A couple of months ago, I was watching the Oscars. It's the only awards show I watch. I don't really know why. I don't see that many movies, but I love to watch the Oscars. Maybe it's the glitz and the glamour of a world I'll never know. Maybe it's the fashion. But I think, most likely, it's that I enjoy listening to people who have achieved their dreams. I love to see the looks of joy on their faces and hear the names of the people they want to thank.
During this year's Oscar ceremony, Benj Pasek, a songwriter, won the Academy Award for best original song. During his speech he said these words: "This is dedicated to all the kids who sing in the rain, and all the moms who let them."
For two months, those words have rattled around in my brain. Because Benj Pasek had a mother who allowed him to follow his passions, he now has an Oscar to sit on his shelf. I want to be that kind of mom.
You see, God has blessed me with two fabulous daughters. And they each have special gifts and talents. It's my job to nurture those gifts and talents so God can use them in the future. Sometimes, though, that's hard. Their dreams and ideas don't always line up with what I would want.
My older daughter plays soccer, and she loves it. She wants to play in college and is working to make that dream a reality. I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I don't really like soccer. I think it's a boring game, and if I had my choice, I would never watch another soccer game. But my daughter loves it. She has a passion for it. It is her "sing in the rain" moment. So I have spent a good portion of my life as a mom sitting on the sidelines of a soccer field, cheering her on. I have learned the rules of the sport and can carry on a fairly intelligent conversation about soccer most days. It's not what I would have chosen, but it's clearly a God-given passion for her.
Letting our kids "sing in the rain" can be hard for other reasons, too. We all want our kids to be well-liked and to fit in with other kids. Sometimes our kids' interests and personalities just don't mesh with what the world wants them to be. That's when it's difficult as a parent to decide how much to encourage our kids to be different and how much to encourage them to fit in.
But, here's the thing. God created your children and mine to be unique. There should be no one else like them in this world. Every child should be allowed to "sing in the rain" even if it doesn't conform to what the rest of the world is doing.
Our calling as parents is not to raise children who fit in. It's not to raise children who are just like us. Our calling is to raise children who are seeking God and His plan for their lives. And His plan doesn't often require us to conform to what the world wants. It often requires us to stand out -- to be those people who "sing in the rain."
So, today, I want to encourage you to let your kids "sing in the rain." Let them be who God created them to be. Encourage their gifts and talents, even if they're not what you enjoy. Help them stand tall when no one else is standing with them. And love them for who they are.