Monday, January 15, 2007

Carpe Diem

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count.
It's the life in your years.
~Abraham Lincoln
Now that I have teenagers, I am often asked what they are going to study, what they are going to do with their lives as they become adults. Increasingly, I am seeing this as an interesting cultural question - what are they to become. To become, as if they aren't already what they are. As I continue to homeschool, I ponder this reality of our culture.
Children and teens are in a holding pattern, preparing for "real life". Choices are made in late teen years about what to study in preparation for getting a "real job". This way of looking at childhood as only a boot camp to prepare for the working world overshadows the chance to actually live in the moment of the day.
My girls and the way we live are slowly changing the way I look at childhood and education. Anna isn't just intent on becoming a writer, she is one. Each day, she writes and writes. Very private about it, I'll likely not read this writing until I buy the book. She is not, however, going to be a writer - she already is one. Getting published is an eventuality.
When people hear Lauren play the piano, they ask if she'll go on to study it in college. A normal parent, I can't help but hope that she does something with her study of piano and her beautiful playing. Unlike others, I know, however, that her intense study of it is not and will never be wasted. Piano playing is in her very skin. It has already affected who she is, and she has already done something with it. I know she will always play. She is a pianist.
Already, they are gifted horsewomen. Will they become horse trainers, competitive riders? They do, already. Perhaps you'll not hear of them, but they've already accomplished more with their horses than most people dream of.
I think our young people act out often because they aren't recognized for who they already are, what they already are doing, and given the space to be. And often, there aren't the opportunities and the mentors to help them find who they are right now. My girls are gifted with wonderful mentors, adults who share their love of their own specialties. Would that all young people find such adults in their lives and live dreams today.

4 comments:

Mary said...

Cathy,
You are letting them be people who are accomplishing something. They have needs that are being met besides their physical ones. They are fortunate young women.

Camflock said...

These girls are very fortunate. I have told them a couple of times that they have an amazing mother that is really a tremendous blessing. Today, they see their lives as "normal" yet one day they will realize how extraordinary their "childhood" really was with a mother so willing to cultive their God given talents and interests. One day, you will get that big "THANK YOU" from them, but until then rest assured the rest of us who did have "normal" childhoods realize the gift they are being given daily. -Christine

whitetr6 said...

A couple of months ago I recorded a show on PBS wherein Bill Gates and Warren Buffet imparted some business wisdom to a group of U of Nebraska Business Majors, and my wife and I watched it again tonight.

Yes, they talked about finance and investing and learning from mistakes. But the theme kept coming back to...will you leave this life measuring what you accumulated, or what lives you touched? These two men have both pledged to give away nearly all of the wealth they've accumulated for the betterment of the less fortunate. But what sticks with me most is a comment Buffet made. He said he's known a lot of people who he considers successes (and who consider themselves to be successful) based on the human "riches" of being surrounded by people who truly love them. Monetarily, some are wealthy, some are not. But if they have that love, they are successes.

Your daughters have already achieved success in my view. Young people don't do the kind of meaningful things your girls are doing without being immersed in the love of friends and family. What a legacy they'll leave.

Christi said...

You put words to my thoughts exactly. Two weekends ago, my dad asked my 13-yo daughter, "Do you still want to be a vet?" She said, "I'd like to work at PetCo (a local pet supply store)." He said, "But if you're smart, you'll work with animals and make better money at it." *sigh*

Ya know, while I'm not opposed to seeing my daughters going off to college for degrees, I know this is not their end-all purpose in life, which seems to be the mindset of the world today. It is very frustrating. Your article did my thoughts justice. Thank you.

Also, thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. I agree with you on the point of removing my own plank first. When I rebuke someone, it's in an area that Christ has, in His grace, seen fit to correct me already. I can't very well teach what I can't do, right? And I try to model Christ, who spoke truth. Yes, there were times when He was simply silent, knowing that His words would fall on deaf ears. I do that, too, with many. But for those who claim to be Christians, who appear to have a teachable spirit, with whom I have a seemingly close rapport, I do "teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness..." And, we know that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing of the Word of God," so it is the Word that I use. Christ, also, used the Words of the Father to rebuke, etc., and His Words were either accepted or rejected. Oftentimes, it wasn't just His Words which were rejected, it was HIM Who was rejected.

It was this point that I was trying to put to words. Oftentimes, it isn't the truth of God's Word that is being rejected, it's me... the bearer of those Words. At least, I'm the one who is lashed out against. Of course, we know that it's God's Word which is the actual thing being rejected. But you get the point. That is something I've had to let go of myself, too. Nowadays, I ask people to correct me, please! I WANT my life transformed into Christ's. Ya know?

Anyway, thanks again for the comment.

Many blessings,
Christi

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