All of that work for a ribbon? Both of our kids are in 4H. This week was the culmination of the year – the 4H judging for the Red River Valley Fair. Cameron and I met through 4H, so we are familiar with the projects and the fair & the work that goes into it. While some of the projects were done ahead of time, there were some that we were doing the week (or day) before. It’s a great experience for them to work on something & then have to explain/tell about it.

They each entered almost 20 exhibits. From gardening to woodworking, sewing to baking, outdoor skills, ceramics and citizenship, they had their hands full. We each try to help and guide them with the projects, but the kids do most of the work. While we offer suggestions, we don’t correct or perfect it for them. Cameron helps with woodworking & outdoor skills, and I help with baking and sewing. The boys have to write out their own recipe cards for their baked goods. Myles wrote his in paragraph form. I “suggested” that he make it in a list so it’s easier to read. “No, mom… I like it this way.” Ok. I let it be. I let them pick the recipes they want to make, and this year they got creative. They both love maraschino cherries so Dallas made “cherry bomb muffins” and Myles made double cherry cookies. When they got to the judging time, the judge “suggested” that Myles make his recipe easier to read. (Mom just grinned) They got some honorable mention ribbons – Myles for his cookies, Dallas for his rhubarb and fish holder. They also came home with some reds, and I was ok with that. I don’t expect them to be perfect… I want them to try their best and learn from the experience. It’s their project, not mine. I had my 4H project days – this is up to them. While they might not have gotten all blue ribbons, my 13 & 10 year old boys have sewn, baked, painted, created, sanded and gardened. That’s what I’m most proud of. Not the ribbons, the experience.

The other thing I’m most proud of is the tied blankets they made for breast cancer patients. The blankets will comfort someone going through breast cancer & that just warms my heart. Pink ribbons will always hold a special meaning, for me and for the boys.

The red ribbons in sewing, ceramics and jelly weren’t the end of the world. As Myles walked away from the judges table with a red ribbon and his head held down, I knew he felt “not good enough.” We tried to explain that this is a learning experience & now he will know what to do next time. I don’t think they should all get blue ribbons, but it made me think of something. God gives us blue ribbons every day. To him we are always enough, even when we feel like it’s a red (or white) ribbon day. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that our good deeds don’t make him love us more. It doesn’t matter if we feel like we deserve a Grand Champion ribbon. He loves us as we are. Isn’t that great?! I hope you have a blue ribbon day. The creator of the universe thinks you’re enough, so why are you so hard on yourself? Peace be with you on your journey of enough.

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