Last night I attended the Panama Winter Choral Concert. I particularly wanted to be there because Abi was playing the upright bass for one of the numbers. Izzi and Jo both had special parts in the program as well. Izzi had to introduce one of the numbers. She didn't want to do it; as exuberant as she is with sports and when she is around us, she is quite shy and reserved when it comes to standing up in front of a crowd. Unfortunately for her, the girl who was supposed to introduce that particular number was sick, and as one of the chorus officers, she was next in line. Then there is Jo. Along with three other girls, she had a descant line for one of the pieces they sang.
On the ride home, I listened as Nate individually addressed the girls with words of praise for their work. "Abi, you kept a steady beat, and your bass line really punched through. You were right on pitch, which isn't easy, especially as you've only been playing the upright for about two weeks. Izzi, I know you didn't want to read the introduction, but you knocked it out of the park! You read slowly and clearly, with good enunciation so we could understand everything you said. Jo, your descant line was beautiful! It added so much to the choir!"
His praise was specific to each daughter. I couldn't see them as they sat in the dark, but I have no doubt each was glowing inside. These were no mere participation praises, but were words of encouragement for jobs well done. Ephesians 4:29 tells us to "let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." I remember one time in church some disgruntled people in the back row were criticizing through the worship time. Pastor Roy happened to be sitting in front of them and finally had had enough. He turned around, quoted this scripture to them and told them that their complaining wasn't edifying him. They quieted down, left quickly after church, and never came back. Can you see me smiling as I write this?
Nate was living out this Scripture with his daughters, building them up in ways fitting to each of them, giving grace without measure. It was good to hear. I'm afraid I didn't do as well at that as he is doing, but when you hear your kids take the lessons you tried to instill in them and not only pass them along, but improve upon them...well, that is something for which to give thanks.