For the past six months, my 11-year-old daughter and I have been preoccupied with baby names. You see, when my sister-in-law invited Natalie and I to offer name suggestions for her third baby, we embraced it like a full-time job. At swim meets, we scoured the heat sheets for lovely names. At the doctor’s office, we exchanged knowing glances when we heard a name we thought my sister-in-law might like. My daughter and I searched baby name websites and when we found a good prospect, we’d pronounce it with the last name. If it had a pleasing sound, we’d write out the initials to make sure it didn’t spell anything inappropriate or odd. If the name passed all our tests, we’d send it to my sister-in-law hoping to make the monumental decision a little bit easier.
I’d nearly forgotten how both agonizing and exciting the name selection process was for my own two children. Tucked inside their baby books are lists of beautiful names that for several days or even months represented so much more than a name—they represented a future.
“I cannot wait for Natalie to be borned,” my fair-haired student, Morgan, would say every morning when she came to school and hugged my growing belly. I joked with my students that Natalie would be a very smart girl someday because she attended nine months of first grade before she was even born. Deep down, it wasn’t really a joke. I felt as if I could see her future, or at least envision grand possibilities, simply by saying her name.
Upon arrival, Natalie instantly lived up to her name. She had a full head of jet-black hair and was content and alert. Upon arriving home from the hospital, I made up a song using her name so we both could hear the beauty of her name over and over. Through her early years, Natalie’s name remained a sacred word spoken with immense love and care.
But somewhere along the line, that changed.
Her name lost its careful consideration … its loving treatment … its great reverence.
Here I am today realizing that I say her name as if it’s just a word, a way to get her attention, a way to let her know I am talking to her and not her sister.
Natalie, did you get your homework finished?
Please pick up the clothes on your bedroom floor, Natalie.
Natalie, what time is your friend’s birthday party?
Don’t forget your lunch money, Natalie.
I say those managerial things with her name attached to them each and every day—but do I take time to say her name with love, care, and concern?
Natalie, you matter to me.
I love being with you, Natalie.
Natalie, I love you just the way you are, exactly as you are.
Are you feeling okay about tomorrow’s test, Natalie?
Can I put my arm around you, Natalie?
I’m not sure I would had had this painful realization had it not been for an unexpected reminder I received while sitting in our new church recently. Although my family has been going there since our move last summer, I still feel new and don’t really know anyone. This actually came as a relief when tears began dripping down my face as the minister told a story—a story that had perfect timing for me. He recalled that a young man stopped him as he was getting in his car after church one Sunday. The pastor knew this young man had been going through a very tough time, making one poor choice after another. This young man, who had greatly disappointed his family, had one simple request. He asked, “Will you say my name in church next Sunday?”
At first the pastor didn’t understand why, but after some thought it was quite obvious.
“He didn’t want to be forgotten,” the minister explained.
As I drove home from church, the importance of speaking someone’s name was all I could think about. My mind flashed back to an experience that happened when I’d first moved to a new city in Alabama. My beautiful Southern friend invited me to have lunch at a local grocery store that had an extensive salad bar and a quaint outdoor patio. I stood in awe as my new friend greeted every grocery store worker by name as we made our way through the store.
“Sally, how’s the baby doing?” my friend asked the woman checking us out.
“Is your mom out of the hospital, Bob?” she asked the man bagging our groceries.
“Dave, what’s the latest on Jim?” she asked the manager. Jim worked in the meat department and had an unexpected death in the family, my friend later explained to me in her hushed southern drawl.
I’d honestly never seen anything like it in my life.
I watched as people with lowly shoulders stood taller at the sound of their name spoken in a warm, caring voice. For just a brief moment, amongst the hustle and bustle of a grocery store, their ordinary lives had meaning. For just a brief moment, amongst the hustle and bustle of life, they mattered.
