Monday, January 12, 2015

"Character Trumps Talent"

Yesterday at church the pastor gave one of those sermons that rang a little bell in my mommy heart. The pastor was talking about David, and the fact that he was chosen to be king, even though he wasn't the most talented. The pastor said a phrase that made my heart leap:

"In God's eyes, character always trumps talent."

This is something that we know, right? Growing up in church that's something that you kind of know. We all understand the value of good moral character. But people rarely phrase it in a way that is so obvious. That little catch phrase set off bells in my heart and mind. I am forever keeping my ears open for little phrases that are easy to plant in Mckenna's brain. For example, "God is always good," or "no matter what you do, I still love you" (from a book, it's a good one if you haven't read it). With the attention span of a gnat, she doesn't always have time to listen to me preach, but when she does, I like to leave her with a little nugget at the end that she can remember (in case she forgets all the rest...which I'm 99.99% sure she does). "Character trumps talent," is one I will hold onto and start pulling out to embed in her brain. Yes, I fully support brainwashing your kids!

It's easy as parents to emphasize doing a good job. From the time our kids are born we are encouraging them crawl quickly, start walking, speak well. And I don't care who you are, moms, we always feel a sense of pride when our kid tackles a skill, and even more thrilled if we know they did it the fastest or the best. Admit it's ok, no one is surprised! It's bad even when they're infants, but I found as soon as Mckenna entered preschool, I had to fight to urge to push her a bit to help her be good at all the skills they were working on in school. And not because I shouldn't help her with skills, that's what parents should do, but because I knew it wasn't coming from a place that was totally kosher. It was less about tackling it for HER sake, and more about tackling it so she wasn't "that kid" in class. Ha! Mckenna is a smart cookie, but I wouldn't say she's the "best" in her class at most things. Somewhere deep in my mommy heart I found having to fight the desire for her to be the best. The sermon was an incredible reminder of what matters. And I couldn't help but get a flash image in my brain of Mckenna's report cards. The feedback is always that she is pretty good when it comes to the skills, but great when it comes to helping others, manners, etc. The teacher has said she's always the first to thank parent helpers; she's known by most of the parents in the school because she approaches all of them to make conversation; and she's always eager to help peers.

When her little report cards came home, it always made my heart happy that she was loving and kind at school (She knows I ask her teach at the end of each day if she was a good listener, loving, kind and had a happy heart). But this sermon was a great reminder to always keep that in focus, and to actually verbalize that focus to her... and them let the skills fall where they may (to some extent, obviously you have to try your hardest and practice...but beyond that...ours hearts should be satisfied).

Anyways, there's really not a great point to the blog. No hard hitting final points. Just a little insight into my ever-evolving mommy brain and's a scary place in there sometimes ;-)