Saturday, February 16, 2008

Uniquely You

I was catching up on some blog reading (read that as avoiding writing, laundry, dishes), and visited my friend Sabrina's blog. Mixed in among book reviews was a post from December where she described her son's experience at basketball practice. Let me try to post a link to her blog -

Her description of her son made me smile. I have a quirky kid, too. Of my four, he's the one most likely to come up with interesting ideas, understand deep things of God, explore the world with wonder and enthusiasm. Less mature than my other kids, he lacks some of the gifts that come so easily to them. While my other three thrive at musical endeavors, my second son struggles to feel beat and rhythm. While my other kids are gregarious and active, my second born is quieter, more introspective and given to deep thinking. While the other three run, jump and leap, my dear second child trips, falls and limps.

Is he to be pitied because he marches to his own beat, lives in his own world, enjoys things in a different way than 90% of kids his age?

Do we look back and pity Einstein or Edison? Do we feel sorry for Ansel Adams?

Of course we don't.

Those men (and so many men and women just like them) struggled in school, struggled at home, struggled with life, but their experiments, their drive, their unique way of looking at the world led to advancement in thinking, design and concept.

I remember when #2 was four. I brought him to get his eyes checked and learned that his vision was 20/425. According to the eye doctor, #2 had never seen the world clearly. A few months later, I brought all the kids back so that my oldest and youngest sons could get their eyes checked. When we came out of the doctor's office, my youngest son said:

"Do I need glasses?"

I said, "No, your eyes are 20/20."

He said, "What does that mean?"

I said, "It means your eyes are just the way God intended them to be."

To which my quirky second son replied, "So are mine, Mom. Just because I need glasses doesn't mean my eyes aren't the way God intended them to be. I'm exactly how He wants me to be."

He was FOUR.

I'm pretty sure my quirky guy saw (and still sees) the world much more clearly than the rest of us.

My point?

Whatever your strengths and weakness, whatever your dreams and aspirations, they are uniquely yours. God-given, they are the foundation of who you are, where you'll go, and what you will become. The Bible says we are knit together in our mother's wombs. In my mind, I see the Master creator, crafting the very fiber of who we are. Not by accident, not without reason, but because He wants us uniquely suited for His purpose.

As a quirky day dreamer who has become a teacher and author, I can honestly say that the things that set me apart from others are the things that make me able to do what I do. Determination, stubbornness, an unfortunate laid-back attitude toward housework, a huge imagination, the ability to create stories in my head and then transfer those images and thoughts into words, those are what help me walk the tightrope that is my life. Balanced precariously between my role as wife and mother and my role as author, I use the unique qualities God gave me to live the life He always intended I would have.

Don't be afraid to be uniquely you. Whatever your strengths and weakness, they are exactly what God intended!

1 comment:

Sabrina L. Fox said...

Great post. :) I can't tell you how many times my son has asked me "Mom, am I different?" And I always say, "You're just how God intended you to be." I've also told him "You're special and unique and to me that makes you so cool!"

I never want him to feel like he's "weird" just because he's different than about 90% of the rest of his schoolmates.

I admit it is hard to parent kids that are different. My friends and family sometimes think I'm thinking things through too much when it comes to certain situations, but they don't know how things stress my son out. Just like that post you saw on my blog. That basketball game about made my son quit and give up the game that he loves. He seriously couldn't stand the situation. Other parents just couldn't see why it was a big deal to Tanner. But it was and that made it important to me.

As parents it's our job to know when to push them out of their comfort zone and when to let them stay there.