Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Remember Who's You Are

Mike went to seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.  His third year of seminary was his internship year.  After a lot of years of schooling it was exciting to think of where we'd be sent for internship year.  We knew we'd be back at seminary for another year after internship but to experience a year in the real world, away from academia seemed like a big deal at the time.

I admit is was not convenient to uproot our little kids again for that year to move away.  Maria was just a first grader and Ben was only three years old, but things worked out well.   "Away" turned out to be to Wyoming, to the very town where my Mom and most of her side of the family lived.  My brother and his family were there as well as one of my sisters, my Grandma Rose and quite a few of my aunts, uncles and cousins.  I was thrilled!

The congregation to which Mike was assigned was vibrant, to say the least.  It was absolutely FULL of young families and soooo much fun for us.  Mike worked HARD, though.  He was paid very little and put in very, very long hours but the pastor who was his leader, Pastor Hillman, was a great teacher for him.    Our kids loved him.

Maria named him Pastor "He-Man"!

One of the things that Pastor Hillman taught us was actually a parenting phrase.  I remember he and his wife saying that when their teenagers would leave the house to go with friends, they'd say to them, "Remember WHO's you are!"  I loved that.  I remembered that!  Our kids were just little, in fact Sam wasn't even born yet, but I saved that little nugget and used it when they were older, so did Mike.

To me, it could be taken two ways.  It could be a simple reminder that they are part of our family.  They are loved by us and we wanted them to make good choices.  However, our kids knew that we meant more than that.  We wanted them to remember that they were Children of God.  As such, they were loved completely.  Of course, I wanted them to also remember what was expected of them as they made choices of how they wanted to lead their lives.

I don't know if we were just being manipulative parents or if we were on to something truly inspiring...or both.  When you are watching a piece of your heart walk out the front door, though, I think you will try whatever you can to cloak them with your love.  Did our kids make teenage mistakes like everyone else's?  Well, they did make some mistakes and like all teens, they were a "work in progress", but all three developed character strong with integrity.

I still love those words.  I see now that they are words for all of us, not just teenagers.  Every day I know that I face times when my first instinct is to act regrettably.  Maybe I want to snap a snotty comment at the person or tell a less-than-flattering tale about a person so that I will look better by comparison.  I fight those types of urges daily.  I don't always win but I want to try harder to remember Who's I am.

Here's a current song that kind of touches on this subject.  I hope you like it.


Maria Rose said...

WE made mistakes as teenagers...? Just kidding. I distinctly remember you telling me this as I left the house.

Susan Struck said...

Yes, and I just looked back on the post I did when Sam graduated and I told him this again.

Petra said...

Yes, remind them who they are, whom they need the most, and whose they are; and remind them of the Gospel all in-between! :-)

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