14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
When your heart is so troubled you can’t sleep, remember—
— He isn’t sleeping either.
What I don’t do well, I teach well.
What I do well, I don’t teach well.
All my kids know how to cook and cook well. In fact, I often have volunteers for meals and snacks. Not a lot of volunteers for the dishes, but a lot of volunteers for the cooking.
I don’t consider myself a good cook, nor do I consider myself someone who loves cooking. Ironically, I love inviting people over for dinner. Then, I get those panicked thoughts, “Oh, that’s right, they’re coming for dinner, I have to FEED them.” Until I can come up with something I can cook, I am a little frantic in my mind. I love setting the table and welcoming people into my home, I am just not that confident in preparing their food.
Why do my kids love to cook? I’m pretty sure it is because I adopted my Mom’s open kitchen policy. We were welcome to cook anything and use anything in her kitchen, we just had to clean up. She worked full time, so summers were filled with scouring the Betty Crocker cookbook for recipes we thought we could accomplish. When we craved candy, we learned to make hard candy by boiling sugar, water and Karo syrup, according to the recipe.
When we craved cake, we used the two-egg cake. We loved throwing in a package of Kool-aid for flavoring and color. I remember making a cake for my Mother’s Day that was so hideous, we had to fill the hole in the middle with marshmellows.
After teaching my kids basic kitchen skills like reading a recipe, properly measuring ingredients, using the oven and mixer, they were given open season on the kitchen. I have cleaned up batter from every wall, light fixture and ceiling, but they all can run the mixer. I have had enough potholders and dish towels start on fire that I am guaranteed to be getting them for the next ten Christmases, but they all can use the oven. I count on one hour of cleanup for every 15 minutes a kid is in the kitchen, and about one glass thing broken each week.
However, I’ve noticed that some of my friends who cook really well, have kids that don’t cook. Maybe because the moms love cooking and don’t want to share the kitchen. Maybe the moms don’t want to eat sub-par cooking. Maybe they just know they can do everything better and faster. Maybe their kids don’t want to try, knowing their accomplishments will never add up to their mom’s. They say skills skip a generation, but I am not sure I understand why.
I love to write and consider myself a writer. My high school job wasn’t working at a restaurant, like my kids my age, I was writing for the local newspaper. My senior year of high school, I was given my own newspaper column. It really wasn’t that big of a deal, it was for a weekly paper in the upper corner of North Dakota. I probably had only about 100 readers. But, this job created a passion for putting my thoughts into logical, printed sentences and I dream about the day when I am published again.
However, I have to be honest – I don’t teach writing well. I am too critical, too unrealistic about their accomplishments, too slow to compliment because I am too busy editing. I’ve purchased many writing curriculums, but haven’t found they work for me. It is hard to teach something that comes natural. I’m blessed, though, that all my kids seem to have a natural bend towards writing, but I am still working on improving my skills in teaching writing.
Anybody else find this true in their life – that it is hard to teach things they do well? I would love to hear your thoughts.
As we chatted and sewed and spent a nice morning together, Beka was so happy, and so was I. Once she came over for a hug and said, “We have SO much fun together, don’t we Mom?”
I couldn’t help but reflect on how much better teaching my sixth child to sew was going than teaching my first child. I taught Jana to sew and after the traditional doll blankets and pillows, we decided to sew a piece of clothing. I remember getting frustrated with her because she couldn’t grasp my instructions on things like the facing and setting in the sleeves.
As I vented this frustration to a dear friend, Roxy, who is the same age, but older in wisdom, our conversation changed my life.
Meekly, she reminded me that these were very hard tasks, especially for a 9 year old, and that something like a simple skirt would have been a better place to start, because they could master it easily, wear it, and have that satisfaction of finishing a project. It would also make them more eager to tackle another project.
She also gently encouraged me to not be such a perfectionist in judging Jana’s sewing. She pointed out that a seam had to really be off before it really affected the outcome of the garment. If a seam needed to be ripped out, she did it for her children, to lessen the frustration.
Her advice turned my Type A Sewing Instruction into more of the comfortable, fun, mother/daughter rite of passage it should be.
Using Roxy’s advice, I taught the rest of my kids to sew, even the boys. All our children are required to learn the basics and sew at least one item, just so they have that skill available for the rest of their lives.
My regret over my failed first lessons was appeased when Jana sewed adorable hot pink curtains with green polka-dotted trim for her daughter’s room in their first apartment.
Sure, I teach my children how to sew, but my dear friend Roxy taught me how to teach.
This fall, I was standing in the mirror, bemoaning the fact that the roll around my middle is now evident when I stand up, not just when I sit down. In two weeks this summer, I gained ten pounds, and it all decided to congregate just above the waistline.
Read here to find out all the other wonderful things my family has said about me.