Friday, October 12, 2012

Embracing The University of Life

I remember attending a devotional my first year of college.  I don't remember who the Keynote speaker was, but I do remember that they invited his wife to speak right before him.
She was a tall, thin, very elegant, well-put-together lady.  As she spoke, she shared what she had studied in college, how they had met, that she had stayed home with their children, and then moved onto things she admired and appreciated in the man we were about to hear from.

One thing really impressed me . . . and stayed with me for years.  She said that she appreciated that "Bob" would come home at night and take the time to sit and visit with her about the news, what was happening in the world, what he had seen or learned that day, etc.  Because in her world, she had one channel and one language: Kid Speak.  She didn't have time to open the paper or turn on the news.  And she hated not being informed and having more intelligent thoughts and conversations each day that revolved around topics other than laundry, meals, daily arguments and disagreements, and whether or not her child would allow her to change his diaper.  I took a mental note that I would marry a man who would do the same for me. 

HOWEVER, I have since learned that it isn't enough for me to rely on what he brings home to me.  Our interests are so different that we both grow so much when we are both "bringing home" something interesting to talk about.  And no matter how hard he tries, I will never be interested in the intricacies of electronic warfare.  And no matter how hard I try, he will never embrace with childish delight any and all information on nutrition and health that I try to get him excited about.

But I also get that it isn't easy!  My life really does revolve in so many ways around "Kid Speak."  I served a mission in Chile. For years after I came home, I often spoke and interacted with Spanish-speakers and even taught in the Spanish language.  Then I had my twins.  And people with whom I had previously been able to converse with ease in the Spanish language started to tell me that I needed to keep up with it.  I needed to do this or say this or try to practice in this way.  And though I graciously thanked them, what I was really thinking inside was, "Friend - I appreciate the suggestion. But today I am feeling lucky to think and speak coherent thoughts in ENGLISH.  Keeping up my Spanish is the LEAST of my worries!"  And since I have an M.A. in English, that realization alone is also a punch in the stomach at times!  LOL!

Still, we HAVE to remember that our minds are incredible things!  But they are not stagnant things and can so easily turn to mush if we let them.  We CANNOT let them.

A great man once said that he would rather educate a daughter than a son.  Women, mothers, are the heart of the home, the Angels of the Hearth.  And what we have within us is what our children will glean from us.  We may get Kid Speak from them, but they are getting the words, the ideas, the attitudes, and the character BEHIND that Kid Speak from US!

My challenge to us all this week is to tap into that intelligence that is uniquely ours - to wake up our perhaps mushy brains and find something we are passionate about, something that puts the sparkle back in our eyes to talk about, and learn something about it that we didn't know before (or knew and have since forgotten).

In college, we were blessed to have a focused topic, degree, course of study, etc.  But this - THIS more important and much larger university we are studying in now - is the University of Life.  And it holds no bounds on us to restrict what we can learn, study, perfect, perform, and achieve!

So let's embrace and celebrate the revised school of learning ahead of us!  And lets make it a focused part of our lives TODAY!


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