Sunday, February 12, 2012

Developing Our Children's Future Careers

 Proverbs 22:6
"Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it."

As parents. how do we develop our children’s future careers?  I listened to a man share his story on the career choice he currently works in.  His interest, designing shoes. His story starting as a young boy.  Our pastor is teaching a series on partnering with God, as we work in the jobs he gives us.  He brought up five people in various careers to share how God is using them, in their individual and very different job. The shoe guy struck a cord with me.  He said that a 5th grade report card said something like, “grades might improve with less shoe drawings.”  I chuckled and could relate, and then asked myself.  How am I encouraging my young boys in the God given gifts they have?
Emerson Loves to Play Math

Do we see as parents, the very gifts that God designed in our children?  Are we aware of them? Do we then  build opportunities around our children to grow in those passions.   I am going to use Ethan as an example.  He is OBSESSED with airplanes.  He was never a crayon or marker kid. He wanted a fine point to design and draw airplanes.   I use to sit for hours and read “fact” book on airplanes. It made no sense to me, but that was his reading choice. Now that he is a strong reader he has taking this plane thing and gives new meaning to his passions with long studies of World Wars and how planes were used.  What am I doing to continue to grow this passion in Ethan?  Being deaf, some say that he may never fly a plane. I am not going to be the one to crush that dream.  He is going to pursue his dreams and as parents we do all we can to bring more of his passions to him.  Our last visit to the Air Museum in McMinnville turned into a private tutor and showing for Ethan.  An old pilot with a young boy asking questions.  Taking Ethan from one plane to the next.  Asking me how on earth this little boy knows so much.  (Good Will has tons of books to collect on planes.)  All of Ethan’s school papers come home with airplanes doodled all over.  Drawings with battles going on.  Airplanes on the cover of his biweekly report, to the point that his teacher, bless her heart, allows him to make that cover page of planes.
Ethan Enjoys His Time With an Older Pilot

I think about Emily and her music love. Asking me when she was 12 years old if she could have a mandolin.
Self-taught, music playing, song writing, girl.
Elliot picking up a guitar.  He was the walking guitar player all through junior high and high school.  Those early years of listening to him teach himself, and those painful cords being play over and over. Now worship pastor at a church.
Elliot leading worship at a Young Life camp in Oregon

As parents, speaking of the wonders of how God gives us our desires and passions.  It may not make sense to me, but it does make sense to a child who had not had the limitations of an authority in their life who shuts those interests and passions down.   Sometimes our own fears are what keep our children from climbing higher and higher.
Ethan climbs higher. Yikes!

That man at church reflecting back to his childhood of taking a pencil to paper to design athletic shoes.  Would he being doing this, if he was shut down and redirected to something else? As parents do we provide the opportunities to build interest and growth for our children.
Building Blocks or Legos for Encouraging a Future

I have asked God over and over why He gives me so many blessings in the same career that has followed me for the past 22 years.  I love it. I enjoy what I do.  The blessing of working for myself, which allowed me to also be a full time stay home mom. Double blessings. Not working now for almost five years, and the minute all the kids are in school the doors open up to go right back to what I was doing.  Why God?  Why do you keep dropping me back into this?

I was the girl who always had people encouraging me. I was the girl who always helped their friend’s change their rooms around. My parents let me decorate my bedroom exactly how I wanted it.  While my friends were looking at teen magazine I was pouring over Architectual Digest on our coffee table.  I was the girl who sewed all the matching bedding, curtains, place-mats and napkins for my college dorm room.  I have never been board in all these years.  I have grumbled at times when sitting over a sewing machine, but I thank God that he has given me a gift that I can use. More importantly I get to be in this world, rubbing elbows with people who do not know Christ. Who ask me questions about my life and I get to give God credit for the blessings in my life.  My parents did encourage the designer in me. I have to admit I rebelled the idea of this for a short while.  But they provided the resources for me to use the depth of my passions that God designed in me.
Looking to my children and those little minds being developed.
Walking Boldly Into The Plans God Designed

Am I developing the passions in my boys and one girl?  Is there really something about the 7 year old who can play with a calculator for two hours and is a total geek with numbers, facts, math. I really wanted to ask Eric if he wanted the pencil pack to go with it. A dollar investment in a calculator.  Feeding his God given passions.  I don’t get it.  A calculator, really. He comes from a long history of engineers and rumor has it his Pop-Pop, Uncle, and cousin, all engineers and they too found joy in this kind of  young play.
Praying that my children will grow in their passions, understand how God has designed them.  Also praying that David and I will continue to encourage them in developing their future careers.
How are you Developing Our Kid’s Future Careers?


  1. This makes my heart smile. It's the approach I hope to take with my "one-day children".

    My parents definitely encouraged me in some areas and discouraged me in others. I was encouraged to write. My dad drilled me with grammar rules over many tear-filled homework sessions. But it has made me the grammar nazi I am today who could easily enjoy a career in copy-editing.

    However when I discovered a love for photography and developed a natural "eye" to patiently wait for the perfect photo.. I was told that they wouldn't encourage a "starving artist" career and that dream was delegated to a hobby. It wasn't until I moved out of my parents home that I began using a camera to bring in extra income for myself. I hope to further those ambitions in marriage one day, where my dreams will be allowed to flourish.

    I so appreciate your "Mama's heart". I've said it before, but will say it again that I hope to one day be a mother such as you. :) One whose children will rise and call her blessed...

    1. Rebekah, you have blessed my heart. Truly. I have a starving artist living at home. A musician that I did not want to starve which is why she is at home. Keep pursuing the desires that God designed in you. Keep in mind we are never called to into financial irresponsibility when we are using those gifts. I think us parents try to instill that into our kids. Blessings, Elizabeth

  2. Amelia wants guitar lessons; Jadon has a penchant for collecting things (focus changes monthly). Both of them are also interested in getting fishing poles (really God?). I'm easily exhausted these days, especially as it pertains to going the extra mile so that my kids have opportunities to explore their passions. Just tonight, Amelia was giving me her "audition" for American Idol. She really put her heart into it, but I didn't have the heart to tell her the melody was way off:)! She also likes to draw and does a really good job with it.

    So much yet to grow in them. Praying God gives me sustained strength and length of years for the task.


    1. Elaine,It is not easy to keep up with them, and I can't tell you how many times my mind is somewhere else and I just nod and smile. I don't think we need to tell them the melody is off, they just want us to know we are listening. Looks like you might have to be busting out.."you get a line and I'll get a pole honey.." None of my kids have had lessons on the stringed instruments. I just provided the instruments, books and they either took it to the next level or did take it to the next level. Take one day at time. Love, Elizabeth


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