Monday, July 19, 2010

Six Simple Words

The girls have fairly large white boards in their new rooms. They love to play school all the time and use them a lot. Money well spent if you are pondering getting one. One of the fun outcomes of having those boards is our nightly ritual of writing something on each board before the kids go to bed. Sometime I write; sometimes Chief writes… sometimes both… sometimes the girls write to each other. The girls love to read what we wrote before they go to bed or when they wake up, if we do it after they are asleep. It has been a really easy way to encourage them, give advice, joke, practice math facts or whatever. They love it and we do too!

One night a few weeks ago I wrote on Soccer Girl's board. She was really tired from lots of activities – soccer practice, speed and agility training (holy smokes!), play dates, a sleep over and a soccer tournament. She was a little overwhelmed and just plain exhausted. I wrote a few things and then wrote…”remember to rest, read, play, pray, listen and love this week”. I had not started out writing with those thoughts in my mind, but as I wrote rest and read (trying to encourage her to lay low and not be on the go so much), the other words just flowed out of my hand… to the lime green marker I was using… to the white board.

Now several weeks later, those six words are still on her board, written up in a corner in small print. I noticed the other day that she had now underlined them. I have thought of those six words a lot since then. I think they are brilliant, if I do say so myself. Each is so simple in meaning, but has so much impact.

Rest… everyone needs true rest from life’s busyness; time to themselves, just for themselves.
Read… there is so much to learn, adventures to take and humor in books. So much can be gained by making time to read.
Play… taking the time to truly play and enjoy life does a lot for your mind and body.
Pray… so much peace and focus comes from praying.
Listen… we all can learn so much more if we stop talking and stop our brains to just listen to others.
Love… how much better would this world be if we let others know how much we love them? Show them with your actions and words (and the thoughts in your head).

So while I may have written those six words down for my daughter, I think I also wrote those six words for myself. Words to live by…six simple words.


  1. Love it! What a great idea (the white boards) and the words. Six simple words. I have the read part down, but really need to work on the play and pray.

  2. I keep kicking these words around in my head and started thinking of Bible verses that went with them like:

    Rest - "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
    he leads me beside quiet waters" Psalm 23:1-2

    Read - "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

    Pray - "Pray continually" - 1 Thes 5:17

    Listen - "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry," James 1:19

    Love - “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” - Luke 10:27

    I am sure there are verses about living with joy and friendship for play. It was just interesting to me that over the last week these verses have come to mind as I thought of the words you wrote.

  3. Love that - thank you for sharing! I am printing this out for the girls.