Friday, November 9, 2018

The Power of Yet

Toward the end of October, I had the opportunity to attend the ITEM (Information and Technology Educators of Minnesota) Fall Conference as one of their guest authors. This was another new experience for me, and I really enjoyed being a part of this conference.

As a guest author, I was a part of one of the Elementary Author Panels, where we answered questions for a small group of attendees interested in learning more about us and the books we have written.  Many of the authors seated at the table with me had numerous books they have written and have been to many conferences like this one.

In situations like these, I always feel a bit like a fish out of water, but I try to focus on the fact that I am there to learn and experience new things.  Whenever I can remember this, I'm reminded of how I am living the story of Bubble Wrap Girl, time and time again. 

The message of my book is so closely related to the message of having a growth mindset, which is the belief that we can always learn and grow, even from mistakes.  The message of Bubble Wrap Girl is that we have what it takes within us to do hard and great things.  It's a message of grit and resilience, encouraging the reader to not let the fear of getting hurt be what defines the choices they make and the life they live.  And truly, having a growth mindset like this is a way of life.

Although this may seem like something only adults can understand, I've found the opposite.  This is something kids get, even as preschoolers.  They inherently know "the power of yet," as my second grader calls it, even if they can't exactly put it into words.  I absolutely love seeing the eyes of the students I visit light up when I relate the story of Bubble Wrap Girl to their own lives.  They know what it's like to get hurt, but they also know how amazing it feels to do something you didn't think you could do. 

It's that spark in the kids' eye, and the fact that I am passionate about sharing this message with kids and adults alike that keeps me going.  My heart's desire is to inspire others, old and young, to be better than they might have thought they could be, to put their gifts to use for good, and to know they are a part of something much bigger than themselves.

Though at times it might seem like I am making a small dent in this goal with just a couple of sales or school visits here and there, I keep trying to do my part, trusting that by putting this message out into the world whenever I can, God will work through it in ways I cannot see.

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