By the time I got home from church, I felt like I’d been given the most simple, yet most powerful ingredient for meaningful connection in our fast-paced, media-saturated, often impersonal and superficial lives. It was this:
Speak his name.
Sing her name.
Whisper his name.
Cheer her name.
Pray his name.
Celebrate her name.
Say it with fondness.
Say it with tenderness.
Say it with reverence.
Say it with kindness.
Attach it to soul-building words like:
You are my favorite.
You are enough.
I believe in you.
I’ve been thinking about you.
Take a moment to remember the time, thought, and care that went into choosing the name of the person standing before you and then say it—say it as if it’s the most beautiful word that ever came from your lips. This one simple action holds the power to strengthen weak connections … make lowly shoulders rise … let someone know he is not forgotten.
Today, let us not forget.
With one single word, we have the power to heal the past, pause the present, and illuminate the future.
Simply say it with love.
Friends, think about how you feel when someone says your name when speaking to you. If you are like me, it brings a welcomed pause to your day and makes you feel special. We have the power to offer these gifts to our children, our spouse, our parents, our friends, our colleagues, and those who provide a service to our lives. Life is busy. Our calendars are packed. Time is limited. But there is always time to say someone’s name. Always. It only takes a moment to let someone know he or she matters. See my recommended resource for cultivating a richer tech/life balance at the end of this post.
* A note about my sister-in-law mentioned in the post – Stacie is the amazing force behind the Hands Free Shop. With her new baby due to arrive any day now, we’d be grateful for your patience with orders for a bit. I know many of you are anxious to get your hands on the ONLY LOVE TODAY bracelets. I will post a note on The Hands Free Revolution as well as here on the blog when they are back in stock again. Feel free to check back here early next week.
** A huge thanks to all who shared last week’s post “The 3-Second Pause That Can Save a Morning & Spare Some Pain.” It has been viewed over 1 million times and revealed the dire need to talk about the frustrations, hurts, regrets, and struggles we all experience in our everyday lives. Let’s keep offering hope to others by sharing our stories, even the painful ones. Thank you for the tremendous support you extend to me when I share mine. It makes all the difference.
*** Recommended resource:
Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World has left a lasting impression on me. This book has inspired me to end each day with this question: “What today was most life-giving and what was most life-taking?” Christina Crook provides both the proof and the inspiration to invest in real-life experiences and establish healthy tech/life balance. The Joy of Missing Out has motivated me to pause several times a day and intentionally choose activities that connect me to the people I love and the life I want to live. I highly recommend this book to anyone experiencing the pressure and disconnection in our fast-paced, media-saturated culture. You can order this newly-released book here.
Calling Shakespeare – what’s in a name? Well, if we look at it the way you present it here – the answer is a great deal is in a name.
The examples of your Southern friend and the request made to the pastor are powerful examples of how much it means to address a person by name.
It’s easy to get caught up using your child’s name just the way you do with Natalie.
I’ll keep this in mind.
Rachel Stafford says
Thank you, Larry! I always appreciate hearing your perspective & thoughts. I received your kind email last week and look forward to reading what you so kindly shared with me. Thank you for your faithful presence on this Hands Free journey.
Ruth Peon says
I just wanted to thank you very much for sharing with us such wonderful posts. I have two kids 8 and 11 i really enjoy your very kind and important writing and loving parenting tips. Thank you!! Recive my love,
Ruth from Mexico
Rachel Stafford says
It warms my heart to know you are walking beside me on this journey all the way from Mexico, dear Ruth. Thank you for letting me know you are here today.
Beautiful words in and of themselves–but I have a Natalie, too, and she’s now a young adult. Thank you. <3
Astrid Madsen says
Your beautiful posts are relevant to any age. I am a 73 year old gramdmother and mother. Your posts inspire me every day. I often go back and reread previous posts. Wish I had had your inspiration when I was a young mother. No matter, it’s never too late to practice your words every day. Bless you, and thank you from the bottom of my heart❤️
Rachel Stafford says
Thank you, Astrid. This means a great deal to me! I am so grateful to know you are here, my friend.
