Everybody tells a story with their life. What’s yours?

Your story started before you were born when God as Creator chose to uniquely and perfectly design you in His image. He continues to write the stories we are each privileged to act out.

If you look back on your life, can you see times in your younger years that are very relevant to the plot God currently has you acting out? I sure can.

So let me ask you again. What is your story? And if you’re parenting children, what story do you see them acting out and what future subplots do you hope God allows them to star in?

2-3-16 LittleMenCoverWhen I was a child I won several library summer reading awards. I still own Little Men, my prize for having read more books than others in my age division one summer.

I remember taking honors English in high school and enjoying the advanced literature and challenging writing assignments. Of course, I never dreamt I would be an author one day. I sure am glad I paid attention! I know that not every one of my peers enjoyed what we were doing. I look back on that experience and recognize that God gave more than my ability. He also equipped me with interest and joy.

My parents played a big part of that as they had high expectations and asked wise questions after school and helped both my brother and me prepare for assignments and tests. They didn’t just ask us how we did on completed assignments and tests. They helped us prepare and study for them. I will be forever grateful.

So let me ask again. What plot do you hope your children get to act out? Are you doing what you can as instruments of God’s grace to prepare them for what you believe He may have for them in their future?

I also see the relevance of children’s theater that I participated in as a child. If you’ve heard my story, you know I joke that my parents sent me there so I would talk somewhere else. There’s some truth to that. I was a Chatty Kathy and they wanted to give me a positive outlet so that I wouldn’t become someone who used my words in negative and hurtful ways.

Children’s theater is also where I learned to project and enunciate clearly. I learned that emphasizing one word in a sentence and a sentence in a paragraph influences the meaning and increased people’s attention. I look back on that subplot of my life and see it is very relevant to my career as a public speaker.

My drama coach and my English teachers taught me the power of words. So did my grandfather. He was mayor of my city when I was young. I observed him give speeches. I read newspaper articles about him and the decisions he made. He modeled for me that words should be used for good and not evil, to help and not hurt. Another important subplot.

Who do you see your children becoming? What are their sources of joy? What experiences do they enthusiastically talk with you about? When they lose total track of time, what were they doing? What are their strengths?

What school topics and courses interest them the most? For what do they need very little external motivation? What problems in the world concern them? What people groups are they burdened for?

What experiences can you provide for them? What expectations should you set? Who can you introduce them to so they’re further inspired? What conversations can you have?

This is how God designed your children. Pay attention. WE have significant power as we yield to God’s direction to parent and teach children to live out the story He has written for them. It is not about us! It’s about our children and God’s design and God’s glory.

My parents were very intentional. You can be, too.

[callout]Are you familiar with the eight great smarts I often blog about and speak about? If you are, can you go back and read this and put the smarts in where you see them? If you’re not, come back on Monday and I’ll show you what I mean and why this additional understanding is so impactful.[/callout]