I think this is the perfect follow-up to the last piece on shame. I have friends I have not met and sometimes they are looking for a particular quote for their fans. Often times I have read just the right thing so I will do a blog piece on it for them. Today, I want to talk about extending grace to people in your life. This one is very difficult, but it should not be. I was raised to do my best. To give love without attaching strings. To try my hardest and if it was good enough, but earned me a “D” on a math test, well that was fine. I was never really good at math and I tried so hard, but no matter what I did, I couldn’t keep all those numbers in my head. They had a way of just not working out. But reading, oh reading. I could read for hours.
I was not made to feel guilt, or shame when I was clearly already upset enough over the grades. I don’t remember ever being chastised for not getting it. However, if I wasn’t listening, well that would have been another thing entirely. I did my work, as best I could, and finally, by the time I got to college, I got math. I know that seems a long time, but when I graduated from a 2 year college summa cum laude, my parents were thrilled. I then went on to my next college, and continued to make all A’s and B’s.
The thing is, if my parents hadn’t extended me some grace while growing up, maybe I would have given up. I struggled with that side of my brain because it wasn’t wired that way…even though I read well beyond my grade level my whole life. It was truly torture to sit down and do math homework. Unfortunately, my little one is the same way.
She has a bazillion and one things that are more interesting than any math problem. The only thing that is difficult about her situation is that her older sister just gets it. It clicks. And of course, all the teachers remember having her sister before her. However, one of her teachers was so honest about her personality and always took responsibility if my child did not get something. It was quite funny. She said things like “Maybe I didn’t set her up to do her best that day, I moved her near the window.” It was refreshing to see a teacher get her, and not compare her to her sister at all. So the next time you are dealing with your own child, or teaching one, think back on something that was hard for you to learn and remember to extend grace. Try a new approach to something difficult and see if that works.