Finding Purpose

Our young people are battling a crisis of purpose.  Not that many years ago, one’s purpose in life was a given.  As recently as the early 1900’s, children would be expected to work on the farm or elsewhere to help support the family so there would be food on the table.  Many of the necessities of life were created in the home, so kids were busy building, fixing, sewing, milking, hunting, and fishing.  Elderly parents were cared for in the home, and most ‘health care’ needs were tended to by other family members.  If time allowed, schooling may have been an option.  As these children grew older, the assumption was that they would find a spouse, have children, and commit their lives to the support and protection of their new and extended families.  There were other vocational paths, including religious / missionary work and social justice causes, but suffice it to say that most people back then did not struggle to find purpose as purpose was generally right in front of them.  Employment was a consideration as well but was more of a means to an end versus a calling.

Our world has transformed tremendously in the past 100 years; food and the other necessities of life are available in seemingly limitless quantities at relatively affordable prices, so most of us in the United States do not have to commit our lives solely to feeding our families.  Technology and economic progress have given us the luxury of disposable income that can be spent on wants like vehicles, vacations, apparel, and hobbies.  Health care has been institutionalized as has the care of the elderly, dramatically reducing the average person’s time spent ministering to others in need.  As travel and relocation is now effortless, we have lost touch in many cases with extended family members and neighbors, and we no longer feel obligated to participate in the challenges others are facing.  We have disconnected from our churches and from our community centers where volunteering your time and skill sets was the life blood of those organizations.  The concept of marriage and child rearing is fading fast as younger generations are buying pets and focusing on ‘experiences’ versus commitments.

And where has this left us?  Well, look around.  Our young people see the lives that adults are living, and they are not impressed.  If the purpose of life is to be self-obsessed and pleasure-obsessed, our kids are saying ‘no thank you’.  Depression, anxiety, psychoses, suicide, despair, confusion, self-loathing and isolation rule the day.  Social media and society command our kids to focus solely and exclusively on self, and the effects are devastating.

Moms and dads, grandparents and mentors, we have the power to help our young people to rediscover their true purpose and to begin to thrive again.  We must know going into this that finding purpose does not equate to an easy life.  Living one’s true purpose in life can be extremely difficult, exhausting, and lonely in some cases, but will always lead to true joy and fulfillment.

The first question that we must ask ourselves is, ‘have we found our purpose’.  ‘Sure’, you say.  ‘I have a kid or two.  That’s my purpose’.  That’s a good start, but have you truly committed your life to raising your kids, or are you living your ‘best life’ with kids in tow?  Kids will give our lives purpose, but only if we invest the time, the emotional commitment, and the sacrifice required to help them flourish.  Do you have a volunteer activity or hobby or professional vocation that involves outreach to others?  Are you aware of the challenges that your neighbors or other families are going through, and do you take action to help?  Are you involved in your children’s school, your church, or your community, making life just a bit easier for someone else?  If your purpose in life is you, it will be a struggle to assist your child to find his / her true purpose in life.

We must also begin to ask ourselves why we are spending so much time and effort focusing on travel sports, competitive dance, and even extreme educational pursuits for our children.  Will these activities assist them in finding their true purpose in life, or will they teach our kids that they deserve to always be the center of attention and their self-worth is dependent on their skill sets? 

At the end of the day, purpose in life can only be about the other.  Model love for neighbor in your own life, and your children will follow.  Require your kids to visit with grandma on a regular basis, help out at a neighbor’s house if they are old or struggling, volunteer at church or be part of a mission trip, help care for or coach younger children, or work at a local food pantry or homeless shelter.  These experiences will allow our young people to discover what gifts they have to offer and what their unique purpose looks like. 

When these young people begin to investigate potential careers, they can use these experiences to help them choose a job that may allow them to thrive financially and to fulfill their life’s purpose.  Or perhaps the job will only be a way to pay the bills, so they are able to pursue their purpose (eg: fatherhood), and that’s good too. 

With Artificial Intelligence rearing its ugly head, our lives will most likely only be getting easier in the years to come.  Unfortunately, an easy life will not bring fulfillment or joy.  We are not called to be comfortable; we are called to be extraordinary in the lives of others.  Find your purpose and be extraordinary.


Who am I and what makes me who I am?  This is a question as old as humanity itself but is still as relevant as ever for our young people today.  

