January 23, 2010


She came home a few months ago with a permission slip to join the spelling bee team for her school. “I really want to do this Mama…you get to stand up in front of the whole school to do it”.

I love that Gaby embraces so many things in her life with courage. Spelling doesn’t come naturally to her. She does A+ work in spelling ONLY after she studies for a week preparing for her tests…in other words…she works for it. For this reason I was thrilled when she came home asking if she could spend the next six weeks practicing for the spelling bee after school…not because I care that much about improved spelling, but because I appreciated that she was signing up for something that wasn’t a slam dunk for her. She was taking a risk, stepping outside of her comfort zone, and she was doing it without hesitation.

The morning of the spelling bee Gaby walked up to the podium with a big smile on her face, lowered the microphone to meet her lips, and listened for her first word. Her teacher looked down at the spelling list and spoke into her microphone…”O.K. Gaby, your word is TERRIBLE“. “Terrible”, Gaby repeated. “T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E …Terrible”.

“Very good, you will progress to the 2nd round.”

This was amazing considering the night before I asked her how she thought she would do and she told me most likely she would be out on the first round. YIPEE….Good for you…..now that wasn’t so TERRIBLE.

After the first round was over, six children left the stage receiving a huge round of applause for their efforts. Remaining were 24 children ready to continue.

“Gaby….your second word is COURAGE. “Can you repeat the word please?” Gaby asked. “COURAGE. “Can you provide the definition please?” COURAGE…the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

“Courage”….C.O.R.R.A.N.G.E…Courage.” she spelled loudly into the mic. I am sorry Gaby, that is incorrect.

As I walked out of the 2010 spelling bee, I smiled. Even though she spelled COURAGE incorrectly, COURAGE is the most CORRECT word I can think about when describing this young person. As a mother, COURAGE is at the top of my list for what I dream about for my children. With courage you can conquer your fears, stand up for what you believe in, and make a difference. Gaby has a courageous heart. My dream for her is that she can continue to look at her opportunities, passions, and beliefs with LOADS AND LOADS of C.O.R.R.A.N.G.E.


Down home friends and what they say...

Comments (6)

Rebecca said:

This is a gem, Shawn - by that I mean that sweet daughter of yours AND the way you expressed your feelings about her! And the photos capture her energy so fully!!

Valerie said:

Beautiful post!

I lost out on p.r.a.i.r.i.e…guess where I live today? On the edge of the beautiful tall grass PRAIRIE of Kansas! LOL

Never forgot the disappointment of going down on that word, but I also never forgot how to spell it!

Congratulations to Gaby for having the COURAGE to participate in the school spelling bee! I too hope that she always has the courage to meet life’s challenges head-on!


Desiree said:

What a beautifully expressed post! Cheers to Gaby! It is always such a joy to visit your beautiful farm and family!
Warmly, Desiree

pop said:

I pray to God every day that I might be an example to to the little kids and help them live thier lives with corrange

Meg said:

“The next word is ‘beautiful’.”

“Could you provide the definition please?”

“Beautiful… aesthetically pleasing to the senses or mind; of a very high standard; excellent.”

“Beautiful. B.U.T.T.E.R.C.U.P. Beautiful.”

“That is correct!”

kate said:

Way to go girl! With courage, you can accomplish anything in life that you want to. Always remember that. So sweet. I love the pictures, you captured pure joy!

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