Tag Archives: Me and Thee Studios

Attention to Detail Really Does Matter

For 17 years I have had a single stylist cut my hair; however, in an unforeseen turn of events, I found myself with my mother 2 hours from my hometown for three weeks.  I missed my haircut appointment with my fantastic stylist, Lisa, and out of desperation I found a salon in Lubbock.  I threw caution to the wind and had the longest haircut of my life.

I’m not sure what took AmberLee an hour and a half but I do believe she gave very special attention to every individual strand of hair.  I sat in her chair, exhausted from hospital life, and enjoyed several cat naps.  It was obvious that Attention to Detail Really Does Matter for AmberLee.

This was not AmberLee, thank you Lord!

This was not AmberLee… thank you, Lord :)

I’m not sure who first taught me the adage, “A stitch in time saves nine,” but the idiom could be a mantra for me.  I would certainly have preferred AmberLee attend to the details (while I’m not sure my short hair required 90 minutes) than not.  I think it’s valuable to teach a child that if you take the time to do something right at first, you won’t have to go back and do it again.

Not only does attention to detail save time in the long run, it communicates that you care enough to do your very best.  While a child might not slow down to consider whether attention to detail has been given, adults in their future will certainly notice whether your child, “Crosses every t and dots every i”.  Your child’s attention to detail will be obvious in the way he mows a lawn, fills out an application, and drives.  If she marches in the high school marching band, plays on a sports team, paints, sings in a choir, tests for her black belt, or hopes to pass her End of Course Assessments, attention to detail will matter.

In light of a significant medical situation our family has walked through this summer, I might add that in some situations, attention to detail can make the difference between a life saved or lost.  If your child intends to serve patients in the medical health field, pilot or captain large passenger vehicles, guard and protect the public or our military, or handle bio-hazard waste, to mention just a few examples, attention to detail is certainly more than a “matter of preference”.

Franklin and I learned long ago (I wish I could remember where we learned these first so that I could give proper credit) a couple of strategies for helping our children attend to the details of a given task.

Let’s say I asked Caden to clean his room and he returns with a hasty, “I’m done!”  I might ask him, “Did you clean your room like I would have cleaned your room? ”

I realize that at his very best his room will not look like it would if I’d actually done the job, but we’ve cleaned his room together many, many times.  He knows the attention to detail I would give and he, in his 8 year old ability, will return to his room and tidy up several other things thinking, “No, Mom would have taken care of this, that, and that over there.”

For tweens and teens preparing for adult employment we often offer a very simple, “Is that the best you’ve got?” or, depending on the child and the quality of the work, “That’s not good enough.”  When this simple assessment is given, we’ve found that our children return to the task and review their work with a more critical eye.  They find and correct lots of problems on their own, they begin to take more responsibility for the details of the task, and while it still might not be “exactly as mom and dad would have done it” it is “passable” and is an end product that we can all feel good about.

Do you have other strategies you’ve used to help your children take “a stitch in time to save nine?”  Share by commenting above!

Before you leave the site, follow my blog (top, right of this post).  It’s quick and easy! 

For more from Marea, check out Me and Thee Studios’ faith based leveled readers for 1st-2nd graders at http://www.meandtheestudios.com/early-reader-collection.html

Gratitude Really Does Matter

My sister’s family has been through a lot (to say the very least) the last three years.  They have dealt with both extreme loss and extreme generosity.  In an effort to prevent an attitude of entitlement, Kari bought dozens of thank you cards and became very intentional about writing thank you notes with her children every week.  My children and I have been the blessed to receive a couple of these short notes.  For both the one extending and the one receiving, Gratitude Really Does Matter.

I mentioned Kari’s desire to guard her children from an attitude of entitlement.  An “it’s all about me because it’s my right” approach to life is altogether too common and can certainly be divisive.  It truly is the opposite of a humble, grateful spirit.

When I think of myself as just 1 of more than 7.046 billion people on Earth I find it difficult to be anything but grateful.  I truly am rich in so many ways.  You are too if you are reading this blog on a computer with access to the internet (not to mention the fact that you are probably clothed and have had something to eat and drink in the last 24 hours).

In addition to combating an attitude of entitlement, recalling and being grateful for both the large and small blessings in life causes us to be more generous.

18 years ago I found myself 6 months pregnant and newly separated after 2 years of marriage.  Despite what might have looked like a shameful situation, the women of Central Christian Church in Portales blessed me with a baby shower.  Most of the women met me for the first time at the shower and had no reason to bless me with their presence or gifts, except their desire to be the hands and feet of Christ.

8 years ago our youngest ruptured both lungs at birth.  While we had saved for the pregnancy and delivery we had not expected a flight to Lubbock and an extended stay at the NICU.  A dear friend from Victory Life Church stopped by the hospital and gave us an envelope filled with cash.  Our church body covered the 2nd co-pay and our 2 week stay at the Ronald McDonald House.

When we truly recognize and remember the many gifts we’ve been given (be it a kind act, word, or tangible something), we’re compelled to pay it forward, blessing others whenever we are able.

I’d certainly be remiss not to mention the giver of all gifts, our Heavenly Father.  He provides for our needs (Matthew 6:25-34), protects us from harm (Psalm 139:5), has adopted us (Ephesians 1:5) and has given us His name (1 John 3:1).

Today I’m grateful for so many things:

1)  Cloud cover, a quiet courtyard, coffee, Franklin’s pancakes

2)  Bailey’s graduation (friends, family, generous gifts of travel, time, and tangibles) as a culmination of the last 13 years (loving teachers, opportunities for success) and the hope of what is to come (the Lottery scholarship, outstanding music and religion faculty at ENMU)

3) Birthdays- Franklin’s 41 years on Earth, our 15 years together, and 6 special friends who helped me celebrate my 40th last night despite tornado warnings

How do you foster an attitude of gratefulness in your children?

Before you leave the site, follow my blog (top, right of this post).  It’s quick and easy 

For more from Marea, check out Me and Thee Studios’ faith based leveled readers for 1st-2nd graders at http://www.meandtheestudios.com/early-reader-collection.html