God Is like a Balloon

Maybe God is like a balloon.

There are two ways to think about thinking.
Maybe that sounds too philosophical to be practical,
but it may be the most critical idea when it comes to how a kid relates to God.

It’s also just one more thing that separates humans from the rest of creation.
Animals don’t have the same created ability to…
Self-reflect
Tell a personal narrative
Carry on an inner-monologue

What’s fascinating is that there are two basic views people hold about intelligence. Some people view intelligence as fixed. They see the mind like a glass jar. Maybe they have a pint jar, or a quart jar, or they have a whole gallon. Whatever the size, it’s fixed. It can only hold what it is capable of holding and no more.

Other people view intelligence as dynamic. They see the mind like a balloon. No matter what size balloon they currently have, it can always expand as they discover more. Continue reading “God Is like a Balloon”

The Phase Reading List

One of the questions I’m asked most often whenever I get to speak about the Phase Project is this:

What books are you reading?

Well, the real answer is: I’m the mother of two (going on three), with a full-time job. Sometimes I think I’m reading a lot less than people expect. Often I get my inspiration through TED talks, podcasts, magazine articles, and links from twitter. But when it comes to books, there are some incredibly smart and helpful resources that have influenced both my personal thinking and our team’s through the years.

I recently took time to write down the titles of over 120 books that are currently on our “Just a Phase” bookshelf. Those of you who love to read can view the full list (warning: some are literally textbooks, so grab some coffee and a dictionary before you begin). My personal favorites from the list are these:

Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children – Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman

Playful Parenting – Lawrence J. Cohen

Hurt 2.: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers – Chap Clark

What’s Going on in There?: How The Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years – Lise Elliot Continue reading “The Phase Reading List”

Naming An Idea

Two years ago on the drive home to Atlanta from Orange Tour Kansas City, Reggie Joiner turned down “70s on 7” and paused the musical education of our friend Aftonwho still insists all good music is inspired by Justin Timberlake.  For a few hours, we had something more important to figure out. And it wasn’t how to identify Chicago by the sound of brass in the band.

We were halfway through a twelve-city speaking tour about what it means to “play for keeps” in the life of a child. The message was to challenge every parent and every leader to number their weeks—to make the most of the limited amount of time we have with a kid. But from the beginning, we knew there was so much more to say about what every kid needs.

We had explained there are approximately 936 weeks from the time a child is born until the day he or she graduates and moves to what’s next—but we hadn’t expounded that every week isn’t the same.

Practically speaking, kids change as they grow up. I know, it’s a revolutionary concept. But it’s actually worth pausing to think about. Understanding what changes should have a profound effect on how we influence kids—so we wanted a way to talk about, for example, how relationships change, how culture changes, how a kid’s mind grows and develops.

Continue reading “Naming An Idea”