Monday, April 16, 2007

Special Does as Special Is

Growing up, I always knew I was special. This was to the credit of three very important people in my life: my mother, my grandma and my grandpa. I knew it because they told me so. I used to be able to draw really well (at least for a kid), and they never let me forget that. I read a lot, too, and they always told me how smart I was.

There were a lot of things I wasn’t good at, of course. I was chubby and had horribly crooked teeth. Also, we were poor, and nice clothes just weren’t an option. In 6th grade I was told I needed glasses. I did need them, badly, but I hardly wore them. Because in the world’s eyes looks are everything, and I was unfortunate enough as it was.
Still, I may not have looked the greatest, but I always knew that I could accomplish whatever I set my mind, too. My grandma always told me I needed to design my own line of greeting cards. That was a worthy goal, I thought. (At the time, neither of us realized how wordy I truly was.)
The amazing thing is that my birth (my life) could have been easily despised. My mom was a single mom, and I was conceived from a college fling. It was short-lived, but serious enough to create me.

Back in the early 70s, people didn’t talk as openly as sex and relationships as they do now. My mother never told my grandparents who had gotten her pregnant and they never asked. And my biological dad didn’t even know about me until I was married and had three kids of my own. I, of course, grew up with a lot of questions about where I came from, but I never questioned my worth.

Somehow, even after I became a single mom myself (I had my son at 17), after I married, and after I had two more kids the idea that I was destined to do great things still hung around somewhere in the back of my mind. It was a seed planted, and one that took root. The plant was slow growing, and the flowers of special things took many, many years to bloom, but I never doubted they would.

This makes me think of my own kids. (And your little ones, too) As a parent, it’s our job—of course—to train them up. It’s up to us to point out their mistakes and help them grow and change. But more than that, it’s also our job to plant the same seeds of worthiness that my mother, my grandma and grandpa placed in me. They focused on what was most important—my heart, my talents, my gifts—and they never let me forget that I could do anything I set my mind to.

I talk to my kids about how great they are, but not often enough, I think. This is something I’m going to work on. I need to remind myself these are seeds of worth that will grow in their hearts and minds, no matter how cruel this world may be.

They are special, because God made them so. He gave them unique talents and gifts with an idea in mind of how He’ll use them to further His kingdom and bring glory to His name. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to remind my kids about this, frequently and with conviction.
After all, even if they may not understand these words when they’re young, or they may roll their eyes when they get older, but deep down they’ll know it’s true. And deep down the seeds of great things will be planted because of you.

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At Monday, 16 April, 2007, Blogger cmpctjen said...

Growing up in the same community as you did, I know about the importance our peers placed on looks and clothing. I relate in so many ways. Fortunately, there were a few older peers such as yourself who helped me feel a greater confidence about who I am in school. My mother was not a real encourager, but my earthly father was until his untimely death. The seeds he planted in me are much like those your grandparents planted in you. It is his example in encouraging my children I have taken into adulthood.
Feeling the loss of my earthly father three years later, as I entered High School, I decided to answer the call of my Heavenly Father after having heard it since a young child, but not understanding it. My life was forever transformed. I still struggle with the pain of feeling unworthy. Scars from the peers who were not so nice get raw at times. But, taking it to the Father and letting Him massage those scars is the BEST therapy. I only pray my children can see He is there for them in times of need.

At Tuesday, 17 April, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are wonderful


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