Skip to main content

Watching our Children Stumble

I know the plans I have for you
Our babies. When they arrive they are helpless. We take care of their every need.

Love them, change them, bathe them, feed them.
Rock them. Sing to them. Hold them. Love them.

And they grow…

We read to them. Teach them. Pray for them. Pray with them.

And they grow…

We step back a little, let them fall, let them get back up, let them go. We hope they’ve learned how to handle life’s disappointment and hurt, while seeking life’s joy and pleasures. Our steps back, though important, are sometimes difficult.  When we see them stumble, we want to rush to catch them. We want to kiss the hurt away and make things better.

Sometimes we can’t.

My daughter has a beautiful soul.
She’s not perfect, but she is responsible, prayerful, caring;
A Godly young woman who selflessly serves others.

Last week she experienced one of those moments in high school that really hurt. Even knowing that these moments shape and mold us, didn’t make it any less impactful.

When she started high school two years ago she signed up for the FFA organization because they offered an equine science course (which was subsequently cancelled). As a freshman “Greenhand” she worked hard towards several achievements and ended her first year as the newly elected Sentinel on the chapter Officer Team. She attended officer training, summer retreats, and the State Convention and entered her second year enthusiastic for all things FFA Blue and Gold.

Although she doesn’t raise animals, the FFA offers many opportunities to grow through Leadership Development Events (LDE), Career Development Events (CDE), Speaking Development Events (SDE), and Supervised Agricultural Events (SAE). This year her LDE team (Radio Broadcasting) became the first event in school chapter history to advance to State competition. She participated in fundraisers, officer meetings, multiple teams, and competitions, and received several awards recognizing her dedication and teamwork at last week’s annual year-end Banquet.

After such an eventful year, she confidently ran to serve again on the Officer Team.  Since the overall chapter membership grew this year, the FFA advisors added two more positions on the team. Six new candidates joined five of the seven current officers to compete for nine open positions. Unlike last year, the advisors refused to disclose any results until the Banquet and Installation.

My daughter didn’t make it.

As the names were called and new members joined the current officers on the stage, my daughter sat on the stage, the only current officer not re-elected. With a face etched in white stone trying not to reflect her stunned hurt, she somehow held it together while others laughed and clapped each other on the back.

FFA Officer PresentationA minute later she was on her feet at the microphone, smile in place, confidently speaking as she installed a new person into her current position and then turned away uncertain where to return, her former seat taken. Our family sat at our table in the audience in numb disbelief and heartache. The tears my oldest daughter dared not show in public flowed unabashedly down her younger sister’s face.

I’d love to report that there was a mistake in the results. That the next day something somehow changed the results in her favor. Or that we found out the competition was rigged to favor the sons and daughters of those parents who lead the Booster Club in time and money.  But this is real life, not a Disney sitcom. Sometimes you just lose, no matter how hard you tried. We will probably never know exactly what in the four-part election process caused her to be in the bottom two.

Real life means that you hold your head high, accept defeat graciously, congratulate the winners, and keep moving forward, even when it’s not in the direction you planned. Despite her own heartache, my daughter spent a good portion of the rest of that night and the next day consoling and supporting her friend, who was the second person not elected.

Not a gracious loser, I struggled to find words of comfort or understanding, only able to hold her silently in the privacy of our home when she finally allowed herself to feel her pain. However, my husband captured it perfectly when he wrote, 
Tonight a…harsh life lesson was realized and …my oldest daughter showed more poise, honor, dignity, character and maturity than I would have at her age - …maybe even still. She will come back stronger than ever before. Look out world!! I love you.  You amaze me! #prouddad"
And he’s exactly right.     
                             
Ironically, not once did I worry that my daughter wouldn’t get through this. After the sadness and let down of not being selected, she kept her focus through the Bible verse that she proudly wears on her letter jacket; one she believes in that brings her strength when the road is tough.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -   Jeremiah 29:11



Receive New Blog Posts by Email

* indicates required

Connect on Social

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Popular posts from this blog

Don’t Leave Facebook for Lent – Take it Over!

  So many Christians leave Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels for their Lenten devotion or fast.  With the purpose of Lent being to rededicate our lives to God and grow in holiness, I understand why so many fast from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more for Lent.  Our social media feeds these days are full of darkness, sadness, and temptation.  They are far from the original purpose of the platforms to bring community together. Pope Benedict said in his message for World Communications Day 2013, “Believers are increasingly aware that, unless the Good News is made known also in the digital world, it may be absent in the experience of many people for whom this existential space is important.”  He continued. “Social networks… also reshape the dynamics of communication which builds relationships.”  This is part of the reason why I dedicate my time to sharing the Good News online.  I believe in my call as a Christian to go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS – eve

Prayer to End the School Year

Another school year is coming to an end.  And what a year the 2017-2018 school year was..... The events of the last 9 months have made me not only thankful to see it end but needing to get on my knees to Thank God for many things.  This school year began with Hurricane Harvey hitting our area and ended with the devastating school shooting at nearby Santa Fe High School. In the middle of the crisis around us there were so many beautiful things, events and people that touched and changed our community and family for the better.  Let's just start with the teachers and administrators who have interacted with my kids this year...  A special social studies teacher that made a fast friend out of my geography obsessed daughter, an ELA teacher who slowly won my oldest daughter over with her love of the written word, a soccer trainer who pushed my son harder than he thought he could handle, and then helped him recognize how that hard work paid off.  What about a school nurse who repeated

12 Quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta

St. Teresa of Calcutta made a deep impression on me as a young girl as I watched her on tv and in news. Who doesn't remember the iconic picture of Mother Teresa with Princess Diana splashed across all magazines, newspapers and news shows?  To me, Saints were people who lived a long time ago, but here she was, a saint in the making.  Mother Teresa was a role model of how to become a Saint in our modern world, by giving her life to God through her dedication to the poor. On her feast day, I want to share with you a few of my favorite quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta.   Her words are seemingly simple and straightforward but packed with meaning.  My selection comes out of a new favorite book I picked up called, Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom by Carol Kelly-Gangi.  This little book contains hundreds of quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta centered around specific themes as well as a summary of her biography and quotes about her from others.  "God does not demand that