Rachel Stafford says
Thank you, Deborah … and blessings to your sweet Natalie.
Joy Chamberlin says
And so when you loose a child you want people to still say their name. Articles like this help me understand my own feelings and depth of my grief. All that was lost with my firstborn,y only Aubrey. A name chosen even before she was conceived.
Rachel Stafford says
Thank you for sharing, Joy. This will help others today — those who feel your pain and those who are searching for something to say to those in pain. I am so sorry for your tremendous loss. Aubrey is such a beautiful name. Today I celebrate your precious Aubrey and the impact she has made and is making today.
What a beautiful post. It’s so true. When I think about the care that went into choosing our daughter’s name and how I often speak it with anger or that managerial tone instead of celebrating her amazing specialness. Thank you!
Indiana Lori says
This is good. This is really, really GOOD. Thank you!
Rachel Stafford says
Thank YOU, my friend. It’s always a good day when Lori stops by this space and leaves a soul-building word or two.
I really enjoyed this story. It was beautiful and very well written. Thank you for sharing! <3
Rachel, sometimes I read your column and feel so overcome with emotion. You continue to remind us of the important things in life.
I look so forward to your posts Rachel! You’ve done it again…reached right down into my soul and left me changed for the better. It’s so simple yet profound; the care and love that goes into so carefully choosing the names of our baby (the ones we get to joyously bring into this world, and the ones whose precious breathing we so desperately wanted to feel on our lips but didn’t get the chance to do so). Tears starting to trickle now, so thank you for the reminder to speak the names of God’s own children with love. Every single name matters, because every single person matters. You rock!
I can’t tell you how much I love your posts. They are so relevant, and always make me thing. And usually cry!
I can not begin to tell you how much I enjoy your post. I have only just recently been so blessed to discover you through a friends sharing on fb, and wow what an impact you have had on me and I’m only 3 post in….lol. Absolutely love your post and thank you so very much for them. God Bless!
Rachel, Your words are relevant to every season of life! I am newly retired as of 3 weeks ago and I am no longer working with people who knew me as an individual and called my name often. I live alone and some of my contact with others now is through Meet-up groups, which you can find on the internet, and through which like-minded people of all ages get together to hike, x-country ski, snowshoe, etc. The faces at these outings are always changing and it is hard to recall the names that go with each face and the individual life stories one hears along the trail. What is not hard to recall is the joy it gives me when those I’ve met just once greet me by name at an outing a week, a month or 6 months later. If they recall even a small detail of my life story the joy is magnified. No matter what age we are, we want to people around us to KNOW and SEE us. So often I her people say, ” I’m just not good with names”, but it is a skill, like many others, that can be cultivated. I’m working hard at doing just that, so I can pass along this joy of recognition to those I meet out in the world.
I just want to tell you what a beautiful post this is. Thank you so much for the reminder. God Bless you and your family.
I remember the tenderness that went into choosing my children’s names. I remember how much I couldn’t wait for my children to get here so I could let them know exactly who they were, and not only their names, but how important and unique they were. Many times I go up to them and let them know by saying thier names with ‘my’ in front of them, “My Addy” , “My Will”. I need to do that more often. Thank you for the reminder.
Janet Lansbury says
I’m in awe of you. Your posts are always a delight! Thank you for continually refreshing our minds and nourishing our hearts. There will never be enough thanks, Rachel.
Stephanie Gonzales says
Absolutely beautiful!! I loved reading such a touching post
I’ve been an avid reader of your blog for over a year now. Your last 2 blog entries have really hit home for me. I am very much a drill sergeant at home…I try and keep everything going and on time. I too have the constant yell and guilt cycle which I try so hard to change. Your blog helps to remind me to try and take a breath, and be patient with my kids, especially my own beautiful daughter. (She happens to be a noticer too! 🙂 )
I feel that your message is about taking time for your family, being kind to oneself and others around you…especially our beautiful children. Our children are gifts from God, we are responsible for their care and we need to nurture them. We only have them for so long, and then we have to let them go and be their own person once they’ve grown.
