My daughter is thirteen. She’s is tall, blonde, and beautiful. More importantly, she is very intelligent, hilarious, kind, thoughtful, and so much fun to be around. She has made the transition to teenager pretty smoothly. She struggles, however, as most of us do with self-confidence. Yesterday at church, an older lady told me how gorgeous my daughter was. I went home and shared that with Sydney and her immediate response was, “Does she need glasses?” While I am proud that my daughter is modest and humble, I also want her to be strong and confident. My husband and I are the ones chiefly responsible for speaking life into her heart and truth into her mind. I want her to hear our voices when those seeds of doubt try to invade.
When I was an elementary teacher I often tried to speak into the lives of my students. I was fortunate to have my students all day long. It gave me ample time to learn about them and their home lives. Many of them didn’t have enough caring adults encouraging them each day. It was my job to discover the great things about them and to sing their praises to them and to others within their earshot.
As someone who now “teaches adults” through providing professional development, I find myself doing the same thing with them. I often hear, “I’m bad at technology,” or “I’m the slow learner in the group,” or “I’m not as good at this as they are.” When I hear these self-deprecating statements, I immediately go to cheerleader mode. I find a strength and convey it back to the learner. Everyone has strengths to build on. And everyone needs to hear them from someone else at times.