Many years ago, a friend told me a painful story about her father. She was a schoolteacher. After she finished her Master’s degree, she told her father about it. Instead of praising her for her accomplishment, he said, “Don’t go above your raisin’.”
She was heartbroken and I was heartbroken with her. Wow! A parent’s words have power. They can encourage and they can cause deep pain.
While I believe strongly in love and respect for our parents and ancestors, I also believe that every generation should reach higher and deeper. I hope our children and grandchildren will all rise far above their raisin’.
None of us understands fully the deep fears in the heart of another. I believe that many people are afraid to try new things. Many of their fears took root in their childhoods. I believe that some people’s fears come from feelings of being unworthy. They may think, “My family didn’t do that when I was growing up, so I can’t do it now,” without even realizing they think it. For some, their family background may make them afraid of appearing highfalutin or “too big for their britches.” That fear may actually keep them for enjoying something they and their children would enjoy very much.
Trying new things, going to new places, meeting new people can be intimidating. The first time Ray and I went to the Home School Legal Defense Association national leadership conference two years ago, I remember walking into the huge opening banquet, seeing the sea of round tables, and wondering where we should sit. Even though I am outgoing in many ways, I sometimes go to an event, such as a baby shower, and look around the room wondering where to land. That happened last Sunday.
For me, these occasions cause temporary feelings of being uncomfortable. They don’t keep me from walking into those rooms the next time. I don’t let them cause me to miss out on the next wonderful opportunity. However, for many people their uncomfortable feelings are so powerful that they simply stay at home or only venture out into a limited number of settings. Those feelings even keep many people from walking into a church building.
As homeschooling mamas, you have the opportunity to introduce your children to many experiences. I encourage you to do so. If your own raisin’ provided few experiences, branch out. Conquer your fears. Go higher and deeper. There is no place on earth where you are unworthy to go. There is no one you are unworthy to meet. You are God’s creation. He made you in His very own image. You are worth the death of His Son.
I encourage you to build your child’s sense of self-worth so that he has the confidence to go anywhere and do anything that honors God. Help her know that her strength and worth do not come from herself, but from the One who made and loves her. Prepare him well, so that he can “stand before kings.”
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.