Thursday, November 13, 2008

Are you an Advocate?

On Tuesday, I went to my nine-year-old’s parent-teacher conference. He is in fourth grade and his teacher is a young woman – just adorable. I graced the classroom for nineteen years and I know that a conference is a time to encourage parents first and then hit them with the truth about their dear little ones.

So, she told me everything wonderful about Noah. And there’s a lot. Yes, I’m biased. And then she said, “But there is something I would like Noah to work on.”

Okay, I thought. Here it comes.

“First of all, I want you to know that I appreciate that Noah is an advocate for his education.”

What? When I was a teacher, we went to parent-teacher conferences armed with euphemisms to soften the blow of truth. For example, I would tell the parents that Johnny was very social. What I meant was Johnny won’t shut up in class. If I told the parents that Johnny uses creative problem solving techniques, I meant that he often punches or pushes when he disagreed with anyone.

But I had never heard “advocate for education.”

Then Miss Adorable explained to me that my dear son likes to ask questions. Many, many, many questions. I started giggling, knowing exactly what she meant. Yep, my boy is an advocate for his education all right. He hounds his teacher about details.

When I told John, we had a good laugh. We talked to Noah about it and he said he would work on it. I hope he knew we were serious, but I couldn’t help giggle as we talked.

The next day as I prayed for my little advocate, God brought something to my mind. About me. Am I an advocate for my education? Do I ask questions? When I pondered what this meant, it occurred to me that God was leading me to a time of self-examination. It totally disappoints. :0)

But how can I learn if not by asking the tough questions about myself? Complacency is death to growth. I want to become the woman I am meant to be. I want to get better. In order to do that, I can’t ignore the dusty corners of my heart full of bad habits and patterns of sin. So I must ask God to help me. He takes my hand over to the corners and we start the examination. Questions are asked. Hard answers are given.

It’s tough and painful and messy. But it is my next step in my dangerous and fulfilling journey with Jesus.

Psalm 139: 23-24 says
“Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about;
See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—
Then guide me on the road to eternal life.” (The Message)

Join me. Let’s be advocates for our growth.


dianne in colorado said...


First of all, I can just picture sweet little Noah raising his hand and asking a million questions. He is so precious.

Secondly, I love that you call his teacher Miss Adorable. It is perfect.

Thirdly, I am moved by the concept of asking God questions as a means of growth. I had not thought of it that way before, but you are absolutly right. I read an article this week that talked about not just praying what we want to pray, but asking God what He wants us to pray. Trying this has been an amazing, growing, experience for me.

Thanks for a wonderful, thought provoking post, Robbie. You bless me!

Jan Parrish said...

What a great post. I want to be an advocate too. In fact, I am writing an article about my spiritual therapy.

Kay Day said...

Great post, Mrs. Adorable!
I am an asker. I would have been Noah if I hadn't been so shy. I want to KNOW I tell you. Knowledge is power!
Knowledge is painful. The questions come easy, some of the answers don't. But it is rich and rejuvenating to ask and learn.

D. Gudger said...

Advocate for his education... never heard that before (I'm a former teacher too).

Imagine if a teacher said to some parent, "your child is pursuing the advancement of my expiration date?"

Danica/Dream said...

I can so picture Noah!!

And you're so right... as kids we ask all kinds of questions to learn. Why don't we do that with God?

Money Honey said...

Frankly, Sister, what's the point of growing older, gracefully or otherwise if we aren't getting better? And by "better" I mean striving to become the fabulous creation that God intended. I would like to point out that you are moving in that direction everyday. I see it, your other WFTJ friends and fans see it. Do you Sweetest?

Robin said...

Great post Robbie - love the combination of humor and spiritual insight - makes the learning not quite so painful - Thanks!