Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Permission Granted

 Train up a child in the 
way he should go;
and when he is old,
he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

This is one of those important verses one hears over and over again as a parent.  I always took it to mean training your children in the Scriptures (Ephesians 6:4), teaching them right from wrong, and most importantly encouraging them to trust in their Creator and walk with His Son.  And I think that is the most important meaning.

But one day, I saw it with a different emphasis...

Train up a child in the way HE should go. 

Not the way His dad or I, friend, or brother should go.

We have all been given such unique gifts and personalities to glorify the Lord with haven't we?  We are not meant to have the same life as those around us.  We don't all have the same mold.

My son Josh has a very unique mold.  He is thoughtful and sensitive.  Dogmatic and logical.  Creative and scientific.  All at once.

I was once talking to a treasured friend, and she was telling me how she sometimes felt like she was bragging when she told other people about her daughter's unique traits and abilities.  Her daughter was literally writing a period fantasy novel while she was still in grammar school.  Yes, it would be a bit difficult to humbly speak of her gifts without seeming boastful and inciting comparisons.  

But you know what I realized, she said.  My daughter has this brilliance and these giftings, and if I am trying to hide them, I am really putting a bushel over God's glory in her.  I want to celebrate how God has made her and rejoice in it without being arrogant.

That made so much sense!  Celebrating God's glory in other people, especially our children.  Permission granted.

So I wanted to take a moment to tell you more about Josh... not in a boastful way, but in awe of the person God has made him to be.  The way he is going as I train him up in the Lord.

Josh has an incredible mind for science, which can only come from the Lord, because it certainly doesn't come from his parents!  In the last couple of years, I have seen him grow in this capacity.  He internalizes scientific language and concepts with little effort, especially in the realm of physics, engineering, and technology. It almost seems as though he has photographic memory in this realm.

We are trying to keep up with him and give him the assistance he needs to grow in this area.  Practically, one of the things we did recently was to take an old entertainment armoire and transform it into a Lego creation station.  He has taken to using Legos to build simple machines, such as candy vending machines with levers, mechanisms, combinations, and keyed locks that actually work. He spends hours perfecting his machines and inventing more complex designs.

We also enrolled him in a Lego NXT Robotics class over the summer, and he learned how to build and program robots to complete tasks and compete in battles.  While it is hard for me to begin to comprehend what he is doing, his enthusiasm and understanding are boundless.  His eyes light up and I can almost see the wheels turning within his head.
I am beginning to see that we will need to provide him with the exposure and opportunities to grow in these and other scientifically related areas.  This is only the beginning.

So some questions for you, friends...

Do you have any ideas for me?  What programs should I look into for an engineering 11 year old with a highly scientific brain??

And what gifts do your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews have? 

How does God's glory shine in them?  

Permission granted to share freely!


Karen said...

Hi Linda,

I have a student who has similar interests, including the Lego Mindstorm progjects, etc. Lately, he has been really into www.roblox.com. He has learned physics, programming and scripting skills, etc. My boys also enjoy it, and the creativity seems limitless!

Jen said...

I'm with you on this one, anything science/technology related is way beyond my comprehension! Would he be interested in learning more by taking random things apart? You could garage sale a bunch of electronic items (alarm clocks, radios, etc) and let him have at it!

Amy said...

It is so wonderful that he has found his passion already! I don't have any advice on programs other than checking out your local science centers for possible programs. It sounds like whatever you are doing to encourage, it's working!

Janna said...

Glad your comment on my blog led me to you! I know what your friend means about feeling like they are bragging, but you're right - we should view it as allowing God's glory to shine. My son has a mind for science and math and is super inquisitive. I love that about him. And my daughter is HILARIOUS with her artistic abilities (her pictures make me smile with the imagination that goes into them) and the funny things she comes up with.

cate said...

Wow! That's quite amazing - all that he's already doing!!

My oldest daughter is really gifted as well. She began recognizing words around 18 months, and now at age 6 is reading books meant for middle schoolers. I'm praying that her gifts will be used for God's glory - that she'll answer the call He has for her life, and live her life to honor Him.

Can't wait to see what your son accomplishes!

Denise said...

first, i totally agree with your friend! delight in your children, out loud, and all. the. time. they need it, we need to do it, and others need to see us model delighting in the good gifts God has given us instead of harping on them!

noah is in a water lego robotics class (he did a lego robotics class prior to this one).
sounds like josh would REALLY enjoy something like that. i know they compete in the spring in monterey with other groups. look to see if there is something in your area.
if not your family will HAVE to move here so josh can be in the class. :-)

Susan said...

Linda, he sounds absolutely brilliant! And special.
Good for you for celebrating his uniqueness and fostering that ~ it took a while for me to see that in my own boy. Always "expecting" him to be like his dad...like me...when truly, he's his own (albeit sometimes difficult) person.
So glad I stopped by to read this post.

Sandy said...

Something I will always treasure about the long days of your illness is the time I was able to spend with your boys. They both amaze me, and I try not to brag...so this post makes me feel better. :o)

Recent mornings on the way to school Josh has told me about all his latest interests...how he really likes to watch documentaries and Youtubes about scientific subjects. He talked about Einstein's Theory of Relativity this morning and it makes my head spin.

Jason learned to read so well so fast last year that I began putting a different book in the car each day, gradually making them more and more advanced. If I forgot to put a new one there, he let me know about it!

I love how you and Patrick are guiding your boys in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. What a blessing! ♥

Charissa Steyn said...

beautiful thoughts here- even though we don't have kiddos yet- i want to celebrate other people's gift and talents!

Cami @ All Things Lovely said...

oh my goodness what an amazing boy! it's so amazing how each child is seriously born with their unique personalities and talents. I love the scripture you quoted at the top it's so true!
Your a great momma to be so encouraging of your little guy so his mind can truely flourish!


Flor said...

Oh Linda, you bring such a different perspective that I never thought of! "To train up a child in the way HE should go" - I think its wonderful. God has some big plans for your little son.. and I can't wait to see what He has in store for him!

Momma of The B.M.C. Report said...

What a great verse. It's one of my favorite. You are a great mom and I can't wait to how the Lord uses him and you in the future! xoxox

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