Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Zach and I are learning some of the same lessons right now about reaching our potential.  There are things each of us wants to do...and all of those things require focus, practice and commitment.

This was clear on Saturday morning during the run portion of my race.  I'm not a particularly good runner, but running is part of a triathlon.  Walking is not.  So...  In the ten weeks leading up to the race, I practiced running long distances and did other exercises to increase my speed and endurance.  There were times that I didn't want to train, and times when my training sessions were a little lousy.  But I trained.  By the end, I finally took someone's advice and learned how to take smaller strides and practically run in place - but not walk - when I needed a break.  On race day, when I thought about walking, I stuck with smaller strides instead (most of the time).  In those moments, I was reminded of my son and the many discussions we've had about working to reach his potential.  We must keep practicing and moving forward if we are going to reach our potential.

Another relevant example from my life is my schooling.  One class I'm taking is Art Appreciation.  I don't know the first thing didn't know the first thing about art when I started.  Normally, a chapter in a textbook is about 30 pages, but chapter 2 was 115 pages.  And not only did my professor assign chapter 2 that week, but she added chapter 3 as well - another 30 pages.  In a week's time, I read more than ONE FOURTH of the entire textbook.  My head was about to explode.  After reading, I certainly didn't want to write TWO two page discussion questions, FOUR responses to other people's posts, and take TWO tests.  But I did.  There was a part of me saying to just breeze through it with a half-hearted effort so I could go play, but the other part suggested I give it my all so I could submit my work with pride and not just relief to be done.  In doing the latter, I learned.  I am one step closer to realizing my potential - as both an appreciator of art and a degreed teacher.

As we've journeyed through all of this with Zach...I am learning (again) that he's not unusual - he's just like everyone else.  In this case, he has aspirations and knowledge, but fear, immaturity, impatience, and even arrogance get in the way sometimes.  

He has BIG dreams and we want to help him to achieve what he wants in life.

Sometimes I forget that he needed help learning how to suckle and eat as a newborn.  No matter how desperately children want us to believe they know everything, the fact is that they come into the world knowing practically nothing.  Much like those early days, my son needs our help in learning how to persevere,and grow in discipline and focus so that he can reach his potential.  

Encouragement for reaching for your potential -

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters."  Colossians 3:23

The reminder for this mother -

"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."  Galatians 5:22-23

Lord, as we work to prepare these children for manhood, might we remember that these things - these fruits of the spirit - come with maturity and experience.  As we continue to provide guidance and encouragement, may we rest in peace and your assurance that, in your perfect timing, our boys will become who you've created them to be.  Place in us up-lifting, grace-filled attitudes, so that we will build our kids up always and never discourage or criticize.  May we parent with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

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