I rearranged our guest bedroom yesterday to make room for my new desk. We're turning that space into an office for me. With a child at home all day, I no longer have a big, quiet house in which to work, so my husband suggested I make our guest bedroom a bedroom/office.
I spent half the day last Saturday looking for the perfect desk. I love old things, and I really wanted an old writing desk or library table for my desk. My mom and I shopped antique stores for hours on Saturday. The last place we went to had an old library table. It has some wear (it is, after all, an antique), but I fell in love immediately. My mom thought I was crazy that I didn't even want to look at what else was in the store, but I knew it was mine as soon as I saw it.
I spent yesterday arranging things in my office so they suit me. The walls now have an eclectic mix of pictures -- from line drawings of Fenway Park to artwork my girls made. My desk holds some of my favorite books. And my favorite part is that my grandfather's old linotype setting tools will grace the shelf my husband is going to hang for me this weekend. It's my spot, and I love it.
As I was putting together my office, I was reminded of how tough it can be for our kids to find their spot in life. We've lived in this house for eight years, and I've never had my own space. Everyone else has a space to call their own, but I have always had to carve out a corner or use a shared space. I've tried several different times to create a space of my own, but nothing has ever worked. This space, though, is designated for me unless we have company.
It's often the same way with our kids. They don't always find their "spot" the first time they try. Knowing where you fit, knowing what your talents are, knowing how to make use of those talents in the best way is a process of trial and error. Sometimes our kids will try things that we think are going to be a perfect fit, and they turn out to not be. And that's OK. God uses each one of those experiences to help our kids grow into the person He wants them to be.
This growing up thing isn't easy. It's a process -- sometimes a painful one. Sometimes our kids have to struggle through a tough season before they find the place where they belong. Some kids know almost from the womb what their purpose in life is, but it takes other kids until they are adults to find their true calling in life. What matters is that our kids do find their spot, the place where they fit.
We can help our kids find their place, their purpose, by giving them the freedom to explore. Sometimes, as parents, we get an idea in our heads that our kids have to play a certain sport, take a certain class or go to a certain school. When we do that, we're deciding where our kids fit instead of letting them discover it for themselves. If your child never plays an instrument or takes an art class, you may never find out that they have some amazing talent for those things. If you insist that your child play soccer when what they really love is gymnastics, you're stifling a passion that your child has.
We want to help our kids find the place God has for them -- not try to force them into the place we want them to go. We want to give them the opportunity to try different things, even unusual ones, in an effort to help them find what clicks. And that place where they click will almost certainly be a different place than the one we may have envisioned.
God didn't make our kids to be carbon copies of us. He didn't make them so they could become who we want them to be. He made them to fill a specific spot in His plans. He made them with talents and passions that they can use for Him. It's our job to help our kids find their spot in life -- that place where they know they fit, that place that is just for them. Because when they find that place, they can become tools that God can use.