I have tutored the same student at the homeless shelter for the past few weeks.  In all my years of tutoring, this one was the first to really get my goat.  The first week I worked with her--it became a battle of wills.  I finally resorted to talking to the teacher in charge.  After she came and spoke firmly with the child---huge tears---and "YOU got me in trouble!"  "No, you got yourself in trouble--I offered option after option and tried everything I could think of, but you would not work with me.  I am here to help you with your work, but I can only help if you allow me to.  We are down to 20 minutes and your homework is still not even started.  Drama never wins and avoidance of the inevitable will not make it go away," I replied.

We settled into a better routine after that week and I even felt like we were making progress.  Still some drama, still some silliness, but we always managed to finish the work in the time allotted.

And then this week---the week of the all important STARR testing here in Texas and-

Not My Child
Photo Credit:

Her sobs were whispers of desperation as huge crocodile tears rolled down her cheeks.  She was inconsolable and whispered, "I hate myself".  All this followed angry words from her mother and the painful words, "You are going to fail again!"  Last year she had not passed the test and been held back and this year--I do not see a promise of success. 

Her mother is homeless---pregnant--no job---desperate---and in the midst of all this desperation---her child seems doomed to failure.  All this mother could think about was her child repeating her own past mistakes.   I explained her mother still loved her, but we all want the best for our children, but she was not buying it.  Those words spoken in frustration and anger were forever etched upon this child's heart.

I wanted to yell in frustration as well at both the child and her mother---"YOU HAVE HAD A YEAR---YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING---YOU CHOSE TO NOT PREPARE--AND NOW YOU CRY!"  It breaks my heart that this child--unless her path is changed at the ripe old age of 10 already senses her doom to failure.  She has lost hope---and as we spoke recently--without hope we have nothing.

My gentle answer to her, "Look at me and listen----the sun will still come up tomorrow, and you still have plenty of time to turn this around--if you choose."  I explained at this point--she could only do her best on tomorrow's test, but she could turn all this around by changing her attitude and working hard from this point forward.

How many of us get to the point of the night before the test and cry in desperation and frustration because we have not prepared?  We all face tests and trials in life---the outcome is based upon our preparation.  We can hate ourselves for not being ready, or we can know we have done the work to be prepared.  When life becomes hard---really hard---we can fall back on those hours of preparation and survive.  Continue on the path---even when the going is tough because we know---we have learned---who we can count on---who is by our side--who is faithful.  And no matter how tough the test---we will continue to hope---because we are prepared.

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
I Peter 1:6-7



  1. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Between juggling a family, marriage, school load, household, etc. etc...EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. How's that for a bitter pill to swallow. I wish you could of seen me yesterday, I actually I had to get up and walk out for a bit during my final exam...I was just overwhelmed--it was a very difficult exam and boy, let me tell you, I was wondering if I was going to get through it. I.HAVE.NEVER.DONE.THAT. Left a room...(read my post from yesterday, I ended up with a "B" on the final and the only one who passed it)

    Anyways...thank you Lulu--keeping on speaking the truth, friend.

    1. But you were prepared and did not give up- kept working- kept moving forward - a hero in my book!
      Blessings, My Friend!

  2. Some people really are hopeless. Too bad one can't paddle 'em anymore (not beat, paddle ... there's a difference). There's no fear of reprisal anymore. Plus, there's no fear of not being able to eat. I'll bet you wish you could take the little 'darling' to Mexico and show them what a poor education results in. One trip there sure changed my gratitude / attitude in one fell swoop! Those people know poor. Well, good luck. I hope the kid has an attitude adjustment soon or it'll just be another slug on welfare with no future.
    Hope your day is blessed. ~:)

    1. Sparky, I look at those faces and see such desperation and loss of hope. It is heart breaking! Add to that a mother who does not have the skills to help the child do the necessary work to succeed - and then you have the resulting poverty cycle. I have to remind myself over & over- I will never know the impact I might have upon this child. And yes, here in America the truly poor are few in comparison - but they are out there- if we only look around us.
      Blessings !

  3. This is a heart-breaking story, sadly often repeated over and again. I know of similar examples here in the UK. Parent (often there's only one - because the father has either run away or is in jail), cannot cope or bring up the child alone; education is not a priority anyway, and the child grows up without hope or prospects.

    Lulu you are such a wonderful person for taking the time to help these people. Your actions speak louder than anything you can write here and you are a shining example for all of us. God bless you for your genuine kindness.

    1. Ah, Victor, I am NO saint--by a LONG shot. I am so blessed that God showed me years ago how He could use me with helping these children. It is extremely rewarding--even in the midst of the frustration. It is not unlike this blog---I remind myself if ONE person (child) is touched---I have made a difference What a wonderful gift from God to allow me to be used in His service!
      Blessings, Friend!


Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!