Always Listen to your Grandmother-or-How I Got a Life

Written by:  Bethany Smith



Like a thousand other doting Grandmas, mine thought home education would be the ruin of me. I was just five years old at the time, but she was sure that I would never learn to read, my social skills would be non existent and I would spend the rest of my life on welfare. Now that I am 17, Grandma is convinced that I?m getting a good education, but she still thinks being homeschooled is synonymous with not having a life. ?Why don?t you have a boyfriend?? (They didn?t read Josh Harris at HBU), ?You should go have fun with other teenagers? (Can?t I play with my dad?)... But I just wasn?t interested in most clubs or activities for teens. Besides, I found tactics commonly employed by such organizations?such as doling out tootsie pops as an incentive for paying attention?kind of insulting.

Then I joined Teen Eagles, and, from the start, realized this group is very different. Teen Eagle leader, Katie Wallen, is a lovely young woman, engaging and interesting, but with serious goals, high expectations for us, and a belief in the enormous impact young people can have on this culture.  Katie actually thinks I?m old enough to want to learn without tootsie pops! My fellow Teen Eagles are serious minded, but light hearted, and have become wonderful new friends. I enjoy learning about our government and how the founding fathers intended for it to function, laughing together (don?t let all this serious stuff scare you--we do have fun), doing office work for a legislator, listening to inspiring guest speakers and talking together. Some people would say I should list talking twice.

I?ve been an ?Eagle? for nearly a year now, so I?m beginning to look back on the months before I joined and ask, ?How am I different than I was? Where has this taken me? ?

The most profound change I see in myself is the realization that sometimes, without knowing it, ?my? opinions on government were simply things I?d heard and not really thought through. I?ve learned now, to not just take the stand I hear (even Rush Limbaugh?s stand) and make it my own, but to filter the wisdom of others through my own values and the original intent of America?s founders.

 ?Where has this taken me?? Teen Eagles has taken me to a place were I have a vision for how God can use me, and others like me, to impact America. I?m not going to be a Senator, but I?ll always be a ?Kitchen Table Lobbyist?. So, the moral of this story is, always listen to your Grandmother. I have thoroughly convinced her that I now have a life. Now, how to tone down her image of me as a flaming radical...

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