06 June 2011

Powerful Words...I'm Proud of You

Growing up, I can't ever remember hearing the words, "I'm proud of you." Try as I might to be a good student, excel at my studies, get perfect attendance, I was the chosen speaker at my 8th grade graduation among my peers, I had parts in plays all through Middle School and High School, I sang in choir at church, I mean I really tried to make my parents proud, but I don't remember ever hearing them say it.

Becoming a teacher and being a parent has helped me and shaped me to be very vocal with my words, and very encouraging to my students and to my children.  Praising children for a job well  done is not only important, but it is crucial to building their self esteem and self worth and help them to achieve even higher goals than they can imagine.

And although I didn't hear the words, "I'm proud of you." til my wedding day and when I graduated with my Masters Degree, I hear it constantly now.  My parents have become the most encouraging people and supporters of me and my children.  I don't know when the change happened or how it happened but part of it could be from my prayers for my family to grow closer and part of it could be I was finally able to tell them how much I needed to hear those words from them (it took me til I was 30 to tell them, but I've discovered it's never too late to work on your relationships with your family and to seek positive change).  After opening up to my parents as an adult about my feelings and needs and even past hurts, they couldn't have been more receptive.  And hearing them tell my Julia how proud they were of her at her gymnastics recital meant more to me than any other blessing they could have given me.  Even the fact that they came at 9 am to her recital on a Saturday morning when they could've slept in was a huge support and blessing.

On Saturday God taught me a valuable lesson.  He taught me that you should never give up on anyone.  People can always choose to change their behavior.  And grace should be extended in every situation because we all make mistakes, and being a parent is so hard.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the providing for our family and surviving catastrophes that we forget to revel in the quiet, simple moments of our children.

Seeing Julia get on the mat with the other children and showcase all the skills she's learned since October was just thrilling.  It was the most adorable thing I've ever seen.  At first when we arrived she was amazed at all the new people and the chairs near the mats, and the buzz of the excitement in the air.  She really didn't even want to warm up.  I could see that her mind was taking it all in.  I even got a few pictures of her waiting on the mat with her thumb in her mouth, which is one of her security/comfort methods.

But once she and her coach Michele started her floor routine (forward rolls, jumps, cartwheel, etc), beam routine, and her other routines, she quickly knew what was expected of her and followed directions. 

During her floor routine with her coach a different coach on the microphone shared answers to questions that they must've asked the kids for.  Julia was asked, What sport do you like to do in your spare time: Her answer: Karate (of course, that's what she does at home with daddy and on Mondays we go to a tyke program at my husband's taekwondo school) She was then asked, What do you want to be when you grow up: Her answer: A Mommy (and that's when I started crying) Her coach also said that Julia's enthusiasm is contagious!  Yes it is!  She is a jumping bean when she walks into gymnastics on Friday.  She can't wait to get on the mat and stretch and try each piece of equipment.

When Julia got her medal we took more pictures and then we were able to give hugs and kisses and shower her with praise.  She was so brave and so well behaved.  I was so proud of her!  And we all told her so.  Afterwards, my parents headed home and we headed to the mall to let the kids go on the carousel, play in the kiddie area and get scones at Starbucks.  It was a wonderful morning celebrating my Julia Star.

Julia you amaze us!  You are so brave and independent and so excited to learn and try new things!  You are our star.  We love, love, love you!  Keep shining!


  1. Beautiful post Kristi...left me in tears! xoxo C

  2. How wonderful! You're right, those words are so important. I love that you pointed out that it's important to keep working on relationships! I had to tell my parents some things too, and it's amazing to see how things have changed. And I don't hold things against them, after all, they homeschooled me and my 3 siblings all through High School! Talk about challenging. =)

  3. Thank you Christy!

    Mikalah--it's so hard to be brave enough to share your heart with your parents sometimes. We know they love us, but we all have faults, and sometimes if we want our relationships to grow we do need to open up and be completely honest. I'm so proud of you and that you were able to do so. God blessed your courage! And your parents sound wonderful. I'm like you, after we talked I was able to just move forward and not hold any grudges. So much healthier, right!?


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