Thursday, July 22, 2004

O.k. so you're not in the mood for long posts....somehow I had a feeling that would be the case.

So here is a picture for your viewing pleasure....yeah sure :o)

Introducing, my littlest sister, Janet (frequent commentor and all around great gal)
I'm the one with the saggy-lid-hiding Walgreens glasses.

-Island Cafe in Minocqua

Encouraging post from the Well Trained Mind Board

Thanks to Janie for passing this along. The author is a Headmaster of a Christian school and this article comes from his school newsletter.

I have re-read it many times and it has given me much hope.

Head Lines
By Sam Cox

“Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him” (Psalm 103:13).

"Sometimes our children exasperate us, and for many the middle-school years are the most trying of all. The parents of an eighth-grade boy once received a progress report that I recently read. Please allow me to cite portions of it and see if you note any similarities with your child. The assistant headmaster wrote that this 13-year old young man was not “in any way willfully troublesome,” but “his forgetfulness, carelessness, unpunctuality, and irregularity in every way, have really been so serious, that I write to ask you, when he is at home to speak very gravely to him on the subject.” The administrator went on to write that the young man, “I am sorry to say, has, if anything got worse as the term passed. Constantly late for school, losing his books, and papers and various other things into which I need not enter,” and that “he is so regular in his irregularity that I really don’t know what to do; and sometimes I think he cannot help it.” The parents were warned that their middle-school son would likely be “unable to conquer this slovenliness,” and that “he will never make a success” in later school years. He acquired “such phenomenal slovenliness” that school officials were quite alarmed, and the young man had “such good abilities, but these are made useless by habitual negligence.”

As the young man was enrolled in a boarding school, his mother wrote her son a letter of admonishment following the note from the assistant headmaster. In her letter, she related to her son that “you make me very unhappy—I had built such hopes about you & felt so proud of you--& now all is gone.” She continued that, “My only consolation is that your conduct is good & that you are an affectionate son—but your work is an insult to your intelligence.” Furthermore, “if you would only trace out a plan of action for yourself & carry it out & be determined to do so—I am sure you could accomplish anything you wished.” There was more advice to come. “The next year or two,” she warned, “& the use you make of them will affect your whole life—stop and think it out for yourself & take a good pull before it is too late.” In a letter back to his mother, the young Winston Churchill admitted his laziness, yet his initial response was not to change his ways, but rather, he began to take up smoking and other “bad habits” (letters found in Martin Gilbert’s Winston Churchill). Ultimately, however, Winston Churchill did mature, becoming arguably the greatest statesman of the past century, a top-flight historian and journalist, and one of the most significant historical figures of western history.

So, do we throw in the towel when our children exasperate us? Understanding that there are various stages of development that all of us must go through, and even these stages come from God can be helpful. As a staff, we are committed to joining hands with you, the parents, in shepherding your children through the difficult school years. All of us need persistence in raising these fine young people that are your children, and we must continue to monitor behavior, academic performance, attitude, work ethic, spiritual growth and development, and share with one another what seems to work or not. Most important of all, we need to cover our parenting—and our teaching—with prayer. We need to remember the words of Winston Churchill’s assistant headmaster, along with recalling that C.S. Lewis was a confirmed atheist until age thirty-one, that Franklin Graham rebelled against Christ’s teachings until adulthood, that Albert Einstein was placed in a class for the mentally retarded when in grammar school, and that “this, too, shall pass.” Our jobs as parents and as teachers are not easy ones, and our children are not perfect. And yet God has purposefully chosen each one of us for the task, and I thank Him daily that He has. And, regardless of how our children ultimately succeed or fail academically or professionally, let us recognize God’s unique plan for their lives, and that His ways are perfect."

I know this is very long...but it is worth copying and printing and reading!

Encourage one another,

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