Though the listed responsibilities are essentially and/or technically the same as in previous years, the name of the position has changed, symbolically reflecting the change that I will/am bring/bringing. I am serving as the Director of Student Involvement and Accountability in the Office of Student Development. My title is the next-to-longest name second only to Rick Teasdale (not to be confused with an actual person), the Assistant Associate Vice Regional Director to the Chancellor of Student Services. My new role at MVNU includes serving as an advisor to the Student Government Association, chairing of the University Judicial Council and Campus Life Council, providing leadership development and mentoring to students, and handling all discipline process and accountability standards for students. I’m also the University Liaison to the Parents’ Association.
In the midst of the transition into my new position I’ve been quite wrapped up with a number of things. Sarah, Kyla, and I moved out of the RD apartment attached to Oakwood Hall. Per my request, we were able to maintain MVNU’s campus as our place of residence. My next post will tell about our move down the hill from Oakwood Hall to the Rosewood Apartments. We primarily wanted to remain on campus in order to continue living life among the students that we love, opening our home to all those who accept the invitation to journey with us, together in the struggle to learn what it really means to live in the way of Jesus.
I realized during a time of silence on our SGA Retreat (a couple of weekends ago) that the consistent and abnormal practice of solitude, prayer, and reflection is essential in the midst of all the things both good and bad that fill our lives. So… I am not particularly proud of the fact that I’ve had only 2 days off in the last 29 days but I am excited to enter a new season of life that possesses a more natural and healthy rhythm of existence. A more consistent schedule of thinking and writing will reignite the posts that are going to be published on a much more regular basis now that the time demands of transition have subsided.
I also moved into a new office. It’s name is Sweden. Stop by. We’ll share some coffee and conversation.