When my daughter was in high school she thought it was fun to take the weekly bulletin from the church service and look for “better ways to present the information.” It became a game for her like a crossword puzzle or Scramble would be for others. She loved it. She loved marking up the bulletin with her little, red pen.
She enjoyed putting those red marks on the bulletin, and enjoyed looking for better ways to send out information, as she would re-write most of it. By the end of the service, the bulletin looked like a really bad essay given back by the English teacher. All it was missing was the big red F.
One could argue I should have taken a spiritual approach and corrected her perceived lack of “spiritual-ness.” I did nothing of the sort; instead, I encouraged her.
What a terrible mother!
I was the kind of mom that encouraged my kids in all areas, even areas that others may have deemed unbecoming or unspiritual. If something might even remotely resemble a talent, I encouraged it. When my son wanted to give a speech about marrying his turtle, I encouraged it (even though the teacher didn’t find it as funny as I did). When my daughter put chop sticks in her hair and called it a new style, I encouraged it. When my younger son put on a cape and told others he had “special powers, I encouraged that too.
I wanted my children to be movers, shakers, freethinkers—I wanted my children to be leaders. I didn’t want them to go with the crowd or buckle under peer pressure. I wanted them to trust in their own beliefs and to stand on their own faith.
My prayer for them was that they would be able to live for God in a culture where doing so is highly unpopular. I wanted them to own their faith, not piggyback on their parents’ beliefs.
Today, after a degree that gives her license to mark up papers, manuscripts, and yes bulletins—it is her job at church to mark up the bulletin with her little, red pen. And if you are wondering, she loves God and follows Him with her whole heart.
I love being a mom…being a mom allows one to inspire genius.