Monday, 25 February 2013

Raising Winners

The AWANA Grand Prix is a big night for the Pope family. Usually the cars are bought weeks in advance, and much like the rest of my life, get put into a box, a drawer, somewhere out of sight and then....well, you understand don't you? If you look my name up in the dictionary, right after limited time management skills would be procrastinator in disguise (because I like to pretend that I am over that and have it all together.)

And so, a few days before the race, my Love, he gets together with the 3 bigs, sandpaper in hand and they scrub and scrub. He helps, encourages. The cars are smoothed, primed and painted all by them. Oh, we help when it is necessary. We guide, but they do. And you know what I want for my kids? I want them to be doers and much of this parenting gig is about appearances and the parents, really. It's not really about he kids learning and spending time with their's about winning.  It's not that I don't want to be helpful. It's not that I don't want them to be winners, but I guess I want them to see a different kind of success. I don't want to do the job for them so that they can get the credit and I can feel like a good parent.

Somehow in the wild world of ours we have decided that when our children win, that we are a success. And somehow, this translates into good feelings of oneself. Who knew a blue ribbon held so much power. But what if...what ifs parents we stopped measuring our success by the "success" of our children. What if, instead, we realised that they will fail. At some point they have to, and sometimes we have to let them. What if when they do "fail" (in the eyes of the world anyway) we trusted the Lord enough to do above and beyond, immeasurably more with that "failure" than he ever would with "success."

Oh, I don't know but somehow along the way our children have gotten the idea that getting a blue ribbon handed to them means that they are winners. But that is not what is see in the Word. I don't believe that Jesus was ever given one, a blue ribbon, I mean. I see Jesus there. And by our standards, I would not call him a success. He didn't have a place to lay his head (Luke 9:58). Those closest to him thought that he was a loon (Mark 3). He chose men that were not the most desirable to follow him (see any of the New Testament.) He did not even have "real" rabbinical training. And then those he did choose, also chose to abandon him at his most needed moment...falling asleep in the garden, then running away when the slightest hint of trouble came their way (Luke 22). And these men? I am just as they.

And when will I stop accepting the standards of the world
and start opening my hand to something better?

Now hear me on this. I want my kids to succeed in the things that really matter and not because I have done the work for them. But as much as I want them to succeed in life, even more I want them to know Jesus. I want them to know what it's like to be happy for a friend (or sibling even) who won first place or perhaps did better than they. I want them to encourage the one who has lost and offer a friendly, "nice try." I want them to enjoy the process of learning about how to make a car that is fast. I want them to enjoy the time with their dad...time that I never had with mine...time that is wispy and wondering....fleeting. I want their attitude to be one that honors the Lord.  And when they do succeed I want them to point to the One who gave them the strength, and wisdom to do so.

And all of these things?
They are hard!
But they are better still aren't they?
From L to R: Hunter, Koen, Jordynn's car
Heavenly and Gracious Father,

Thank you for your example of success...for showing us a better way. Thank you that you do not leave us to ourselves. Thank you that even in what we see as failure, you can be glorified. Thank you for a changed heart and us to point my children to something better. Your wisdom is what I need...what they need. Thank your for always, always picking me up when I fall. Thank you that we have you to look to for with out you we are lost...

in Jesus name ~ amen

more of this crazy counting:

821. a fun night at AWANA Grand Prix, and all those helpers who put it together
822. hard lessons about success
823. confidence in Christ, knowing can identify with it all
824. that Spirit, that fills me up...daily, giving grace for every moment
825. God, who was and is and always will be
826. a husband who struggles, but wants our littles to know what is true..and teaches by doing
827. mistakes made, lessons learned, grace and mercy given: thank you Jesus!

Working on this verse this week! Hope you all are getting in some memorising too!!


  1. Great thoughts. And I think those cars look super!

    1. Thanks Heidi! I thought so too...'til we got to the church and saw the other cars. ;0) No really, they're great. And it was a good learning experience for us all w/ some fun added in the mix.