External characteristics define us to a certain extent, but society tells us that that we can and should continuously re-invent our outward appearance.  Western cultures provide a wide array of products and services to allow us to redefine ourselves, from hair dyes to steroids to tattoos to colored contacts to plastic surgery.  The challenge with playing the game is that styles and fads come and go, so a body shape or body accessory or a lifestyle that is popular today will most likely be thrown out and replaced five years from now.  Additionally, if we fully commit to the game to impress the Joneses, we will lose respect for ourselves and those characteristics that make us uniquely and wonderfully ourselves. 

We do not have to look far to see the devastating effects this process is having on our young people.  No longer is fashion the only driving force behind our students’ need to fit in.  With the advent of phones and social media came ‘influencers’ who, as a friend once told me, “are popular because they are popular”.  With an insatiable need for power and money, these ‘influencers’ promote strange and dangerous trends with no regard for the well-being of the children or young adults; in turn, our children view these ‘influencers’ as their ticket to the in-crowd.  Whatever feels good at the moment is definitely what you should do, even if that change is permanent and life changing.

Are our young people happier now?  If only.  As any conscious person in this country knows, anxiety is through the roof, suicides are skyrocketing, serious drug abuse is rampant and sexual deviance of every kind is on the rise.

But these influencers are not the problem in our world; they are just a natural symptom of and by-product of our collective loss of who we are as a people.  Who am I and what makes me uniquely me (on the inside) is a question we all need to be asking ourselves; we then need to allow that understanding to guide our lives. 

So where do we start.  Mike and I and our family look to God to answer that question, as so many generations before us have.  We know that we were made in the image and likeness of God and that we were made on purpose for a purpose.  Our physical features, our personalities, our talents and passions are not random happenings that can or should be changed; on the contrary, they should be celebrated and used for his glory.

Unfortunately, our human condition brings with it a fallen nature and a battle against darkness.  Again, God gives us the path to follow; do not lie, treat your neighbor as yourself, a life well-lived is one that is sacrificed for others, do not kill, keep holy the Sabbath, do not commit adultery, etc. etc.  As we are all weak, we live up to these ideals much better on some days than others; however, we can always go back to God for forgiveness and begin again. 

So, what if God is not your thing.  How do individuals create for themselves an internal set of morals or beliefs that will serve them well throughout their lives, regardless what the world around them is saying or doing?  You certainly can use the ten commandments as your starting point, because in spite of the arrogance of the current generation, human nature has not changed one bit over the past 4000+ years.  Begin by asking questions.  Is truthfulness important to me, and do I expect truthfulness from those around me?  If so, then work hard to be truthful in all your dealings, whether public or private.  Beyond that, do your homework.  Research the important topics of our day and find the Truth.  Do you believe that human life begins at conception, when the baby is born, or at some point in between? Do you believe that humans are primarily good or primarily evil?  Do you believe that your purpose on earth is for pleasure and gain, or to care for and support others?  Is your belief based on facts / wisdom, or convenience? 

What we don’t do is look to wealthy corporations, or the government, or to social media influencers to define our moral compass.  The moral compass they provide spins in circles and stops only occasionally to point them to more money and more power.  A handful of years ago, social influencers told us that we couldn’t pray in public – now they are telling us that we must pray for an injured athlete.  Two years ago, the NFL made a marketing decision that the United States and its military were irreconcilably broken – today the NFL has kicked off a new marketing strategy celebrating the United States and the military. 

You and your children can be people of integrity with a strong moral compass.  Talk with mentors you know who seem to be whole and at peace and get their opinion.  Use the internet to sort through all the powerful voices and listen for the quiet Truth.  Pray if you are so inclined.  When you make that thought-filled determination on a particular issue or virtue, leaving aside your personal bias, then you are obligated to be true to that Truth – every day.

One additional note.  Some will say that all that is needed is for people to be to be kind and support others in whatever makes them happy.  Although it sounds nice, this concept is lazy and dangerous.  If your daughter was upset that one of her feet was bigger than the other and asked if she could have her left foot removed to make her happy, you certainly would not oblige.  Some choices are good and some are not, and the vast majority of right and wrong is based on Truth, not personal opinion. 

Mike and a couple of the boys have been watching the Hobbit / Lord of the Rings movies recently, and he shared with me a quote that speaks to integrity.  In the movie, The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey, Gandalf the Wizard is asked by the Elf Princess why he brought Bilbo Baggins (small, defenseless, but steadfast and determined) along with him on his dangerous journey.  Gandalf replies, “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found.  It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay.  Small acts of kindness and love.  Why Bilbo Baggins?  Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.” 

