Sometimes, it turns out, I am not very creative. I like to reuse my favorite symbols and images (lots of flowers, birds, suns). But what I find really interesting is when I even use similar colors and words on the pages. For example these two, one done in the fall, one just recently.
Interestingly enough, both times I was thinking about my Tanner. He is seven, and reading has not come easily for him. I have struggled as a mama and a homeschooler with a lot of guilt. I have wondered if I just didn’t teach him well enough, put in enough time. You know, all the usual guilt stuff. But I have to keep reminding myself of these two: The girls were readers early. Phoebe still curls up with a book on her own, Annika takes a bit of prodding. But Phoebe also loves words. Annika would rather have a ball and glove in her hand. Tanner just hasn’t unwrapped his gift for reading yet. And he has other talents–he is hilarious and one of the most loving. generous kids you will ever meet. Those qualities might make his life easier in many ways.
I also have to remember this:
(Funny how the same red flower is shaped, the words are similar.)
This is the important part. I have to have FAITH in him. He knows when I am frustrated and he shuts down. All kids will react, and live up to, our expectations of them. If they are told, “YOU are stupid and rotten.” They believe it. How many adults have stories they remember about a certain teacher or adult who had no faith in their abilities and were vocal about it? The more I encourage him, the better he does. I go for a conference at the school tomorrow so they can update me on his progress. I know I am already seeing a difference. It has been hard to give up homeschooling him, even part of the day, but I see that this is best for him.
So as a mama and teacher I have to remind myself to ask this question: How can we expect to know all the gifts of our children at an early age? I know adults who did not unwrap their talent completely until they were over forty, or more. I know adults that changed their path with the use of their gift completely. We lose faith in ourselves, those around us question our choices. But do you know who has eternal faith in you? Do you know who is infinitely patient as you unwrap your talents?
God. Jesus. God created us knowing that we have talents. He KNOWS because He DESIGNED us. He doesn’t mess up. He creates wonderful, glorious things. Sometimes our talents may not be in line with what current culture thinks is right. Sometimes our talents lay latent all too long. But He has faith we will find them. He is always waiting, watching, cheering us on, loving us no matter what. He KNOWS we will find that gift and when we do, that it will glorify Him in such an amazing way…but He won’t really be surprised. God expected it all along.
I will try to follow his example. I will obey. I will have faith in my children, and in myself, that our gifts are unique, special, desirable, and just waiting to be unwrapped.