Thursday, July 20, 2006

Maturity

Never say never is all I can say. Jason Wuertley has decided to contribute to a family blog. He felt our family needed a more traditional blog that posted pictures and talked about our experiences, and since my posts tend to not focus on these types of things, he has taken the matter into his own hands. You can check out our site at www.thewuertleys.blogspot.com. His most recent post shows pictures of our camping trip to Holiday World.

I've been thinking more today about my post yesterday, and I have a few more thoughts that I would like to share. I was thinking about my comments regarding Elizabeth and Anna, and how Jason and I have this tremendous responsibility of shaping their lives. We could get into a nature vs. nurture argument - I know that each of them were born with specific personality traits that would play out in any environment that they were raised in, but I also know that it is up to us to teach and guide them in the right direction. There are times when they make a wrong choice, but their choice is not a result of disobedience. It is a matter of maturity; of figuring out what's right and wrong and appropriate and inappropriate - this includes social graces, interactions with family and friends, how to act in public, their walk with Christ, etc. Anna is a typical three year old who knows what she wants and gets quite upset if she doesn't get it in a timely manner. In time she should learn patience, sharing, diplomacy, and compromise. Elizabeth will learn when to lead and when to let others make decisions and how to be tactful instead of speaking exactly what's on her mind. If you think about it, we are all on a continuum of "maturity" where we are growing and learning and tweaking ourselves.

I can think back to several people who were placed in my life, especially at pivotal points during age 13-21, who helped me as I matured. I think junior high is a tough time for most kids, and I had two "best friends" at school who helped me through these years. The three of us were in most classes together, we ate lunch together, we hung out at the mall on Friday night together (we even snuck into Spencers Gifts once, sorry Mom if you are reading, I felt guilty the whole time.) Both girls came from homes where Christianity was practiced, and we rarely if ever had to worry about peer pressure, because we didn't care if we hung out with the "cool" crowd. In 8th grade we switched churches, and by my freshman year, I was pretty involved in the youth group at College Church. As stated in a previous post, my brother was a senior, and he drug me along to all the Bodyshop activities - visitation on Tuesday nights, prayer in the morning before school, Thursday night youth group. My 9th and 10th grade year were heavily influenced by the relationships I made through Bodyshop. I have to admit that grades 11-12 weren't so heavily influenced by youth group relationships. But God did place a very good friend in my life (named Anna, ironically) who was a friend at high school with whom I shared my every thought, and she was also raised with Christian principles. I regret letting a "boy" ruin this friendship (she liked him and I ended up dating him,) because we had a great relationship. The transition from high school to college was also a little bumpy, but again there were people there to help me along the way. I had great roommates, teammates (I would say coaches but my dad was the coach in both sports, and I'm not counting family in this post - they have obviously been instrumental, also, in who I am today) who were encouraging and uplifting and just plain fun. And during this entire time period up until even today, I've had one friend that even though I rarely see her now, we spent hours during these years contemplating God, life, friends, and all those kinds of deep thoughts. Sometimes it was just comforting to know that there was someone else out there that felt the same way I did.

When I was thinking about this topic, I knew that in a box in the closet I had a folder with a lot of memorabilia from the past - letters, cards, notes. I spent some time reading them and had a good laugh. There were catty high school notes written by Anna. Encouraging notes from youth leaders and friends from Bodyshop. Lots of writings from my friend mentioned above. It's hard to remember the person I was back then - in reading the notes and remembering the "issues" that all teenagers deal with, I think about how differently I would handle situations now that I'm 31. Sure I have some regrets. But God has been faithful; he placed the right people in my life to bring me to where I am today. I wonder 30 years from now if I will look back at who I was in my 30's and chuckle. And I pray that God will place people in my kids' lives (friends, teachers, youth leaders) who will reinforce what Jason and I have tried to teach and encourage them along the way.

TRIATHLON TRAINING UPDATE - Blogging until 12:30 a.m. does not make for a pleasant awakening at 5:30. We met up at the IWU pool for a 20 minute swim followed by a 25 minute run. I was actually encouraged after the workout - I'm pretty sure we all swam at least 500 yards, if not more, and I felt much better during the run today than two days ago. We may have a new member to the triathlon club...stay tuned.

1 Comments:

Blogger Jim and Jaena said...

OK, I just read the triathalon paper you gave me and am having a panic attack (just kidding, but I do have a post for my blog tonight).

July 20, 2006 11:55 PM  

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