Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Two Sides to a Coin

I have four very different children. Each child comes with a set of strengths and weaknesses, and I've found that those things can be one in the same.

My oldest is very creative and intelligent, but those gifts tend to make her self focused and a bit proud.

My second child is very caring and thoughtful, but her servant's heart leads her to being a martyr and she often feels sorry for herself.

My oldest twin is very gentle and kind, but he gets walked all over by his siblings.

My youngest is very independent and focused, but that gets him into trouble - a lot - and usually makes more work for me.

As parents, my husband and I face a challenge. We must discover the gifts in our children and then show them how to use their gifts to help them and not hurt them.

For me, I have a great imagination and sometimes it can get me into trouble. I tend to worry about all the "what-ifs" in life. I've always loved telling a good story and as a young woman I worked at a historic site where I told stories all day long and I loved it. Then, I began to stay home full time with my children, and without a creative outlet for my imagination, it went wild with all the "what-ifs" of parenting. I knew I needed to figure out how to use my gift to benefit myself, and those around me, because if I didn't, it would work against me.

That's when I decided to get busy with my writing. Instead of sitting around and letting all the "what-ifs" get me down, I switch those thoughts toward crafting my stories. It's been a breath of fresh air into my life.

As my husband and I parent our children, we've decided to become very purposeful about identifying their gifts and then guiding them down a road to using them. Of course, as they grow, we'll watch to see their interests and desires, but, for now, it's fun to imagine what they could do with their gifts.

For our oldest, I could easily see her writing, or event planning, or even teaching - but we have to constantly remind her that her intelligence comes from God and He deserves the glory and honor for it. My second child could be a nurse, or a day care provider, or a mother of MANY children. :) But we have to remind her that God asks her to give without receiving and to thank Him for her servant's heart. It's a little too soon for us to see what the boys could do, but, for now, we're showing our oldest twin how to stand up for himself and we're diligently teaching our younger twin how to listen and obey - for his safety and others.

Each coin has two sides and so does each gift. Have you discovered some of your gifts and the strengths and weaknesses they entail?
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* * * * Today I'm a guest on Lindsay Harrel's Blog! I'd love if you stopped by to say hello! * * * *


  1. I can relate. My son and daughter are night and day. My daughter is fairly serious, studious, and independent. My son never takes anything seriously, he's responsible as far as homework but I wouldn't call him studious and he's not independent at all--which is a nice way of saying he's lazy as mud. hahaha.

  2. Love this, Gabe! Seriously. I love the serious and thoughtful approach you take the parenting. As for me, I'm very organized and can get a lot done because of it...but it leads me to like control. When something is out of my control, I tend toward worrying and stress. (I know we've talked about this...trying to choose God's way for me!)

    So happy to have you as a guest today!!

  3. YES. So right. With every gift, there's a way you can abuse it. Especially spiritual gifts! I've found this out so many times. Prayer is the only way to use spiritual gifts, not just willy-nilly doing your own thing. Everything has to be done out of LOVE, from service, to discernment, to teaching.

    Great observation on your caring/thoughtful one occasionally being a martyr. I didn't think of it this way, but I definitely have a kiddo who's similar!

  4. Jessica - aren't children funny little creatures? My girls are like night and day from one another and my twin boys are like night and day, but I find that one of my youngest twin and oldest daughter have similarities and my younger daughter and oldest twin are much alike! It's a challenge to raise them all the same, but different - you know? Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Lindsay - thank you. I try to be thoughtful. I learned a long time ago that the best way to parent is to be proactive - because there are many times they throw you for a loop and all you can do is react - it's good to know where you're heading and to have a plan, so even when they throw you for that loop, at least you know what you'd like the end result to be. I'm having fun at your blog today!! Thanks for having me. :)

  6. Heather, I totally agree! The spiritual gifts that God wants to use for his glory are often manipulated by the enemy to use against God - and us. That's why we're working so hard at teaching our children how to use those gifts in a positive way! Good luck with your caring/thoughtful child - mine can be the kindest, sweetest person on the planet, but when she feels she's been neglected or overlooked she turns into a slushly puddle of tears. :( Thanks for stopping by today!

  7. My father-in-law says the only thing his three children have in common is their parents! Sounds like you are doing an amazing job for each of your unique kids.

  8. Johanna, I like what your father-in-law says - it's so true! I think it's funny when people expect their children to all be the same. Each is a unique creation, never to be repeated. :)


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