Friday, September 18, 2015

fearfully and wonderfully made: a child's unique gifts

so this lady right here talks a lot on her blog about how each of her children is uniquely gifted. she does a lovely job of nurturing each child and what they delight in. i really dig it. she also uses washi tape a lot. and who doesn't love that? i mean, c'mon.

with four boys, i feel like there's not enough time for everything. with one boy i felt that way, though, so not much has changed, i guess. once upon a time, though, i read a book called "loving the little years" and in it, the author mentioned that her kids would kinda barge in to the kitchen to help cook. and she herself felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of "helpers" but the kids themselves, they are individuals...and they don't see themselves as a group. i thought this was such a simple idea but i needed the reminder. my kids are individuals. and while we do things as a group, each boy is different.

i was always a bit nervous to focus on the boys' strengths or interests too much because i didn't want to pigeon-hole them. "i'm the academic one." "i'm the athletic one." "i'm the artist."
my mom was the youngest of three girls and i heard her remark more than once that one sister was really good at one thing, another sister was really good at something else. so my mom chose something altogether different so she wouldn't be compared. as the youngest of three myself, i get that.
but everyone does have strengths and it's great to delve a little deeper into them. i tell the boys daily, "nobody is just one thing." we are all multi-faceted, ornately complicated people. (i don't say that last part. they would give me blank stares and say "whatever, mom" or something like that.)

as i was thinking more about this, a few things i've been reading lately have talked about how we are uniquely gifted, and when i reflect on how awesome my parents were (are) to really come alongside me in my various passions and encourage me in them, i thought i might need to be more intentional about my boys and their uniqueness.

gabe loves to build and invent. he loves to push himself physically. he's pretty hard core.
he tells stories that last awhile. he gets pretty excited about them.
he's also the most serious of the bunch. 
and he's probably the most like me. 
he is really social when he needs to be, but totally an introvert at heart.
and when we feel overwhelmed, we are pretty much mirror images of each other.

judah loves to create. and dance. 
he's straight up gangsta.
he recently created a hot rod out of a cardboard box, toilet paper rolls, and red tissue paper...just because.
 he's also super passionate. about anything.
and everything.
he wears his feelings WAY OUT HERE and you never have to question what he thinks about stuff.

elijah is a lover, not a fighter. but if you push him, he will eventually push back.
he loves to cook.
and write.
this evening he wrote a "constitution," which to him apparently means a list of our family's traits and hobbies. 
he voluntarily writes letters to family members and teachers to say nice things. 
he loves connecting with people and helping. 
and he LOVES babies. 

asher tends to be pretty silly.
and he loves to be out in nature. 
worms, horses, gardening.
he'll do it all.

at this point in time, he doesn't care a lick about school.
art or writing or reading or homework? 
not his thing.
but if you need anybody to spin on their belly like a top or touch a gross bug, 
he's your guy.

so i think i'm going to try to be more intentional about finding activities that give focus to each kid's talents and interests. 
nothing dramatic or expensive. 
we have been setting aside cardboard boxes for judah to build something fantastic with them.
i think i might get out some old pots and plant something with asher.
i've been trying to more actively listen to gabe when he tells stories.
tonight i baked cookies with elijah. partly because i wanted to encourage him and spend time with him, and partly because...i wanted cookies.

 we'll have fun diving into things that challenge them and grow them.
their passions and feelings about things might change, but a person is more than what they are good at or interested in.

what i'd like to instill in my children is that we are each uniquely gifted. 
we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.  

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