I have a daughter who is an avid gamer, she even built her own computer for to satisfy her passion for it. Terrabite memory, high def screen, and lightening fast. It’s amazing that I understand this much, it’s something I’m soooo not into. I try, I really do, but I’m lost. If it isn’t Mah Jong, Yukon Solitaire, or Magic Puzzles you can count me out. For awhile I was an Angry Birds fanatic, but money is needed to keep winning and I’m cheap. I won’t pay money to play a computer game.
Carolyn loves fantasy. It began with the Redwall books, progressed to Harry Potter and eventually it blossomed into a passion for all things Lord of the Rings. She was too young to see the movies when they came out, but by the time they came to video she was hooked. She had/has a devoted fan friend and they wrote a snark version of the script. Her first foray into writing fan fiction. It kept them busy for at least a year. Prior to this, Carolyn wasn’t a speller. After this not only could she spell better, her grammar and typing skills were sharper. It was lofty composing for 12yr olds! I counted it as English and let her run with it. Elvish didn’t always translate with spellcheck but it only added to the snark and kept them going.
A passion for fantasy = Gamer
No military or racing games darken the hard drive of her custom built delivery vehicle. Dragons, knights, quests, maidens with weapons, magical lands, potions and plant medicinals grace her gaming world. She recently purchased a long awaited game. It required long download times, updating her graphic card, and various head pops out of her room to update us on the time left for upload completion. We had to reconfigure a few mobile devices in the house in order to speed up the process (again, note my grasp of this subject). For a couple of days we laughed, watching her go through all of this just to play a computer game. Battle noises drifted out of her room and the glow of her screen seeped through her closed door till 1 am.
It used to be 3am, but she ain’t 15 anymore
Writing and literature have dominated her tween, teen and college years. In college her professors encouraged her to explore writing. She began to coach other students, even being paid to do so. Her major evolved into English Literature, her senior thesis was based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland–the stepping stone for much of fantasy literature in the 20th century. I read it, it was fantastic. Her professor claimed it publishable, encouraging her to pursue additional credentials and a career in teaching writing/literature at any level.
My bragging rights abound
One of the running themes at homeschool conventions, was about discovering and teaching to your children’s gifts. In this context gifts were more what I consider talents, abilities and skills that our girls excelled in. In particular I remember one lecturer stating that “If your child is a terrible speller they probably aren’t going to grow up to be a book editor”.
I got up and walked out
Right then I knew that our path in homeschooling was going to digress even further from the norm. I believed, and still do, that “All things are possible” and I couldn’t limit what my children were capable of based on their natural talents and abilities. What if God called my abysmal speller to a foreign country with no written Bibles and that child translated the Scriptures. Was I really going to tell God that “She can’t do that because she’s an abysmal speller?”
Nope, not me
As it turns out both our girls found fields of study that were the opposite of their natural academic strengths. I was a terrible science teacher (here’s a book kiddo, read and take the test) yet our older daughter is a nurse. Though I was a strong english teacher I despaired of ever convincing Carolyn that spelling was important. Now she’s pursuing higher education in the written arts.
I love that God delights in confounding our natural understanding. He loves us to be wholly dependent on him. Yes he gifts us with natural talents but he stretches and grows us beyond our imagined capabilites. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
As 2015 approaches I’m praying for some of that strength for my weaknesses. I could use an infusion of his empowering presence. 2014 hasn’t been the easiest year and right about now I’m ready for some heavenly help. In fact, as I think on this, if he can teach me the fundamentals of gamers’ language he must be able to do just about anything!