Business Brainstorming

Help us vote on a company name, tagline, 2nd unique line and website first lines!

Pick one selection from each of the four categories below… or you can also suggest new ideas!

Potential Company Names

  1. J&J Content & Copy
  2. J&J Creative Content
  3. J&J Strategic Content
  4. J&J Cognition

Potential Taglines

  1. Content Strategy for literacy products
  2. Content Marketing for literacy products
  3. Stories that sell literacy products
  4. Literacy that sells literacy
  5. Creating content that sells literacy products
  6. Growing companies that sell literacy products

2nd Unique β€œline”

  1. Promoting literacy from beginning to end
  2. Dream. Focus. Achieve.
  3. Stories to grow

Potential Website Opening Lines

  1. We write stories to help you, your organization or business grow. We specialize in helping companies strategize and write marketing content for literacy products.
  2. We help companies selling literacy products grow their business.

Learning Deluge

Do you ever feel like your in the wilderness?

Living on just enough manna to get you to the next day?

A lot of this past year has felt like that…

More recently, I’ve felt like I’m back in college! The opportunities to learn – to intake information – have been raining, so quickly that I have not been able to digest it all before more arrives.

For some maybe this learning deluge may sound terrible, but for me, it’s been an overwhelming reminder that God has been with me this whole time. He has seen; He knows just what I need. After the wilderness comes abundance.

Abundance in a way that I am uniquely wired to be fueled by… how are you wired? what is in your life that is challenging or encouraging you this season?

because maybe what seemed like not enough… or what seems too lavish… might both be exactly what He knows we need today.

I Spy… Educators!

So I was sorting through the mail this weekend… then flipping through the Washington Education Association’s latest news when I came across my friend Libby’s picture!! She and some teacher friends helped spread the word about WEA’s choice for their district’s Senate and were caught doing so. We’re proud of you, Libby! And not surprised to seeing you making an impact for education!

Btw, if you haven’t heard, WA passed the budget this summer, but not necessarily to everyone’s satisfaction… πŸ˜‰

Writing in the past

My family likes to tease me: “She was born talking,” they’d say. I was verbal at months and by kindergarten, when asked if I could count to 100 yet, there may have been some concern that I wouldn’t stop counting.

Sometime in elementary school, I started a cousins newsletter. My dad’s siblings were spread in five states and our every other year beach trips seemed far away. I wanted a way for the family to stay in touch, so I requested that each Hiteshew family send news of their latest happenings as well as jokes to share.

Now this was prior to facebook and other social media so the family had to actually snail mail me! Then each quarter I’d put all the family news into a template I created and send a copy to each household. It was fun, and it was work that I eventually gave up.

In high school, I loved my English classes, eventually taking AP, and also helped with the yearbook. I also took Latin and French which introduced me to language as both an art and a science. In college, I entered pre-law, quickly switched to undeclared and then briefly considered JMU’s School of Media Arts and Design. I sometimes wonder if I should have persisted in this a bit longer as some of the technological skills would be helpful now, but I took one news writing class and hated how brief my sentences were encouraged to be!

Where was the opportunity to use big words and creativity? To analyze the depths of literature? Hello, English department. Sure, I’ll take French too. Reading and writing in two languages sounds great. Add on a translation minor, why not? During a translation internship my senior year, I wrote an article that was published in the American Translators Association newsletter.

After graduation, I did some freelance translating work as well as work as a project manager, editing and overseeing translation and brand name analysis projects. It was interesting work and the opportunity to meet people worldwide was incredible, but I was working 60-80 hours/week and I felt like I was missing out on life.

I also realized for the first time that not everyone liked kids nor enjoyed being around them. I mean, this was actually news to me; I was surprised! I remembered my Papa’s (maternal grandfather’s) suggestions that perhaps I would be a teacher one day and I suddenly wondered how he knew me better than I knew myself.

I decided to go to graduate school for a Masters in Teaching and during that year did A LOT of writing. Since then, most of my writing has been curriculum-related, whether I’ve been creating lesson plans for myself or others, or training others how to practically implement a plan.

Turns out I’ve always loved language and literacy. Speaking, listening, reading, writing… these elements even lie behind my curiousity about early childhood and the primary years. How do humans develop the ability to use language? is a question that fascinates me.

