Monday, March 3, 2008

Quick Query #25: What Did Your Parents Do RIGHT?

As human beings, it's part of our nature (I think) to examine what our parents did & didn't do, and (because they, too, are human beings) come up with things that we didn't like so much about our upbringing. I'm sure we could each name something.

Today, though, I just wanted to share with you one thing that my parents did RIGHT, and invite you to do the same. I should say up front that my parents did lots of things well, the most important of which was introducing me to Jesus Christ and teaching me to love and serve Him.

But here's my answer that I was thinking about today (which is why I'm asking the question):

Growing up, my parents instilled in me a firm belief that I could do anything I wanted to if I worked hard enough and put my mind to it. This wasn't in a feminist, "you can be just like a man" sort of way-- but it applied to everything; I really believed that whether in school or with friends or athletics or life goals, if I wanted to accomplish something and worked hard, I could do it.

When I wanted to go to Russia when I was 13, they helped me raise money to go. When I wanted to play junior varsity tennis (despite not being a very athletic teen), they bought me a new racket (with purple strings) for Christmas and encouraged me, and I really enjoyed playing and did well at many tournaments for a year or two. When I switched college majors multiple times (from vocal performance to english to political science), I don't remember ever hearing a, "Give it a rest, Jessica". They cheered me on and let me try things, and (even if I didn't "win" or wasn't "#1") I never felt like I would fail if I gave something a good, honest try .

What this has meant in my life is that when I decided that I wanted to start learning how to be a better cook, my cooking skills rapidly increased. I had confidence that recipes and culinary experiments would turn out all right, and they did and generally do. When I wanted to learn more about crocheting so I could make more interesting projects, I bought a book and dove in-- and now each of my kids has a very unique blanket (I'll post pics of Silas' blanket once I finish!). When I want to learn about something, I know I can set my mind to it and get a good grasp on a subject within a reasonable amount of time. When I've had languages to learn because we've lived overseas, I've not hit a "I can't do this" wall. These are some of the practical, everyday ways that my parents' love and support has affected me. I'm so thankful that they "believed in me" and taught me to work hard to learn about the things that are important to me.

So, today's "quick query" is this:

What's something YOUR parents did right? And how does it affect you in your life today?

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