I’ve had a few experiences lately where I’ve wondered how my daughters learned the things that they know and share because I believe it didn’t come from me (not speaking for their father). I am not a baker, quilter, fix-it person or all around problem solver. So when did my daughters become so great at it? Who gave them the empowerment to do things I would never tackle myself?
Case in point. When I was ready to leave my daughter’s home following a two week trip, the locks on my car would not work. Thinking the battery in the key fob was the culprit, I soon went into a thinking mode of how to remedy that. My daughter says “can you unlock it manually?” Well…sure…hadn’t thought of that! So I unlocked the car manually, put the key in the ignition and the car wouldn’t start. The battery was dead. As I’m ready to call the local service for a jump start, my daughter backed her car out of the garage to jump start my car. Who taught her how to do that? She reminded me all I had to do was read the manual. It worked, and I was soon on my way home.
My children always found their greatest asset lay in the tool kit we gave them. In their many moves they could take apart most things, wind up the cords, label the pieces and knew how to put it all back together again. I didn’t teach them that. I haven’t moved in 32 years.
I believe they learned survival lessons and great ones and if not from me then who? I would give their father the credit if I knew that to be true. I need to be a better encourager. I want to be the one that empowers, teaches and encourages my children and grandchildren to survive in this complex world knowing it takes more than a great pair of shoes to do that!
What is the example you set forth for your children and grandchildren about navigating this great community? Do future generations see you as an encourager? I’m still humbly learning how to empower and be encouraging!
Syd Brinkman, who served two terms on the churchwide executive board, lives in Allison, Iowa.
Photo by Charles Williams. Used with permission.