This piece about names is so beautiful. It is a great reminder to use the names of our kids (and other loved ones too!) with the same loving care that was used to choose them.
Thank you for being so opened and sharing your life with all of us.
Thanks so much for the wise thoughts. I am new to these posts but already feeling a connection that runs very deep. Thanks again. God bless.
First of all, reading your blog has altered the way I parent–for the better. Thank you for the gift of your words.
It’s been a long term goal of mine to find out and use the name of people I speak with on the phone, in the grocery line, etc. This does create a connection that most people don’t realize can be there. As a person within the service industry, we often can feel so invisible.
One other thought to add to this….how dangerous it is to actually forget someone altogether. In my “real world job” my boss has forgotten to include me more than once…and it’s a brutal feeling. It creates resentment and a sense of “am I truly important to this team”. Think of how that feels to our children if we forget something important to them? It’s a challenge to remember everything my little girl tells me or we talk about doing, but by being on the receiving end of being forgotten, I’ve learned my lesson in how to keep her a priority.
Thank you again.
Yes! Goodness, I’m sitting here crying because my husband never says my name (he just jumps into his thoughts), and my children never do, and sometimes I forget the sound.
And then your comment- I am a “small” teacher at my school, just one little class, and I’ve been left out staff parties and important emails and been told that I don’t need keys or email or passwords or what-ever. I’m considering quitting, and partially because I just don’t love the classroom setting, but I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t at least part because I wasn’t worth enough to the leadership.
Stephanie AKA Little Miss Menopause says
I’m a new reader here. In fact, I haven’t even left a comment to the author yet, but your remarks somehow caught my eye and really got to me. Teachers need to be valued for all they do and all they give. If you quit, it will be an unimaginable loss. Forgetting the sound of one’s own name is a very heavy thought. Please ask your husband to say it more frequently or think up an endearing nickname that only you two can share. All my best to you.
I was on a cruise and there was a buffet food worker and, well, I can’t remember his name as it was not a common name, terrible of me I know, (especially given the context here) but, this man, by the end of the cruise knew everyone’s name that he had met, somewhere around 600 hundred people. The amount is quite impressive but it is the feeling that you get when someone remembers your name after meeting him just once. Thank you for this Rachel.
The story of the boy reminds me of a story about an African tribe and each individuals soulsong. When a member commits an abhorrent or anti-social act, such as a crime, the tribe will surround that person and sing their song to them. Because no one who knows and remembers their soulsong could commit an act against the tribe. The tribe brings them back to who they are. here is a link
I completely agree with what you stated. Sometimes a name that took such long consideration to determine does lose its relevance when repeated for negative commentary. Each of my children ( all 6 ) were given names that have special meanings and completely fits who they are. Although they are lengthy and of the Native American venue (my husband is Iroquois) they were chosen for a specific purpose and reason. For many years I heard from many other people, including family, how difficult they were to pronounce and how they don’t fit into the alpha system of a computer and how could I do that to my children. My response was always – you may not remember how to say their names correctly but you certainly won’t forget who they belong to. Most of them have been shortened into names people can pronounce and though the kids have complained from time to time about their own names, I do notice they take pride in explaining to others their meanings and I often hear people tell them how appropriate they were for them. I too made up songs around their names when they were born and it comes in so handy when I start to say something negative and I can just stop myself and sing their song to them instead. Thus, making me happy with memories of them as a baby and making them happy with their own special song. It absolutely thrills me to see the joy on my kids faces when someone remembers who they are and says their name properly. They recognize that someone took the time to learn who they are and how to call them by their given name. That is definitely a confidence builder. Thank you for your thoughtful insights and sharing them with us readers.
