Day 60: Proximity

prox·im·i·ty - [prok-sim-i-tee, noun
nearness in place, time, order, occurrence, or relation.

Prior to being a mom or a teacher or a Pastor, I worked in the corporate world as an office manager for a very large uniform company that would later become Cintas Uniforms. I was only 22, the youngest manager the company had ever hired, and I had a lot to learn.

I learned a practice early on called MBWA, management by walking around. What I thought I would learn from this practice was that I would see all of my employees slacking and my presence would intimidate them into good work behavior. (I wish that wasn't true, but it is!) surprisingly what I learned from increasing my proximity to them was that they were good people, good employees, and people genuinely eager to do the right thing! Each day as I walked around, I learned about their lives and their families and their struggles, and even some work related things I could help them with. I really began to care for them as individuals and apparently it showed, because they responded in kind. EVERYTHING went up in our department, sales, repeat customers, and we had the lowest receivables in the company, people were even paying their bills on time!

When I became a mom, I applied the same principle of MBWA to parenting, but I called it Parenting by Proximity. In the early days of PBP it simply meant moving closer to them when i wanted them to obey me ( as opposed to yelling across the room . . . Try PBP if you have little ones!) But as they got older it meant being a part of their lives. It meant listening to their dreams. It meant having a real true interest in who they are as individuals.

The thing about any relationship is that for it to be good, you have to inrease your proximity. You have to be close. (I know my brilliance is staggering at times, isn't it!).

Any relationship.

Working ones. The one you have with your spouse. The one you have with your children or your friends or your extended family.

And not surprisingly, the one you have with God.

All that to say, if you have a relationship you'd like to see improve, then take a look at your proximity. And move closer.


  1. Man... how'd you get so smart?? :)

    Maybe if I increase my proximity to you I can learn by osmosis??? ;) Or you'd get sick of me and increase the distance between us? :P

    All that to say..., good word. Thanks for sharing. I kind of needed to see this- AS ALWAYS. Your words always seem to impact me just when i need them most. Thanks for taking time to teach the rest of us what God has taught you. ;)

  2. Love the "parenting by promity" phrase! I have always argued with those who are big fans of "quality time" with their children that children need "quantity time." Children/teens rarely need "parenting" when it is convenient for us--they need it when they need it, regardless of their age. Great post--lots of wisdom here!

  3. Move a little closer. What a practice to do on purpose, especially when we want space and "air." I love the way you express things so simply and beautifully, all we can do is agree with whatever ....:-) You know God gave you that way with people. You are such a treasure. Thanks for the reminder to get closer, closer, closer.


Thank you for reading. I look forward to hearing from you.