Monday, September 2, 2013

Gifts and Talents From God

 Friend of mine from our first living experience in Cincinnati, posted on Facebook that she was willing to send us this great book.  She went on and one about it so I was intrigued.  I said sure a free book, can't get much better than that right?  Little did I know at that point.

The book is Carry On Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton.  This morning I read a chapter that really, really struck very, very  close to home.  The chapter that I am going to share the chapter here on the blog and I apologize in advance if I an infringing on any copyright laws.  It is just too good not to share.

Chapter...On gifts and Talents from Carry On Warrior...

     "I've been thinking about my parent friends for whom the start of the school year is a difficult time, because the classroom has proven to be a tough place for their child to display his particular brand of genius.

     For these precious mommas, starting school means revisiting old worries and facing new ones.  It means tears and tense phone calls and scary conferences and comparisons and lots of fear and anger and suspicion and Oh My God, Is He All Rights?  And What Are We Doing Wrongs?

     I'd like to talk to you about your brilliant children.


   Every child is gifted and talented.  Every single one.  I know this to be true.  Every single child is gifted and talented in a particular area. Every single one has particular challenges.  For some kids, the classroom setting is a place where their genius is hardest to see and their challenges are easier to see.  And since they spend so much time in the classroom, that's a tough break for those little guys.  But if we are patient and calm and we wear our perspectacles and we keep believing, we will eventually see the specific magic of each child.

     Like my students who were severely dyslexic and also could have won a comedy contest at the age of seven.  One time he was waiting at the water fountain and said, "Lord, Miss Doyle.  I've been waiting in line since I was six."  The boy was a genius.

     Like my precious one who couldn't walk or speak because of his severe cerebral palsy, but whose smile while completing his grueling physical therapy inspired the rest of his class to call him the 'bravest'.  Genius, that kid. 

     Like my little man with autism, who couldn't have hurt another living being if someone paid him to.  He was the most gentle soul I've ever known.  And he loved animals like they were a gift made just for him by God.  Which, of course, they were.  But nobody in our class knew that but him.  Undeniable genius.

     Like my third grader who read like a kindergartner and couldn't add yet.  But one day I stood behind her during recess, where she played all alone, and hear her singing to herself.  That was they day I discovered her gift.  It was also the day that she discovered her gift, because I freaked out.  And I marched her over to the rest of the teachers and made her sing for them.  And when we came in from recess, I announced to the class that we had a rock star in our midst.  And she quietly beamed.  And she sang all the time after that.  All the time.  Actually, it was a little much.  But we let it slide because you don't mess with artistic genius.

     Or the little man in one of chase's classes who was always getting in trouble.  Every day, getting in trouble.  And Chase came home one day and said, "I think he's not listening because he's always making pictures in his head.  He's the best drawer I've ever seen.  He's going tobe famous, I bet."  Chase was right.  I've seen the kids work,  Genius.

     Or my little one who was gifted in the classroom-learning way and miles ahead of the other kids in every single subject.  But she had challenges being kind and humble about her particular strengths, so she had trouble making friends.  Sometimes it is tough to be a genius.

     Every single child is gifted.  And every single child has challenges.  It's just that in the educational system, some gifts and challenges are harder to see.  And teachers are working on this problem.  Lots of schools are trying to find ways to make the children's gifts visible and celebrated.  And as parents, we can help.  We can help our kids who struggle in school believe that they are okay.  It's just that there is only one way too help them.  And it's hard.

     We have to actually believe that re kids are okay.

     I know.  Tough.  But it can be done.  We can start believing by erasing the idea that education is a race.  It's not.  Education is like Christmas.  We're all just opening out gifts, one at a time.  And it is a fact that each and every child has a bright and shiny present with her name on it, waiting there underneath the tree.  God wrapped it up, and he will let us know when it is time to unwrap it.  In the meantime, we m ust believe that our children are okay. Every last one of them.  The straight-A ones and the ones with autism and the naughty ones and the chunky ones and the shy ones and the loud ones and the so-far-between ones.

     Because here's what I believe:  a child can survive a teacher or other children accidently suggesting that he's not okay, as long as when he comes home, he looks at his momma and knows by her face that he is really okay.  Because that's all we are asking, isn't it? 

     Moma, am I okaky?

     In the end, a child will call the rest of the world liars and believe his moma.

     So when he asks us with his eyes and heart if he's okay, let's tell him:

     Yes, baby.  You are okay.  You are more than okay.  You are my dream come true.  You are everything I've ever wanted, and I wouldn't trade one of you for a million anybody elses.  This part of life, this school part, might be hard for you.  But that's okay, because it is just one part of life.  And because we can do hard things, together.  We are a team.  And I am so grateful to be on your team.

     And then, before we dive into 'helping', let's just eat some cookies together and talk about other things.  There are so many other things to talk about, really.

     Let's be Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.  Atticus's children, Scout and Jem, carefully watch their father's' behavior as the house next door to theirs burns to the ground.  As the fire inches closer and closer to the Finch's house, Atticus appears so calm that Scout and Jem finally decide that 'it ain't  time to worry yet.'

     Then we'll watch carefully.  We'll just watch and wait and believe until God nods and says, "It's time/.  Tear open that gift, Mama."

     And we'll get to say our Mama FAVE.  Told you so, World.'

After having our children we weren't just quite finished.  We still had lots energy and love to give.  We decided to look into foster care.  We were blessed to have lots of  'gifted' kids stay with us.  Challenging yes but so very rewarding and eye opening.  We are still in contact with several of them.  One of our daughters actually made us grandparents again a few months ago.  I did always say that I would love to have a little 'brown' baby.  Now I have one.  We adopted two from our years in caring for and loving children with other families.  And we didn't do it alone.  We had help and support from lots of friends and families.  One is now 21 years old.  On her own trying to make sense of the big old world.  Some days are harder that others. And some days are way better that others.  But I think she will make it.  Then at 5 days old, we were blessed to have a baby boy put into our care. His adoption process was the longest roller coaster ride...EVER!  At three we felt that he was a little 'different'.   So I understand this chapter.  I get it. Now it is time to really open our gifts!

Thank you Patti for sharing a wonderful book.

Interested about reading more...go to  And then check out Monkee See-Monkee Do.
Then if you are still wanting more check out Glennon of FB at Monastery.

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