My middle son who’s 5 asks almost on a weekly basis why I chose the name I did for him. I pause a moment each time to tell him how much I love his name and him, and all the anticipation there was of him arriving in our lives. Each and every time he responds thanking me for naming him as I did because he’s so happy to be him he tells me. And each and every time it warms my heart…and heals my heart. It helps my heart to hurt a little less when I see that everyone’s birthday is noted by name on my own mother’s calendar except mine. My birthday is marked on her calendar by a couple of initials…
So yes, simply saying someone’s name lets them know that they matter.
We named our two boys after their four great-grandfathers as a way of honoring them. I was particularly close to my Grampa Clifford who just passed away a few weeks ago. Now, saying my son’s name reminds me of my late Grampa. I hurt my own feelings when I say his name a little too gruffly…your post is a reminder that I need to be mindful of my son’s reaction to hearing his name, too.
Rachel, I have enjoyed reading your book, Hands Free Mama, and your blog posts. It hits me where I live because I too am emerging from self-critical, perfectionism and worry and regret. I am a grandmother and wish I had begun to change my ways long ago. My question is if you can recommend a resource with help for self-doubt, criticism and anxiety which does not focus on child rearing. My daughter struggles with this and also infertility. I cannot see her enjoying your book since for her, motherhood is a distant hoped-for dream. It is so painful for her to hear stories of other mothers’ struggles when she believes that her whole life would be fulfilled if only she could have a child. She lives daily with stress, anxiety, migraines, and pressure to conceive. I would like to see her live a hands-free-life even though she has an unfulfilled desire to be a mother. I would like to see her living in the present moment, accepting the grace in that moment and receiving the joy that is present without a child. Do you know of any other resources which don’t focus on parenting?
Rachel Stafford says
Hi Debbie, yes, I absolutely do! Brene Brown has written several books that helped me overcome my inner bully. They are not parenting centered at all. I highly recommend these two books by her:
“The Gifts of Imperfection”: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/159285849X/wwwbrenebrown-20
“I Thought It Was Just Me”: http://www.amazon.com/Thought-Was-Just-but-isnt/dp/1592403352/ref=pd_sim_b_2
Thank you for caring about your daughter so much and trying to help her learn to love herself “as is.”
Katy Annis says
This is a truth definitely worth sharing! I so remember how I felt 20+ years ago when that cute boy I had been talking to remembered my name…I still love hearing him say it! How important it is to attach that love to our children’s names every single day!
What a wonderful reminder! I always try to say hello and smile to those I come into contact with, but now I hope to make a point of using names as well! 🙂
Hello Rachel, what a beautiful and inspiring post. So lovely to see someone prompting kindness and consideration. Beautiful.
Kristin Gettinger says
So beautiful. THANK YOU so much for your writing. I love reading your stuff.
Thank you for this! I recently broke my 7year olds heart but saying his name followed by the f word!! Not my best moment I can assure you!! Through his tears he keep saying you said Fuck! Bailey! I managed to calm my anger and reconnect (on the side of a busy road) but I could the pain I had caused my baby and it felt so harsh. That was my moment. As bad as it was I am glad I had because I am now a much more aware parent! Thank you xo
This post was a good ol’ stab in the heart. Thank you so much for this. My whole adult life and as a teenager as well, I don’t often say peoples names, ever. I always knew that this wasn’t a good thing but never really did anything about it, to change my habits. I have a one year old son now, and I actively read your posts, I find the messages so inspiring and I find that it has helped me already with patience and giving love. But this name thing is so important. Thank you again, it is something that I am going to work on with fierceness. I just ordered myself two bracelets and a shirt, they should be in in the next day or so, I’m glad to hear about your sister in law’s new baby! Best of luck to her!
