Lessons From My Sons

Nathan, Ben, and Michael
Nathan, Ben, and Michael (Photo: Alexandra Grace Photography, image is link)

On the work front, it’s been a banner week for my boys. One was promoted into supervisory training, one was assigned to help manage operations for a major store remodel, and one was accepted into his first choice for graduate school. Am I a proud mom or what?

Nathan's team at Fred Meyer. "I love these guys."
“I love these guys,” says Nathan, center (Photo: Nathan’s phone)

Still, I have learned a lot by watching them. How have they made progress? One choice at a time. As Michael Hyatt advises, they’ve been doing “the next right thing.”

1. Show up on time, be ready to work. Don’t be a slacker. Go the extra mile for your colleagues. Respect and serve your customers.

2. Make a goal, and then act to make it come true. One scary step at a time, even if the chance of success is slim, reach out and risk it.

Ben and his Domino (Photo: Jessica Lyons)
Ben “catnapping” (Photo: Jessica Lyons)

3. Do it tired. Ben, his wife Jessica, and Nathan are working while taking a full load at Portland State. Sleep is a precious commodity—but so is finishing school.

4. Enjoy your coworkers. Be helpful. Diffuse tough situations with humor. “Remember the human.”

Nathan at Camp Odakoda (Photo: Camp Odakoda staff)
Nathan volunteering at Camp Odakoda (Photo: Camp Odakoda staff)

5. Follow Jesus and be part of His community. Don’t just stand on the sidelines. Engage. Serve. Encourage.

6. But always, always make time for fun. Work before play? Naw. Who does that? (See No. 3, above.) Because sometimes lost sleep is worth it.

Ben and his wife Jessica with friends at the Shamrock Run (Photo: Jessica Lyons)
Ben and Jessica at the Shamrock Run. Like they have time for this? (Photo: Jessica Lyons)
Michael working the produce department
Welcome to Fred Meyer. “What’s on your list today?” (Photo: Michael’s phone)

6 thoughts on “Lessons From My Sons

  1. Thank you, Melinda. I am thankful more than proud. How did they become so smart?

    Each of them has had to work during college (my sweet daughter-in-law too, whom I did not mean to leave out of this article). We’re talking anywhere from twenty to forty hours a week–but my, did they grow. “Mom,” said Nathan, “I’ve learned more from working the photo desk at Fred Meyer than from any lecture on conflict management.”

    It was Nathan’s “soft skills” with customers–he is the one associates seek out to resolve conflicts in Home Electronics–that got the attention of the interviewers at Pacific University.


  2. My son is 16, and the lessons I learn from him astound me. My girls are 20 and 22, and I have loved learning from them as well — more than I can express — but watching a son through his mother’s eyes is a unique experience. It helps me appreciate the other men in my life. Great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Bronwyn, thanks so much for stopping by.

      I have also learned that traveling with adult children is wonderful, especially if they have been out on their own and paying for things. How grateful they are for meals and hotel accomodations! And wonder of wonders, they handle their own suitcases and everything..

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I look back and wonder what I did, other than give them a home, and opportunities to talk things through, and (I hope) an example. Many are the things they rolled their eyes at, like being home schooled in the early grades and then having to attend a small Christian school where I teach. Worse, this meant that they had to be in classes I taught. (Oh, the pain and agony, right? Who knew Mom was a wannabe comedian? Please, Mom, stop. Just be normal.)

      I’d like to take credit, but I can’t. That each of my sons has chosen willingly to follow Jesus is a marvel to me. His work, not mine.

      Thanks for the encouraging words, robstroud.


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