Thursday, March 4, 2010

Showing Us the Way

PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 26:  Dwight Howard #12 of...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Good Evening to All!

Tonight's post is an inspirational story taken from Robert Strand's "especially for Moms" book. A story about a Basketball Star and His family.


When Atlanta Hawks center Theo Ratliff was growing up, his mother, Camillia, provided the everyday lesson on perseverance. Daily, after the hour-long commute from her factory job to home in Demopolis, a small rural town in Alabama, she took her books and studied late into the night working on a college degree.

She was an influence by showing us the way, not just telling us," says Theo who has two brothers, Thad and Tim. "Getting her degree was something she was dedicated to doing. That's the type of lesson she gave: if you want it enough, you can get it done no matter what."

Theo kept that lesson in mind as he relentlessly practiced his basketball growing up. The example of mom helped him to become an NBA ( National Basketball Association) All-Star, a good father and a responsible, generous citizen.

To raise her three sons, Camillia held down as many as four jobs at once. Obviously, the family didn't have much but their focus was never on the material things of life...rather it was centered on the wealth of a longing family. Camillia said, "We were rich. Sometimes you wish for bigger, better, more. But sometimes coming up the rough side of the mountain isn't so bad."

The boys took part in every activity they could fit into a busy growing-up life...Key Club, honor society, museum visits, plays, church functions and sports. They did it all and kept up good grades, too. "Without that type of influence from within their families, a lot of our friends went astray," Theo says.

He worked hard at his hoops...sometimes angering mother's wrath by skipping the chores posted on the refrigerator door. "She always would say, 'Whatever it is you choose to do in life, try to be the best at it, '" he says. "That's how I've approached my game and being a parent."

Because of his life principles, learned form mom, he was awarded a scholarship to Wyoming University. He almost quit basketball after his second year but Camillia told him, "Winners never quit, and quitters never win." That was the turning point...from that moment on, Theo excelled. Detroit selected him in the first round of the 1995 NBA draft/

The rest is history...Theo is an All-Star, he and his wife Kristina, have two daughters; he's involved in community events which give back; Camillia has her college degree and manages elder-car programs in ten Alabama counties@ Yes, mother Knows best!

Today's Quote: "Camillia might not have taught Theo anything about jump shots or blocked shots. But what he learned form her has as much to do with his success as anything a coach ever said." Brad Young

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...(Hebrews 12:1-2a)


It never amazes me the good that positive reinforcement can do. A person can quote scriptures, or proverbs from the Bible, they can quote wise sayings that have been handed down through the years, but when it comes right down to it "Actions speak MUCH louder than words. The old cliche "do as I say, not as I do does not help much. I never have believed that statement did anything but "waste breath".

One example I have is a precious friend who babysits her "step daughter." The child is only going on 4 years old, and I think she has to be one of the most polite people I have ever met. I have never heard Lenette raise her voice to the little one, but she teaches her through example. I have heard her say "yes ma'am, or no thank you, or please ...and so forth to this small child. In turn, this child uses the same polite manner to Lynette and others who talk to her. I'm sure as she gets older the lessons which she will be taught will be valuable because they will have been taught through not only words, but actions.

In the same token, the opposite can be said for others whom I have seen My parents for one, Who were the "do as I say not as I do " type of teachers, and if I didn't abide by their rules, I got in LOADS of trouble. That did not teach me anything, except to have low self-esteem and to be a "people-pleaser at any cost" which is not a good thing. It made me lose my own identity and to cower down even when I think I'm right.

So you young parents out there, PLEASE take a page from this old girl's playbook. Teach your children life-lessons with love, understanding and by example. Not with an iron hand, and harsh words.

I am not saying children should not be spanked. It tells us in the Bible to do so, with love. Spanking and Beating are two different things. That's why God gave us padding on our rear-ends, and you don't have to leave marks to make your point. However, sometimes grounding, or taking a child's prized possessions away for an extended amount of time sometimes works better.

Anyway, to get back to life's lessons. Show your children how to get ahead by Example, with Love and Encouragement. You will gain a lot more ground of positivity by doing it that way, and the lessons will last a life time in comparison to hurtful lessons which have a negative effect, and will also last a life time and continue through generations. Unfortunately, it seems that the negative things in life tend to be handed down through generations quicker than positive ones. So we need to make it a point to hand down much more positive habits and ideas than negative ones.

Good Night to All and May God Bless!


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