Monday, July 24, 2017


You pour yourself into your children. Sometimes your pour out so much of yourself, so much physical energy and emotion and prayer, that you think there is nothing left inside of you. You feel emptier than the inside of a stale ping-pong ball.

But then...

Those amazing young people turn around and fill you up in return, like water that has rushed out to sea only to return again to the shore in powerful light-flecked waves that fill the tidal pools and smooth the fretted sand.

You pour yourself into your children, and they fill you up in return.
You teach your children, and they teach you in return.
You encourage your children, and they encourage you in return.

Recently, the youngest and I were having a conversation - more than one conversation, actually - about setting goals and achieving goals, about obstacles and disappointment, about pressing through discouragement to complete an arduous task, about not giving up when success proves elusive.

Such valuable life lessons to pass from parent to child

...or from child to parent.

I received a letter this past week. A "Thank you, but no thanks" kind of letter. Not devastating, but disappointing. Truthfully, one of the most gracious and encouraging no-thank-you letters imaginable. Still, when I read the letter, a sad little sinking feeling settled around my heart.

I took a deep breath, read the letter again silently, and then I read the letter aloud to my youngest. Her response? "That is so awesome, Mom! Now you know some specific things you can do to improve. That is so encouraging!"

Awesome? Encouraging? Seriously?


Not the no-thank-you part of the letter, but the here-is-how-you-can-improve part.

Persevering in the face of disappointment was a lesson fresh in my youngest's experience, so she shared the lesson with me.

I am thankful for such a sweet and gracious teacher. And, yes, I am encouraged.

And now...back to work!

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