Someone needs to set that Blue straight

When Abbie was little, I loved watching Blue’s Clues with her. All of the catchy songs that Steve sang, all of Blue’s cute little noises… loved it. But one thing always bothered me about it. There is a line in the closing song that says: “We can do anything… that we wanna do!”

They didn’t mean that in the way kids say “I can do whatever I want, ie: rob a store, sass at my mom, moon the postman…”

What they were meaning in this song is, since you are so very smart – the smartest of the smart, you think it, you can do it! You wanna be a brain surgeon – SURE, of course you can!! You wanna be a superstar – SURE, go become a diva!! Just believe and try hard and you can do it!

I’ve always been bothered by the notion of leading our children to believe that they can become whatever they want to become, because, frankly, I believe the Lord has an individual plan for each of us.

I’m not meaning to sound like a kill-joy, a douse of cold water on a dream… I encourage my children. I love seeing their talents blossom, their niches develop. I understand that the Lord has placed those individual markings on each of my children. They will not all have the same likes and dislikes. They will not have the same talents.

Like all moms, I believe that my children are smart and should try hard at whatever they do. But I also think it is unwise to send the message of Steve and Blue without teaching them to pray for the Lord’s guidance about it.

My daughter wants to be an artist when she grows up. She is already on her way. My oldest son wants to be Spider-man. Obviously, we have a problem there… But he will find his niche and his passion.

But if I look at my children and pray for guidance in leading them as they grow, I will come to understand that those desires are there for a reason and will one day blossom into the real calling the Lord has prepared for them.

Each season of American Idol opens with a showcase of people who were told they could be anything they wanted to be and they all wanted to be famous singers and celebrities. There are a lot that deserve to think that is possible. There are plenty of others who have been lied to and encouraged to follow a dream that in reality is a nightmare. They want the fame and their own glory. They aren’t looking to reflect the Lord’s glory. They are headed down the wrong path. When they are told the truth by Simon, they are shattered. They are angry. Many are flat-out defiant and still refuse to believe they are not cut out for it.

It is painful to watch. And I’ve made that same mistake too… just not on national tv and not aspiring to be a celebrity.

Along those same lines, sometimes we can discourage a child from what it is that the Lord DOES want them to do. We’ve all heard stories of parents trying to discourage a child from a career that seems risky, or unglamorous or beneath them.

But really, if it’s what the Lord calls them to do, won’t the Lord take care of them?

I want my children to grow up and be fulfilled. Knowing that they are chasing the dream the Lord, not the world, has given them. That is what will make me proud… not how much they make, or who they know or marry.

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Comments

  1. Lynnae (From Under the Clutter) says:

    Well said! I have struggled with this issue a lot. It’s difficult when the world tells your kids they can do anything, yet you’re trying to teach them to seek the Lord in all they do.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Beautifully said!

  3. Barbara H. says:

    I understand what you’re saying and I think you’re right on target. I think the “You can do anything” mentality sprang up with the self-esteem emphasis going around the last several years. It is very painful when someone finds out they truly can’t do anything and everything. But as Christians what we can’t do helps define what the Lord has for us as much as what we can.

  4. stephanie@{Olive Tree} says:

    Well said!

  5. This was very well said Karla.

  6. The Real Mother Hen says:

    You’re a good parent, very good. All wisdom of men is temporal and partial, except the Lord’s.

  7. Yes. Nice post. I’ve often wished I’d been guided with this viewpoint when I was anguishing about what to “be” or “do” with my life. Everyone wanted me to be successful or fulfilled in a worldly sense. I was driven by fear … would I get it right?? Any time a young person (teenager) asks me for advice now on what I think they should do with their life, I love to share with them that there’s only one place to get that answer (and peace) … and God is more than delighted to lead them step by step.

  8. Sarah's In the Midst of It says:

    Karla, you’ve said beautifully what I’ve been thinking lately! I heard recently that we should say instead that we can do anything God wants us to do–that sends an entirely different message!

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post!!

  9. Very smart post.
    I like to give my kids the idea that they DO have big potential and many options but at the same time make them understand that there are limits. It’s a fine line.

  10. I couldn’t have said it better.

  11. Stephanie says:

    Wow – Very good post.

  12. Someone wrote a book on this subject….wish I could recall where I heard him speak! He pointed out that a child might dream of being an astronaut, but it for sure isn’t going to happen if the child has less than perfect vision. etc., etc. Then he expanded on those thoughts and paralleled what you have written. Thank you for sharing your heart on this topic; with school about to start, we may need this reminder to readjust our words and perspectives.

  13. Bloggin' with a basket o' clothes at my side says:

    I love it! And I totally agree.

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