May we and our children all work hard to discover our north star and then be unwavering in our commitment to our consciences, even in the small everyday deeds.  We will then be influencers in our families and communities and provide courage to others in a world that desperately needs clarity and strength.


Mike and I were blessed to be able to send our children to the Catholic grade school in Kaukauna (now St. Ignatius).  Because the school was smaller – approximately 200 students – and because the school budget was very tight, parent involvement in the school community was a necessity.  If new playground equipment was needed, a group of families would get together to raise the necessary funds and then call volunteers to complete the work.  If the 7th grade girls were going to have a basketball team, one of the parents or grandparents would need to step-up to fill the role of coach.  The Home and School (aka PTA) was busy planning dances and other fun activities for the students as well as supporting the teachers with meals and other tokens of appreciation.  Parents were welcomed into the classroom to assist with a project, to help monitor an energetic classroom and to help with reading and math.  Many parent and student gatherings were planned for after the workday to welcome new parents and to provide an opportunity for parents to meet staff and one another.  There were many opportunities for after-school sports and clubs, including basketball, volleyball, track, Lego club, computer club, Boy / Girl Scouts, Spanish Club and many others over the years; again, all led and organized by parents or other St. Ignatius community members.

The focus of the teachers, staff, and administrators was to provide the highest level of academic achievement possible for the students under their care.  With parents and other community members managing the ancillary activities, the teachers were free to focus on educating our children, which is most definitely a full-time job.  Our children received an outstanding education, and we are forever indebted to those individuals for their passion, their compassion and their expertise. 

St. Ignatius was far from perfect; because people and kids were involved, there were struggles and conflict. However, because we were part of a community, we utilized those parent relationships and lifelines to help our students through difficult times.  If a student was being bullied on the playground, parents would reach out to each other first to fix the problem.  If a student was being excluded or was going through a tough time, we were made aware of this by other parents, and we would then sit with our kids to encourage them to be part of the solution.  Parents were on the playground, in the lunchroom, and in the classroom, so very little went unnoticed.  Obviously, teachers, administrators and staff were always available as well when needed, but they were just one part of the wider St. Ignatius community.

As many of us know, education in the state and in the country has been in a steady decline over the past few decades, with math and reading proficiencies hovering at the 30% mark.  Teachers and administrators desperately need parent engagement to get our students back on track.  There are definitely challenges to creating a sense of community with larger public schools.  With large enrollments, many teachers, large campuses, and government red-tape, getting involved in your school may seem intimidating. 

Begin by identifying your strengths.  Do you have some experience playing sports?  Were you a Boy Scout or Girl Scout?  Are you mechanically inclined or skilled at IT?  Maybe you have some time during the day to work with students who are struggling with 3rd grade math or 1st grade students who are just beginning to read. What could you do to assist your school to create that sense of community?  Can you create a parents’ network on Facebook or social media to keep parents informed about school activities or challenges within the school?  Is there a welcoming committee at your school to bring new parents into the fold and to provide a friendly contact for questions and concerns?  Do teachers have access to parent resources they can reach out to if they are undertaking a complicated science experiment or going on a field trip or managing an unruly student?

Engage with your students as well.  Have them walk you through their school day.  You may be surprised by what you hear.  Mike was recently working with a 6th grade student who shared with him that very little math learning took place in her math class for a six-week period due to a group of disruptive students.  This is tragic and unacceptable; what can you do to be part of the solution?  Is your student receiving homework on a regular basis?  Mike and I are big believers in homework to reinforce what is being taught in the classroom.  Engage with your student in completing their homework, and reach out to other parents, teachers, or Google to get yourself up-to-speed if needed.  If your school has a no homework policy, perhaps you need to reach out the school administration or join the school board to make your opinions known.

“But I don’t have time,” you say.  “I have a full-time job; I’m raising my kids and chasing them around to activities in the evenings and on the weekends.” 

These are desperate times, and your involvement is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.  Many employers offer flexible scheduling to allow for time away during the traditional workday.  This may require your working at home after the kids are in bed.  You may have to give up time at the gym or nights out with friends to take on the junior soccer league, but the work is very rewarding.  Finding parent volunteers to staff a committee may not be easy, but the relationships you create may last a lifetime.  Take it from parents of kids that are pretty much grown: time moves amazingly fast; you will never regret time spent on your children and their education.  Do it today.

The Greatest Bedtime Story of All

Luke Ch. 3; Matthew Ch. 1 and 2.

