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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

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:

· personality
· likes and dislikes
· talents
· 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,


Lydia said...

How your devotional hit home for me today! I have an 11 year old son who has been taking guitar lessons for 2 years and shows a lot of ability and talent. He can also sing but will not get up in front of others to perform. In church last Sunday, he intently watched a teen in our youth group play guitar and sing in our Christmas musical. Afterwards, my son asked him what chords he played. He has also asked for a new guitar for Christmas. I have prayed for God to use his skills and to help me find other skills in him. Your devotional has been comforting and inspiring. Thank you!

Kandyss said...

Oh how my husband and I look forward to having children one day! We would love to start now, but we are early twenty newlyweds who are working and still going to school - our, plan is to wait five years, when we can be more settled (I stress "our" because GOD might have a different one ;-). I have seen so much talent in my husband - definitely music (the man can pick up any instrument and just play it by ear!), now digital design and even speaking to groups! I really look forward to helping our children to discover and refine the gifts that GOD will give them! Just pray that I can do the same with mine :-)

Thanks for the post!

Jill Piteo said...

Thanks for sharing. I have wee little ones, but even now, I can see the gift of music in one. He loves to sing and he sings like an angel. My daughter loves people - esp. caring for people. Thank you for reminding me to remember to recognize and encourage those talents and gifts given from God!

Jill from www.myprideaside.com

Mrs.Evans24-7 said...

Oh Glynnis! Your life is mirrored in mine. Praise God for your encouragement! My oldest is sophomore music major - all those years of lessons and waiting in the car and the cost - well worth it and done for the exact same reasons you wrote. Now my youngest is following in his brother's footsteps - he too will be the only one to sing as he plays at his upcoming piano recital. The only difference is that we didn't have the same piano teacher troubles; the same wonderful lady who taught my oldest is now teaching my youngest. That relationship has lasted a decade and hopefully a decade more!

Jennifer Renee said...

I loved your devotion. It made me think back to my teenage years and the goals I had set for myself. I found strenths in myself that my parents probably didn't see. I took drama in high school even though my father said he didn't think it was a good idea because I'd probably fail. He may have said this because I was visually impaired. In high school I really wanted to learn to play the piano. I didn't start taking lessons until I was in my twenties and my dad still thinks I should have kept it up andhe thinks I should go back to it. I haven't practiced the piano in over thirteen years.

Anonymous said...

Thanks you for your inspirational devotional, and your encouragement to share.

littlew said...

This was my first time reading your blog, but I LOVED what you had to say about potential vs. raw talent-- it is SO true! In my own life... wanting people to see potential, and the self-esteem issues that coincide and now as a mother of two little girls! I SO want to be in tune with what their gifts/strengths are so that I can encourage them in those areas...Thank you for your thoughts.

Steph said...

You sure have encouraged me MANY times Sister, more times that I've taken the time to tell you....THANK YOU!!!

I'm not really sure how you do all that you do, and believe it's God, His power and strength that allows you to be such a potent lighthouse for HIM!

Thanks for shining your light on me and SO many others!

Blessing and gratitude (a big hug too!) :-)