Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. Albert Schweitzer

Meditation: Next year my daughters will attend High school. Many parents and children get very uptight and serious about this four year journey. Getting into certain classes and already taking college level classes can become an obsession. Being a teenager is hard. Getting the performance pressure on top of that (and often culturally presented “as if life itself depends on it”) can be emotionally and psychologically taxing and even damaging. But how do we as parents relax? How do we not fall into the cultural hype of positioning our children with everything they do for “success” as our culture defines it? Our relationship with God can be a helpful anchor. We allowed our daughter to drop the social studies elective for 9th grade and instead choose a class in acting. We as parents trust that if she finds one area she is excited about every day, all the other studying she has to do will be easier. We learned about her that if she is able to make friends by being part of a group and by creating things together, she will be happy. And we trust that this happiness will radiate in all areas of her life and that her studying and her grades will fall in place. We trust that our daughters will be successful as they find their internal positive motivation and learning becomes part of their way of being in the world rather than only an external pressure to perform.

Prayer: God of creativity, your Spirit wants to lead our daughters to know and trust themselves and even come to delight in themselves. Help them discover the particular gifts you gave them. Let them enjoy their passions and strengths. I know you delight in them as they blossom to become who you meant for them to be. Help us parents to not get in the way with our anxiety. Help us trust that if our teenagers find community and engage in things they love, they will find the motivation to excel in all areas of their life. And we are grateful. Amen

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

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