Now, this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her husband, an upright man unwilling to expose her to the law, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention, when suddenly the angel of the lord appeared in a dream and said to him: “Joseph, son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your wife. It is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived this child. She is to have a son, and you are to name him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this happened to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin shall be with child and give birth to a son, and they shall call him Emmanuel,” a name which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had directed him and received her into his home as his wife.

In those days, Caesar Augustus published a decree ordering a census of the whole world. This first census took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone went to register each to his own town. And so, Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to David’s town of Bethlehem – because he was of the house and lineage of David – to register with Mary, his espoused wife, who was with child.

While they were there, the days of her confinement were completed. She gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the place where travelers lodged.

There were shepherds in that region, living in the fields and keeping night watch by turns over their flocks. The angel of the Lord appeared to them as the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were very much afraid. The angel said to them: “You have nothing to fear! I come to proclaim good news to you – tidings of great joy to be shared by the whole people. This day, in David’s city, a savior has been born to you, the Messiah and Lord. Let this be a sign to you: in a manger you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes.”

Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in high heaven, peace on earth to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another: “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this event which the Lord has made known to us.” They went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the bay lying in the manger; once they saw, they understood what had been told them concerning this child. All who heard of it were astonished at the report given them by the shepherds.

After Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem of Judea, during the reign of King Herod, astrologers from the east arrived one day in Jerusalem inquiring, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We observed his star at its rising and have come to pay him homage.” At this news, King Herod became greatly disturbed, and with him all Jerusalem. Summoning all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they informed him. “And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the princes of Judah, since from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.”

Herod called the astrologers aside and found out from them the exact time of the star’s appearance. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, after having instructed them: “Go and get detailed information about the child. When you have found him, report it to me so that I may go and offer him homage too.”

After their audience with the king, they set out. The star which they had observed at its rising went ahead of them, until it came to a standstill over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house, found the child with Mary, his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their coffers and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

They received a message in a dream not to return to Herod, so they went back to their own country by another route.

Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, in accord with what had been told them.

From the Life Tools Tutoring family to yours, we wish you a blessed, joyful and peaceful Christmas season.

Career Exploration

There are few conversations more uncomfortable to witness than a well-meaning uncle or family friend asking a junior or senior in high school what they intend to do when they graduate. The vast majority of the answers are vague and impressive sounding: “My plan is to head off to Madison, but I’m not sure what I will be studying yet,” or, “For sure something in the medical field because I took a crime scene forensics class that I really liked.” Most of these answers involved very little research or introspection and were crafted for the benefit of the asker.

To be sure, some 17-year-olds know exactly what career they would like to pursue, and some have known from a young age. A percentage of these students have a very straight path from high school, through college or trade school, and into a successful livelihood. Even for these ‘lucky’ students, however, many of them find that the career field they knew they wanted was not everything they had hoped it would be, and they eventually decide to take a different path.

How strange that we, as a society, do very little to expose our young people to the ‘options’ that exist in the working world and yet stare at them expectantly when we ask them, “What’s your plan?”

This process can be a time of anxiety and confusion for many students, especially if we advise them to take out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans in order to figure out where they fit. In addition, a major reason that students are unmotivated in the classroom is that they have not identified what careers they might be interested in, and, as a result, are unable to connect the dots between high school academics and pursuing their career goals.

So how can we, as local communities, assist our high school students (and even our middle school students), to experience what career fields and specific positions the world has to offer? As a starting point, we need to avoid the temptation to put this urgent obligation on the shoulders of the schools. Most teachers and administrators would be very willing to be a strong collaborating partner in this effort, but as I wrote in a previous blog, the schools are already overwhelmed with mission creep, which is destroying proficiency scores. This effort should be led by the business community and parents and will ultimately provide many benefits for local community in the long run.

What might this Career Exploration program look like specifically? The first step in this process is to prioritize Career Exploration on-par with reading, math, physical fitness, and financial literacy. Career Exploration needs to be a significant part of a student’s ‘education’, even if it is not driven directly by the teachers. But what classes or activities would be sacrificed to make room for this addition? If we, as parents, have learned anything through the virtual leaning experience brought on by Covid, we are clear that there is ‘underutilized’ and in some cases ‘wasted’ time in our students’ school day.

