Friday, June 22, 2012

Swim Lessons

Romans 7:16
Isaiah 11:2
Deuteronomy 31:6-9

I'm so proud of my daughters for their courage this week. We put both of them into a preschool swim class held at an indoor pool in our city. Over the 8 lessons this week and next I expected them to learn some respect for water safety (not jump in heedlessly into the deep end), become more comfortable in a pool, put their faces in the water, jump in toward the teacher, and have their first real introduction to kicking and paddling their arms. The teacher expected them to do all of that in their first lesson, including lots of dunking their whole head beneath the water. At 3 and 5 yrs old.
My girls were terrified. But they did it anyway. They went back the next day and we started a pattern of rewarding each day they jumped into the pool for their courage in doing something they hated and were scared of doing. A frostie one day, a trip to the park another; I wanted to acknowledge that they were finding it difficult but were persevering anyway.
Human courage will help us to a certain extent when we're afraid but it is relying on the Holy Spirit for fortitude that I'm really trying to encourage in my children. I can't imagine how anyone can defend the Faith to the death without the help of the Holy Spirit. As a human reading God's Word I find myself in the position of wanting to live it out and not being able to at all by myself. I recognize how right it is and am somewhat frustrated by my weakness. I need the Holy Spirit: His fruits, His gifts, His help. I don't know what the future holds or whether I (or my daughters) will someday be called upon to use the courage given by the Holy Spirit in a life/death situation. I know that I need the Holy Spirit to live out God's will for me and I know that every time i ask His help, my ability to receive it increases. So as I encourage my daughters I try to emphasize that 1) they can ask God for help when they don't think they can do what is expected of them; 2) the Holy Spirit always provides what we need. [And 3) they are 100% safe; 4) I am very proud of them; 5) what's hard today will become easier with practice; 6) they really can do it-they are capable of more than they realize.]

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