I'd like to extend a warm welcome to all who have found their way to my blog today. Whether you are visiting for the first time after reading my devotion on www.Proverbs31.org or www.Crosswalk.com - or you've visited her before - Welcome!!
Today I've got a devotion running about investing in children's strengths. As a mom of five children, this topic is near to my heart. The reason is that everyone wants someone to see their potential. I don't think we EVER outgrow this. Do you agree?
I've experienced this personally in a variety of areas. The top two that come to my mind are singing and writing. I'll just touch on singing now. I've been a backup singer for many years, and about a year and a half ago, we had a change in our worship leaders. A new worship pastor joined the church, and to be honest, there was some underlying anxiety for me. I worried about whether or not he would think my voice was good. As he talked about investing in the young musicians, and developing their potential, I wondered, "Does he think I have potential?"
I didn't matter that I am a 40-something woman who has sung most of my life - I still felt like a little girl hoping someone would think I had potential ... that my talents had some value.
As an editor and director of the writer's track at She Speaks, I meet women all the time who have written an article for the first time and are praying that something thinks they have a grain of talent ... and that someone sees their potential. I pray God has used me to encourage many beginning authors in this way - Because I know what they are thinking!
As a mom, I've got five precious children who are hoping I'll see their potential. They really need me to see what's inside, because sadly, the world often overlooks potential unless is already mixed with amazing talent . The musical prodigy or the gifted athlete capture the attention of adults. But the shy girl, slouching her shoulders so no one will see how tall she is, is often looked right past. What God-given talent is just waiting to be discovered and coaxed into fruition?
In the devotion, I told the story of Joshua and his early music experience. Today Josh met with the youth pastor who confirmed his gifting in music, and shared plans for the future that included Josh. It was just what my son needed to hear, and I'm so thankful for a pastor who knows that young people need someone to see their potential.
But I could have told a similar story about each of my children. Dylan's small stature made it difficult to play football once he started high school - but he excelled once he discovered wrestling . Robbie doesn't love playing music like his brothers, but he's got a great ear for music and will be trained on the sound board. Cathrine struggles with academics, but she's a dynamo on the soccer field. And Ruth's attention challenges make many situations difficult for her, but the girl can dance!
I have felt it was my job to become a student of each of my children. I've really evaluated their strengths from the inside out. I've considered the following:
· likes and dislikes
· physical ability
· learning style
· spiritual gifting
Every child has a combination of these personal characteristics and not one of them is a mistake. They are a gift from a loving God who already has a plan to incorporate them into His calling on your child's life.
Investing in these characteristics doesn't always take money. There are many ways to build your child's strengths through volunteering, community and school programs and of course, church involvement. But it does take strategic thinking sometimes. And prayers for guidance.
Like I said above, we all want someone to see that we have potential. That's the first gift we can give our children. The second gift is to show them how to develop it. But the best gift, I believe, is to model offering our own gifts and talents back to God for His glory.
I hope someone sees your potential. I know God does.
In His Love,