Perhaps we can learn from some local communities who already have programs in place to give students first-hand exposure to work options. Many high schools provide hybrid school / work opportunities that allow students to learn in school in the morning and then investigate a trade by working part-time in the afternoons. The Kimberly School District has an innovative program that introduces students as young as elementary school to guest speakers from ‘the real world’, as well as comprehensive software programs that assist students in exploring their interests and abilities in the context of specific career fields.

Additionally, could we have our Sophomores and Juniors commit an afternoon a week to Career Exploration field trips that provide generic exposure to job opportunities or specific exposure to a targeted industry? What if every student was required to tour a local manufacturing facility to learn about operations, accounting, quality control, purchasing, logistics, management, and office administration? What if we provide our students with the chance to visit a local hospital or nursing home to visit with a nurse, a doctor, a lab technician, or an insurance administrator? What if we created a database of professional people who were willing to meet one-on-one for 30 minutes with a student who has narrowed his / her career search and is interested in asking specific questions to learn more? Even if this Career Exploration process only assists our young people to check the ‘No’ boxes (I’m not interested in that), how much further ahead would they be when the time came to choose a path forward.

I challenge community leaders, business leaders, parents, and school administrators to get the ball rolling by organizing a brain-storming session. As there have been some successes around this concept locally and nationally, let’s review best-practices and implement what works. The future of our country, the future of our businesses, and the future of our students are depending on us.

Reading, ‘Riting, & ‘Rithmetic

While watching the local or national news over the past ten plus years, one cannot help but notice that school boards and administrators have been front and center dealing with a whole host of controversial issues.  Those issues include:

  • “How much sex / lifestyle choices / gender issues should be included in health class?”
  • “Is the school district offering sufficient mental health support for children as the suicide rates continue to rise?”
  • “Should BLM posters be hung in classrooms or is that supporting a political ideology?”
  • “Will the local elementary school be providing the expanded federally-funded breakfast / lunch / dinner program?”
  • “Should ‘school’ include full-day childcare for my three-year-old?”
  • “Does forcing my child to urinate in a cup for mandatory drug tests infringe on her first amendment rights?”
  • “Should we spend $60 million on the new high school building with a pool and an indoor workout facility, or just $55 million with no pool?”

As the education professionals will tell you, the list goes on and on and on. 

All of these issues have one thing in common: they have nothing to do with the original mission of the public school system which is to assist parents in teaching our children reading, writing, arithmetic, and the ability to reason.

To say that the public school system in the United States has been forced into mission creep is the understatement of the past 150 years.  The reason mission creep should be avoided at all costs is that as each new area of focus is added, organizations take their eyes off their primary purpose.  The data is frighteningly clear that math and reading proficiency in the United States has been steadily declining and our young people will surely suffer as a result.  Administrators, teachers, and parents can all agree that school system personnel are pulled in far too many directions and as a result are unable to do any of it well.

So who is responsible for this mission creep and how do we reclaim the lofty and unique calling of the public school system?  As with most national problems, there is a complex matrix of causes and players, and many of those involved had the best of intentions in mind.  Over the past 30 years, as various problems affecting our students have been identified, elected officials have defaulted to the school systems to fix all of these ills for the simple fact that the schools already had many of the kids in their buildings.  But it does take two to tango, and the schools chose to dance.  Because billions of federal, state, and local dollars chase all of these issues, school administrators, school boards, and teachers unions viewed these dollars as an easy way to pad budgets and increase salaries.  In addition, some teachers who possibly should have chosen social work or community activism as their career choice prefer these causes to ‘just teaching’.  Lastly, and probably most importantly, many parents are far too willing to place all of the responsibility of raising their children onto the schools and the professionals who work there.

We as parents have the primary responsibility to rectify this steadily worsening situation; firstly, we must take back and own our duty as parents as the primary educators and caretakers of our children. 

The village can certainly provide a helping hand, but at the end of the day, the buck stops with the parent(s).  We need to do better. 

We need to re-learn algebra if necessary; we need to feed our kids a healthy breakfast before they leave in the morning and have them pack a healthy lunch to take with them; we need to shut off our electronic devices and talk with our children about their friends, their fears, their challenges and their dreams; we need to teach our children respect for and tolerance for all people and all opinions whether or not that view is popular or supported by the latest YouTube star or Hollywood actor; we need to choose schools based on the strength of their academic offerings and not on the number of state basketball championships. 

Politicians and communities need to encourage (and fund) innovative solutions to the challenges young people are experiencing; this will allow new organizations (governmental, non-profit, and for-profit) with separate teams and targeted missions to be charged with those responsibilities.  School administrators and teacher unions and school boards must also advocate for their teachers and refocus on their primary mission – education.  They must have the courage to say ‘no’ to mission creep, even if that means sacrificing the dollars that come with the ask.

