It is that time of the year when school has closed for the winter holidays. Oh how glad I am that I don’t have to make sandwiches for a couple of weeks. I can lie in and relax!! But with the end of school and the start of holidays comes the school reports. This is always a bittersweet time for us because Michaela and usually Zoe too, always achieve brilliant results, but Ethan usually hands his report over with apprehension and dread. This is not because he is unable to achieve – in fact I know he is very bright, but he justs loathes school and in certain subjects he finds boring, he just doesn’t apply himself. The hard part is praising the girls lavishly for their achievements without making him feel a failure. I don’t always do this well – in fact today I did it very badly. I had determined not to overreact, but as I read comment after comment of teachers saying he hadn’t completed tasks and assignments, I just lost it!! I yelled – yes I know, not very nice – but I yelled at my son. Just as quickly as I got angry I felt ashamed at my response. I have been posting recently on my fresh encounters blog about our acceptance as sons of God and how much He loves us and yet I reacted in a way Jesus never would. I felt the gentle nudging of Holy Spirit to change my tactics and just love my boy – not because of what he had or had not achieved but just because he’s my son and I love him no matter what. So I had to take him aside and ask for forgiveness (parenting can be very humbling at times) for the way I had shouted and reacted and then I needed to lovingly tell him why I was concerned. We ended up having a good talk and I gained insight into how he thinks. He achieved a brilliant result in History – a subject he loves – and God reminded me to commend him for what he had done well instead of focussing on the lack. Don’t we often do that in life? – focus on what we don’t have or can’t do rather than how we can or are blessed!!
So today I have learned some valuable lessons – look for the good in others always and praise them for it. Now I need to remember this for next time. I never want to compare my children – they are all so different to one another and all so wonderful in their own way. Michaela will always be excellent at her studies with a sharp mind, Zoe achieves so well at sport, Ethan has a remarkable attentiveness to tasks he loves and of making astute money making decisions and Aaron is loving, incredibly clever and able to converse so well. Each of them so unique and so precious.
I know that’s how the Father looks at us – with love and affection – loving our strengths and uniqueness.