Encouraging parents in their efforts to raise their children to be enthusiastic servants of the Lord.
Author: Thereasa Winnett
Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking. Their daughter Katrina, who has been an integral part of their service adventures, attends Pepperdine University.
Thomas Edison is probably the modern day king of perseverance. It is said he tried 3000 different prototypes for the light bulb before he was successful. He is known for his quotes like, “Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration” and “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time”. Would we have the light bulb today if Edison had given up before that 3000th try? Probably, but it may have taken someone else several more years to discover it and who knows what other discoveries would also have been delayed.
Successful inventors, artists, entrepreneurs and parents will tell you one of the secrets to their success is perseverance. In anything you do in life, there are moments where it just seems impossible to go on. The task is too difficult or the solution is too hard to find. The temptation is great to give up and move on to something else. Behind many people, there is a string of unfinished tasks, “quit” jobs and broken relationships, all because they gave up rather than persevere until they could successfully reach their goal.
Has your child ever gone through a stage where they were obsessed with something? I remember my brother loved toy cars. He must have had a bizillion of them and race tracks covered most of our living area. He was probably about three, but I still remember my dad trying to convince him it wasn’t necessary to sleep with all of his cars. My brother insisted though, and there were nights when there was barely room in the bed for him!
I am sure there were times when my parents probably wanted to toss the entire lot of those cars in the trash. My dad encouraged him, though. He would race cars with my brother, help him shop for new models, and even found some kits for my brother and him to make their own model cars.
As a former career woman, turned stay-at-home mom, I get upset when I hear mothers say staying home with their children is not fulfilling and doesn’t allow them to use their gifts. Women in management often mention the frustration of only being able to use their leadership skills at the local PTA. I am not going to debate the pros and cons of mothers working. I will say that whether you work outside the home or not, mothers are leading a project that requires the most creativity, business savvy and leadership skills possible. The critical leadership role God has given you is to lead your children to Him.
Mothers (and fathers) need to hone and develop their leadership skills, perhaps even more than the most famous CEO. Why? Because we are attempting to lead our children to follow God all the days of their lives. Whether or not we can successfully lead our children, may mean the difference not only in their lives but also in their eternities.
On the bucket list of most people who live in Atlanta is running the Peachtree Road Race. Winding through Buckhead and Midtown, the 10K race is the largest in the world. It really is an experience worth having. I decided to make my attempt the summer after I had walked the Breast Cancer 3-Day in the Fall. I rationalized I had already gotten myself in “awesome” shape, so how hard could 10K really be?
The problem is that I hate running. I mean loathe, despise and every other negative word you can think of to use! For some unknown reason, I can walk for days, but running (at a slower pace than I walk, I might add) exhausts me after a block. Okay, it’s mainly mental exhaustion, but still, I am done after a few blocks.
From the start, let me clarify that I am not an expert on special needs. I have had a few graduate level classes on teaching children with special needs though, and have done quite a bit of volunteer work over the years with children in a variety of settings.
I have had a heart for children with special needs ever since I was a child. One of the things about the Church that breaks my heart is most congregations not only have not done a great job at finding a place for people with special needs, they have done almost nothing to discover and use the gifts they have.