About a year ago, I realized that I wanted to pursue writing again for myself because I missed spending time reading, thinking, writing like I did in college. I had no idea what pursuing writing meant, but I started setting aside time and space…

Next week: Writing in the present

 

Biblical Sabbath (chapter 1)

If you missed last week’s introduction to this book discussion, read here. If you’re ready for discussion of chapter 1, keep reading below…

So what does the Bible say about Sabbath?

Rabbis & Law

The beginning of the first chapter of Rest explains that in ancient Jewish culture, rabbis typically began an apprenticeship of sorts under a rabbi whose teachings they were familiar with and shared. Every now and then, a rabbi would come along who had his own interpretation of the ancient laws and he would use verbage, such as “You have heard it said… but I tell you.” A rabbi who spoke in this way, like Jesus, was said to “speak with authority” and would have caught people’s attention because such a teacher would be saying new things about old ideas.

When someone followed a rabbi’s teaching they were said to be “taking up that rabbi’s yoke.” Jesus described his yoke as “easy,” yet He seemed to hold people to a higher standard of the law, while acknowledging it was impossible to keep. He also claimed that He fulfilled the law (Mt. 5:17).

New Rabbi, New Sabbath Law: Freedom

How did Jesus describe the Sabbath? He said it was “holy,” set apart, and He said it was “made for people,” not the other way around. What did Jesus do on the Sabbath? On the Sabbath, we see Jesus teaching in the synagogue, walking in a grain field defending the disciples choice to help themselves to a snack, healing people and eating with people.

Kent says that Jesus kept Sabbath, not as culture expected him to, but with great freedom and that if we want to take up his yoke, we too will both keep the Sabbath and live in freedom. Do those two ideas sound opposing?Β  They did to me at first too! She suggests that Jesus viewed the Sabbath as an opportunity to restore and reconnect people physically and spiritually.

If you are curious to learn more, read chapter 1 of Keri Wyatt Kent’s book Rest, available here. Join us next week for chapter 2, part 1!

Minds on Truth

Feelings matter. They can influence and inform us, but if we readily rely on them to make decisions… well, let me ask you. What happens if we are governed by feelings?

Fickle. We are easily persuaded by whatever new idea or person comes along. Faithless, lacking confidence in anything we can’t immediately see. Foundation of sand, the opposite of steady and immovable.

James describes those who lives this way as double-minded, as opposed to focused, single-hearted. Faith, on the other hand, relies on what can’t always be felt. Christ is describes as our solid rock and the New Testament says we have been united with him.

Feelings matter, but we don’t count on them to determine our decisions. When our feelings feel prominent, we pause to gain perspective. We consider what we know to be true and we set our minds on truth. Then, we make decisions that we can stand behind, no matter how the wind blows.

The writer of Philippians says:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.Β 

 

Listen, Speak, Do

The title of this post brings to my mind an image of three monkeys. You’ve seen them – one covering their eyes, one their ears, one their mouth. The thoughts often associated with these monkeys roughly translates in my mind “ignore what you don’t want to deal with in the way you choose”… a sort of ignorance is bliss mentality or perhaps pious is better… and all those are the opposite of this post’s position.

Today, I ask these questions: what activities can we pursue to receive more grace? Are there certain ways that God always works? How do I train instead of try?

In response to these questions, I propose three categories of blog topics: Listen, Speak, Do that summarize posts that I have either already written about or plan to write about it over the next year. Some of these topics, I will not comment further on at this time, but others I will soon dig deeper into. For example, when it comes to listening, or paying attention, we have covered the topic a lot so here is some background for those you may have missed it. We’ve explored listening to our lives, to others and to God as three ways to notice and to grow. To this category then, I will only comment that three ways of listening to God are through His Word, prayer as dialogue and practicing gratitude as I will speak more on these things in upcoming posts.

When it comes to speaking, I’m reminded what I so often forget; words matter. They carry weight, power even. Therefore, what we say and hear, and when we speak matters too. In the category of speaking, I highlight confession, encouragement and silence, or knowing when to not speak as future blog posts.

When it comes to action, I would like to make a distinction between discipline, as the fruit of our training, and rhythms, as routines that we practice. Distinguishing between discipline as law and training that leds to a more self-controlled life is often subtle, so we will start with this reminder that we are all learners. Some rhythms I plan to highlight then are work, rest, and celebration.

Listen, Speak, Do. Which topic are you most curious about? Let us know!

Teaching kids about finance

My dad has a background in finance, while mine is in education. He sent me this link recently which connects to conversations we’ve had about where our passions intersect. The question that we, and others, are asking is how are we preparing kids for life? Does, and should, education include things, such as how to manage money?