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I read the following quote over at PreacherMike blog this morning, and just had to put a little twist on Garrison Keillor’s thoughts. See below…

From Garrison Keillor:
“I love reading Christmas newsletters in which the writer bursts the bonds of modesty and comes forth with one gilt-edged paragraph after another: ‘Tara was top scorer on the Lady Cougars soccer team and won the lead role in the college production of Antigone, which by the way they are performing in the original Greek. Her essay on chaos theory as an investment strategy will be in the next issue of Fortune magazine, the same week she’ll appear as a model in Vogue. How she does what she does and still makes Phi Beta Kappa is a wonderment to us all. And, yes, she is still volunteering at the homeless shelter.’ …

“This is rough on us whose children are not paragons. Most chlidren aren’t. A great many teenage children go through periods when they loathe you and go around slamming doors and playing pschotic music and saying things like ‘I wish I had never been born,’ which is a red-hot needle stuck under your fingernail. One must be very selective, writing about them for the annual newsletter: ‘Sean is becoming very much his own person and is unafraid to express himself. He is a lively presence in our family and his love of music is a thing to behold.’

“I come from Minnesota, where it’s considered shameful to be shameless, where modesty is always in fashion, where self-promotion is looked at askance. Give us a gold trophy and we will have it bronzed so you won’t think that we think we’re special. There are no Donald Trumps in Minnesota: We strangled them all in their cribs. A football player who likes to do his special dance after scoring a touchdown is something of a freak.”
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Some of my children had a very good year…some had an awful year. I love them all the same, but sometimes they can be so obstinate, strong willed, and full of pride.

Where I come from, it’s shameful to seek public approval for acts of love. But, kids will be kids and sometimes lessons are learned the hard way. They’ll take two steps forward, but somehow forget they needed help in learning how to make those steps. But, when they keep seeking, keep working, keep trying to do the right thing they grow and grow, not like weeds, but like strong, silent oaks that lift your soul when you sit beneath them on a spring day and just listen to the wind in the tall, rustling grasses.

My oldest son is a great example of what I’m trying to teach my children. He always did the right thing regardless of the consequences, and in the end he suffered for being who I made him to be. As he grew older, many people could he serve, and he did so using whatever method was necessary to help. Of course, this too got him in a lot of trouble with some people, but he kept his eye on the prize and helped people that nobody else was willing to get involved with like the homeless, the sick, drunks, prostitutes, and all sorts of people that get overlooked by most of my other children.

My children have a great example in my oldest and they are trying, at least many of them are trying. In the past year, they thought many beautiful thoughts and did many noble things to make me glad to call them mine. I rejoice that my name is uplifted because of them. I am glad to call them mine, even if they aren’t perfect.

—-I AM

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