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Mar 10, 2010

The Bootstrap Award


When I taught school in rural Georgia, deserving students received awards at the end of each semester. Some of the students were honored for having perfect attendance or a high gpa. Only one student’s name was called for the Bootstrap Award.


The recipient of the Bootstrap Award was determined by the teachers. This award did not go to the student with the highest gpa, the most popular, the best dressed, the most helpful nor the teacher’s pet.


The Bootstrap Award was given to the student who, through sheer determination, mental elbow grease and a change in attitude, pulled himself up by his own bootstraps to improve his performance at school.


In front of an assembly of peers and faculty, the Bootstrap Award was the finale of awards. A collective breath was held and a silent drum roll beat in the hearts of the students.
“And the Bootstrap Award goes to…”
Wild applause. Foot stomping. A rogue whistle.

Every Bootstrapper had one thing in common. Before the change in performance, the improvement in grades, the attitude adjustment, there was a choice made.
Before quiz grades improved, homework handed in and surliness softened, the hardest work came first – the choosing.
The choice, an invisible flick of a flame. Imperceptible yet powerful. It must come first. It must come.

“Yet what shall I choose…” Philippians 1:22.

“And the Bootstrap Award goes to…”
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EDITED TO ADD: (My pick for the Bootstrap Award goes to the one in the picture above...my boy, Andrew.)

25 comments:

  1. I think above all others, you deserve this award at this time.

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  2. The award goes to you dear one.

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  3. I cannot even fathom what you are going through. As the mother of 2 beautiful children, I can not imagine life without one or both of them. I admire your courage and determination to keep on living in the midst of incredible pain. I look forward to your words each day.

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  4. You... The Bootstrap Award goes to you and your family for choosing to let the Lord give each of you the strength to grab on to Him as He is pulls you up by your bootstraps and helps you put one foot in front of the other.

    Love to you all, Mel~
    Jennifer

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  5. You my friend deserve this award!!
    Hugs and prayers, andrea

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  6. I agree that you deserve this award. Praying for you, my friend.

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  7. I belive this award should be presented to you my friend! You are a jewel in many eyes!
    Hugs,
    Tara

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  8. I award your son too. :) Hugs from Colorado. And let's not forget the award for YOU.

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  9. I just couldn't agree more. You and your son and your family just sooo deserve this award as you have traveled through this season in your life being an inspiration to all around you. Hugs, Deb

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  10. No thoughts on this one, except, you are deserving of this award.

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  11. I think it was a tie Melanie! You and Andrew both win this award and he would be so happy that you did!

    Love you much,
    Stephanie

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  12. Stunningly profound, and trust me when I tell you I don't write those words often. "The hardest work came first... the choosing!"

    Oh, I think we all qualify, especially that precious young saint named Andrew!

    peace~elaine

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  13. Oh sweetie, not right now but soon you will get this award......you have made a choice to be a mother and wife to the best of your ability right now, you will get there sweetie I promise you, it just takes time. Love you, ....:-) Hugs

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  14. Here, here!!....to Andrew being the Bootstrap recipient. A young man of GREAT courage. Reaping his reward right this minute. Good job Andrew!

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  15. That is quite an award. I love the foot stomping that comes with it. Andrew ran a difficult race with excellence and He won the victory. I can't think of a better person to give this award than you Melanie. Love,B

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  16. I am touched and inspired by your devotion to the Lord. I have a 14 year old skateboarder that I dearly love too and can't imagine a day without him. Hold on to God's promises for you and your family. May his peace dwell in you richly! You are loved!

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  17. Melanie, in addition to dear Andrew, I think the Bootstrap Award definitely rests with you.

    May our GOD of all comfort, comfort you and your family and strengthen you. Love and blessings.

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  18. I think I am going to borrow this for my family- we need a bootstrap award just to ignite us sometimes...sheer genius.

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  19. Hi there beautiful! I read your note on my blog and yes my friend, you are living in the middle of impossible. And for this I am overwhelmed with prayers for your comfort and strenth. But I also thank God for the "choosing" you do. The choosing to live and breath in that very hard place where it feels like everything is crashing in. A while back I read your journal through last year and couldn't believe all that you had been through and how fast things were happening. I am so sorry and there are no words to describe how I wish your beautiful boy were still here with you and your precious family. He was and is such an amazing kid - who certainly knows about bootstrap living. I think he must have learned it from his amazing mom and dad, and His never-give-up Savior and Friend. Hugs and prayers ~ Renee

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  20. Thinking of you my friend. Just needed to stop by and say hi. b

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  21. Every school and every life should have a bootstrap award!

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  22. Wonderful! We are talking to our youth about how to glorify God and not ourselves. Homework is one we will be addressing. I am going to send a link of this to my pastor!
    Loveyoumelanie!

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  23. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps often means asking for help from those who love you as well as from God. The decision to do it is an incredible first step, but if you lose the grip on the bootstraps, it is not a reason to give up -only a reason to call for help. I know you are calling on God for help frequently, and I know you will lose your grip on the bootstraps frequently. Just don't give up, and God and those who love you will be there to help you pull when you need help. laurie

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  24. Sweet, sweet sis, you definitely deserve this award.

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