Certainly, collaboration and mutual support are critical to achieve success for our young people, but the days of placing all the world’s problems on the front mat of our local schools need to be behind us.  This system is failing our kids.

Will You Let Me Answer Prayers in You

Every high school student that is aspiring to one day attend college understands the importance of community service on his / her resume.  Organizations like Key Club and National Honor Society have community service at the core of their missions and provide a variety of events and activities for students to positively impact their school and/or their local community.  Having been members of both of these organizations, our older children have been able to participate in ringing bells for the Salvation Army, volunteering for blood drives, teaching younger students local history at the Grignon Mansion and collecting food to feed families that are facing financial challenges.  Through these experiences, our children have learned to look beyond themselves and their daily wants and needs and to focus on the needs of others.

Many other religious and service organizations including local church groups, service organizations like Rotary and Lions, and not-for-profits also provide much-needed dollars and resources to struggling populations throughout the country and the world.  In addition, the United States is by far the most generous nation in the world, sending billions of dollars to countries and families that have been stricken with drought, natural disasters, war, or disease.  Let us stay focused to ensure that these wonderful philanthropic efforts continue and expand over time.

Although much good is being accomplished locally, nationally, and internationally, there is an aspect of ‘serving thy neighbor’ that is being swallowed up by the institutionalization of community service.  Specifically, what has been lost in this new idea of group service is the act of being present, one-to-one, to a person in need. 

Many of us can remember a neighbor lady bringing over some warm meat loaf or chicken noodle soup when a loved one had passed.  Or perhaps a team of family and friends worked together to make meals for a family with young children whose mother went through a difficult delivery and was home with a new baby.  Sometimes it was just a telephone call, or an old friend stopping for coffee to ‘see how we were doing’ during a difficult time in our lives. 

None of these acts of being present to another were news worthy.  Huge amounts of money were not raised through a crowd-funding site; no families were given a new house to live in; the Mayor did not give out any humanitarian awards for these simple deeds; and the Earth was not saved from utter destruction.  However, just the same, these acts of loving thy neighbor were, and are, extraordinary.  They are so easy to do, but so difficult, somehow, in our mail-a-check-for-poverty society. 

A friend of mine once said, “I don’t go to funerals because I don’t like them, and I’d rather celebrate a person while they are alive.  Another friend responded, “Funerals are not about you.”  Being present to others does require us to think outside of ourselves; however, the encouraging part of these tremendously valuable experiences is that you do not have to worry about what to say or what to wear or what to bring.  Generally, if you just show up, the heavy lifting has already been done.  Thinking back to the funeral or to that difficult time in our lives, do we even remember what that person said to us when they came to us, or what they were wearing, or what food they brought?  Probably not, but we do remember who was there to sit with us, to listen, to be present to us.

Many of us are praying to God for some sort of miracle in our own lives or in the lives of people we love.  Do you suppose that you might be God’s answer to some of these prayers? 

We may not be able to cure someone of cancer or bring a loved one back to life, but we can do even more wonderous things than these for the hearts of those we touch.  If all of us, when we wake up in the morning, would say ‘Yes!’ to God’s question of, “Will you let me answer prayers in you?”, what a different world we would be living in.  Maybe cut out the words below from the Servant Song and tape them to your bathroom mirror.  Your kids will learn through your example the true meaning of community service.

The Servant Song

We are pilgrims on the journey
We are travelers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load

I will hold the Christ light for you
In the nighttime of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the peace you long to hear

I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through

Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant too

Individualized Tutoring For Your Individual Student


When parents are searching for a tutor for their student, scrolling through random profiles of anonymous tutors on a national marketing website can be a very frustrating and uncomfortable process. At Life Tools Tutoring, we take the guess-work out of it. By taking the time to learn about the specific needs of your student, we can then match those needs with the gifts and talents of the appropriate tutor from our experienced team of tutors.

As one satisfied parent shared:
“[Life Tools Tutoring] knows the strengths of their staff and work hard to place a student with the best fit for the student’s learning style.”

Beyond providing subject-matter expertise, our tutors will also integrate specific life skills training, including organization, study skills, focus, accountability and independence, into the tutoring sessions. We will match your student with the perfect tutor, and we will walk with you throughout the tutoring process.

Our goals are your goals…Strong Kids.  Proud Parents.