Many years ago, the pastor at my church participated in an awareness project where he lived as a homeless person for a weekend. I’ll never forget that his biggest lesson from the experience was that he felt like he was not truly a person because most people wouldn’t even look at him, but even those who did never asked his name. This has stuck with me and when I encounter homeless people, whether or not I have anything to give them, I always ask their name and tell them I’ll be praying for them. Now, your post serves as great reminder that I can and should give as much respect and care in speaking the names of my beautiful children and my husband.
this was so so beautiful..it really touched my heart deep inside…
There certainly IS something magical about hearing my name….hearing someone saying my name with love, with kindness…Yes, it does make me feel important..It makes me feel I matter. At least to that person saying my name…
I agree with all your thoughts, Rachel.
Thank you for sharing them with us.
Love and hugs,
What a beautiful post! It comes very close to 2 of my kids’ birthdays, moments when we naturally reminisce about the day they were named. My Jewish tradition teaches that parents are given a kind of prophetic power in naming their children, and that their names very much contain their essence. Thanks to this post, I will try to be more intentional not only in speaking their names (which comes naturally to me), but also the names of the people around me.
rachel, i don’t even know where to begin but thank you! thank you for sharing your heart, your love and speaking to me with every post! i am an adoptee and have been blessed enough to meet and have a relationship with both of my birthparents and their families for over 13 years. i can’t even begin to tell you how true your words are. to this day i remember the first time i heard my birthmom say my name (i was 20). even thought she wasn’t the one who named me, it was still my mom calling me. i want to take it a step farther than someone speaking your name. being a closed adoption i didn’t know my birthmom’s name. my entire life of course i wondered where my birthmom was, what did she look like and most importantly, what was her name? her name made her name made her real, it gave her an identity. not sure if that makes sense but to me, there’s a lot in a name!
again, i thank you for sharing you! you have blessed me more than you know! your daughters and family are so very blessed to have you!!!
I love this post. It’s a wonderful reminder to be aware of how we say our child’s name. As my 2 are getting a little older and beginning to play together (and fight together), I often think of your post (it may have been the event that started it all for you…) where your younger child got hurt, and you asked the older sibling what happened, immediately thinking it was her fault. When my younger one starts crying or yelling, for a fraction of a second I think of your post, and I try to soften my tone or take the edge off what I’m about to call into the room. This post is a similar reminder to be aware of how I say my kids names, especially if I’m getting angry or annoyed. I want them to hear their name said with love, not with anger.
Jenny Johnston says
Rachel (said with love in my typing!) what a beautiful reminder. Our oldest – Alli – is named after the two of us (our middle names Allen and Leigh). I remember my husband and I had been taking puppy training classes and one day we learned that you should NEVER yell at your dog using their name – find another sound/word to get their attention, but you never want their name to become something they cringe when they hear (or worse, want to run away from you!!) A lightbulb went on and I thought….I want to use that when our baby is born.
Honestly, it is hard to do, but I have not and will never use her name with a raised voice, a yell, annoyance or any such thing. Who knew that puppy class would be my first real lessons in parenting!
I love that your daughter and I share a name! Names are hugely important to me as well, both for the way they fit in my mouth and for the meanings behind them and the associations I make with them. These were things I thought about when finding a good name for my son, and then again for the daughter I lost. My son’s name is Aksel. It’s like “Axel”, but spelled in the Norwegian tradition, and it means “father of peace”. I love that it has an unusual spelling, and a strong, masculine sound. My son is an empathetic, loving boy who has physical beauty as well as an ancient soul steeped in kindness. He is such an amazing person and I am so grateful that I was given the chance to be his mom. I will remember to make his name resonate with love when I say it from now on. I miscarried my daughter, but I had already named her “Dharma” which is a Sanskrit word a concept that defies a simple translation, but can be thought of as Divine Law, virture, justice, goodness and truth. She was, like my son, a miracle conception. I shouldn’t have been able to become pregnant without medical intervention either time.. but I did. And I wanted to be reminded of the miracles that happen to even ordinary people like me whenever I said my daughter’s name. Although she didn’t live she is an indelible part of me still..
Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I am reminded once again to be aware of how much the “small” things can really mean to someone.
The name “Natalie” means “Christmas Day.”
Musings, Rants & Scribbles says
Yes, how we pore over those baby name books before our children are born, but you’re right, later it just becomes a word until we really pay attention. I make a point of knowing people’s names. It feels so much kinder to go through life that way, so much warmer and personal.
I love reading your blog, I look forward to reading it every day after my lunch 🙂 I am simply amazed at the ease with which you write. You make even the simplest things so meaningful!! I feel serene and calm after I read your posts and look forward to the time I spend with my children after work!
Thanks and hugs,
Rachel Stafford says
Thank you, Kavita! What a kind thing to say! This means a lot to me. I will not forget your words!
papa green says
So well expressed!!! LOVE!
Did you ever read the lovely children’s picture book “On the Night You Were Born?” It has a beautiful passage where it says “and the wind whispered the sound of your wonderful name….now say it with me.” I love that chance to say my child’s name slowly, intentionally with love and reverence.
On the importance of calling loved ones by their name
Translation of a beautiful poem by Dutch poet Neeltje Maria Min.
Stories about the family
(My mother has forgotten my name)
My mother has forgotten my name,
my child doesn’t know my name yet.
How should I feel cherished?
Call me, acknowledge my existance,
let my name be like a chain.
Call me, call me, speak to me,
oh, call me with my deepest name.
For those I love, I want to have a name.
(Translation by Robert Sibie)
Caroline McGraw says
Rachel, I love that you made up a song for Natalie when she was little – my mom did that for me and for my brother, and I’ve always treasured ‘our’ songs. I used to ask for my song in dark moments, and it always offered a lifeline. Then as now, having my very own song made me feel special, seen, held, and loved. (And it so happens that my parents chose Caroline after a long deliberation – it means ‘song of joy’.) Much love to you!
Being new to your site, also, I find it a breath of fresh air that expresses my own feelings beautifully. Having joined the septuagenarian team,
I often find myself running through each of the grandchildren’s name before I hit on the one I’m speaking to. (Don’t we all remember that from our childhood?) Our middle grandchild, an early teen, started saying ‘ I’m Hunter’ whenever he and I started a conversation. This was so very startling to me, in the beginning, as he is such a sensitive child and I saw that he wanted to be recognized as himself, not one of the minion. While it is not something I can fully control ( I’m certain many of you can identify with this) if I slow down, I can do better. These sweet children are such a blessing, I can slow down, set aside what else I’m trying to do ( think) and enjoy the blessing of a brief moment with them.
Simply … Thank you! ❤️
Thanks for this timely reminder. I returned to teaching after 7 years’ break two weeks ago. I’m having such a hard time learning all my students’ names but this has really motivated me to do so!
Jo J says
I needed this. I must become more intentional about doing this. It reminded me of how my 2-3 year old Sunday School kiddos’ faces light up when I sing “Yes, Jesus loves Tyler; yes, Jesus loves Amy” instead of always singing Jesus loves me. We don’t outgrow the need to know we matter.
Stephanie AKA Little Miss Menopause says
Hello Rachel – – I am a new reader who found you via Kristin Shaw. You’re amazing and I cannot wait to become a follower. Your words both jump off the screen and light it up simultaneously. I can see I will learn a lot here.
Rachel Stafford says
Hi Stephanie! Welcome. Any friend of Kristin’s is a friend of mine. I am grateful to read your kind and supportive words today!
Rachel, as always your words & post inspire me. I have always tried to use the names of people when I see them and think this is important for our children to learn as well. I challenged my readers to learn the names of those around them and referenced this great blog post. Thank you for your inspiration! http://wisemommies.com/family-friday-change-name-day/
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