Friday, February 20, 2009

Life Lessons

There are so many posts just waiting to be written...I had a great time at our Mini Conference last Saturday and I will be posting my handout on here in the very near future...I wanted to write one on love for Valentine's Day (kind of late, but better late than never)...I have a fun story about friend's children who are ready to move in with us to be homeschooled...our schedule...but what I'm going to write about is some wisdom of my past teachers. Please, excuse my rambling, run on sentence, I like to write the way I think; which is not necessarily the proper way to write. I have a BA in English, so I do know how to write. I choose to write the way I think.

I read an article from The Heart of the Matter today that got me thinking about two of the best lessons I've learned outside of my parents and the Bible. The first that I usually think of is from my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. McVey, who taught me that "You are responsible for your own actions." We have a written list of house rules, and that one is on the top of the list. I think that is an especially bad problem of the generations after my own (not to mention many in my generation)...blaming others for our own actions. I even have to remind myself at times that I am responsible for my own actions!

The other lesson is one that I can't quite remember who taught me, but I'm fairly certain I learned this gem of wisdom sometime in my teenage years. I was told that mistakes, failures, and the like should be looked upon as "Learning experiences". If we don't have any troubles or difficulties, how can we learn from them? That has served me well through the years. The article I read today especially reminded me of this one.

My daughter began "offical" homeschooling (you know, when we start calling it school and keeping records and such) with a great fear of failure. She didn't want to try for fear of giving the wrong answer or sounding out a word wrong. Part of her fear may have been my tone of voice or feeling my frustration in those early days (I felt we were on trial in my husband's eyes.). I have have worked on myself a lot in those areas. Thankfully, I realized the other day that I felt strange raising my voice. So much time had gone by that I have not raised my voice. Thank you, God, for helping me. The Lord does answer prayers.

I do feel that at least part of her fear was just that of failing. After explaining to her multiple times that I am glad for her to make mistakes so that she can learn from them, she approaches most things without fear, sometimes even reminding me about learning experiences. I believe I have even heard her give the advice to others. I think that learning from failure is such an important lesson to learn. I am glad to pass that one on, too.

I'm sure that some version of these lessons could be found in the Bible, that is just not where I first learned them. I do believe God provided for us in all ways when writing the Bible. As I child, I remember the story of King Solomon and how he asked God for wisdom. That story etched itself on my brain and heart. I knew that God answered prayers, with the right answer, all I had to do was ask. My mother's testimony led my to my own relationship with Christ. I will write some other days (for future generations) about the wonderful examples of my immediate and extended family.

I was not homeschooled, but my parents were wonderful part-time homeschoolers (meaning I went to public school, but they taught me plenty at home). Mom was, and is, full of imagination. She passed on her love of reading to me. She is a very patient teacher. I did not learn how to find answers in public school, but my Mother taught me how. She taught me how to write my name in cursive and how to teach myself typing, both before I learned in school. My Father is skillful in woodworking. I took Shop class not only to learn, but to be closer to my Dad. I can look at my projects and remember the help and advice he gave me. There are so many wonderful things both my parents taught me, but the most important lesson was to let my children know that I not only love them because they are my children, but I value them as people. I enjoy talking with them, hearing their opinions, and I choose to be with them more often than not. I knew my parents valued me as a person, not just because I was their child. I chose my parents more often than not, because I not only love my parents, but I really like them. Thank you, God, for my parents.

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