"Just do your best, James."
"I am, Mom. Cursive is really hard." A sigh of frustration.
"I know, but you can do it. I know you can." I look at him over the list of spelling words.
"Mom, I try really hard and she says she still can't read it!" Absolute frustration.
"James, today ... don't worry about pleasing the teacher. Think about doing your best and making me and Daddy proud. We are always proud of you as long as you're doing your best." I rough his dark brown hair and we move on with the next word.
James leans over the half full piece of writing paper, eyes focused on each letter working together for the end result of ... Missouri - in cursive.
Today is a spelling test for James. Each week, every Wednesday ... spelling test. He's improved so much in the past month. We start on Monday ... first recognizing the words, next printing the words, then ... cursive. James puts effort into each word, each test. My husband and I put effort into working with James, helping him as much as we can ... and ... it's never quite good enough. Not for his teacher. No matter the improvement, there are always negative remarks on James papers. And, he gets discouraged.
I give him the next word - mislead ... and I think ... This year is a learning experience for James. More than just academics, James is learning ... he can't please everyone ... every teacher ... every classmate. As hard as it is to watch him hurt ... watch him frustrated ... I know God will use this time in his 8 year old life to teach him valuable lessons.
And, God is using this time in James life to teach me ... to remind me ...
I do this ... every day. I get so wrapped up in pleasing other people ... I forget ... I'm supposed to be pleasing God. If I try to please people ... I fail. I know FROM EXPERIENCE. Every day ... I try to please my supervisor, my co-workers ... everyone from close friends to mere acquaintances.
Today, I am reminded ... I serve God with my works. As long as I am abiding in His word, abiding in Him ... living out the word living in me ... He is pleased with my best.
And ... THAT is what matters most.
Who are you pleasing today? Are you discouraged?1st Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.