Is God After Straight A’s? (#662)

Five years ago Wayne's daughter, Julie, joined him on the podcast to discuss raising free-range children and returns this week to update us on her journey and to talk about some fresh direction Father is bringing into her life. She talks about strategies she uses to introduce her children to Jesus and why their friendships embrace such a wide swath of humanity. They also discuss a NY Times article about why getting straight A's in school may not be the best preparation for life and how perfectionism can actually lead us away from the nudging of the Spirit.

Podcast Notes:
Julie's previous visit to The God Journey - Free Range Children
Email Julie
NY Times Article: What Straight A Students Get Wrong
The latest news from our project in Kenya


  1. I really enjoyed listening to the dynamics of you and your daughters relationship. I have had difficulty in understanding “Gods voice.” I used to wait and wait until I heard from God regarding this or that decision and found it to be more of an excuse to do nothing . How do we determine if we just want to place a God tag on our decisions or lack there of?

  2. Papa, thank You for Julie and her dad…please Papa help me help me help me:) to really let go and cultivate and nourish and allow all the beauty and gifts and magnificent qualities You have in my kids to spring forth…I’m so sorry for inhibiting them in anyway, please show me where I can let go and not inhibit I repent right now and want immediate freedom and liberty in our household for all of us to be all You created us to be and created us to do…I know the pressures of schooling what is required in society comes to mind….oh Father please let me trust You to teach them, I surrender Holy Father I surrender and please help me and lead me in homeschool and aiding them in their gifts and callings. I love You Daddy and thank You…You are real and their real Daddy let Your reality and beyond measure love be a daily moment reality to our kids. In Jesus Name I love You
    Julie thank you! And thank you Wayne for having Julie! This whole podcast helped me!
    When you talked or not forcing I thought of wheny daughters and I would put on worship music and dance and worship…my youngest “outside the box” girl would never join in…she would just sit and stare at the tv worship team…well then she started going to her room and playing guitar and making up her own songs then I would find her outside up in the tree “making a new song” unto the LORD…I realized worship and devotions and all of that doesn’t have to be the same for everyone on how they connect with Jesus?? She is the one who asks to read Voice of the Martyrs magazine for devotions, and her honest prayers are Spirit led from Heaven:) We also do not attend church service or any youth group but GET to live Life in Him…one mission we get to do the girls love is Meals on Wheels and the girls get to have an outlet for His compassion and prayers. Look forward to more Julie! Way to go following His leading for your voice!!!

  3. Struck a chord.

    Been dwelling a lot recently on:
    “What *should* a relationship with God/Father look like?”
    “What’s the *measure* of a *good* relationship?”
    “What’s a *good* ‘Christian’?”

    Part of my struggle comes from being raised in a Church Institution.
    Part of the struggle comes from being quite an introvert; not seeking a lot in relationships.

    I bet there’s a book out there about “Relationships for Dummies…”

  4. Adding my own quick thoughts…nice to see both of you interact with each other. Like others, I am working my way out of perfectionism (or letting Jesus walk me out) (smile) and although there’s no “magic wand” really appreciated your discussion on “exhausting meeting expectations” and becoming more comfortable with being misunderstood. Thanks.

  5. This podcast got me thinking again about the word “educate.”
    At heart, I’ve been an analytic-type person who pulls words apart to see where they’ve come from. I remember my shock fifty some years ago when I discovered that “educate” at its roots meant “draw out.” So, teachers have the privilege of drawing out of the learner who that learner really is.

  6. Thank you Wayne and Julie for a great podcast! This really has been an issue for our family as of late – the whole grades dilemma. My daughter, Molly, has immense talent, compassion, a heart for special needs kids, and just huge emotional intelligence, and yet she struggles with some of her grades. Typically, she makes A’s (math is a big struggle) but not always as high marks as her friends. Some of her friend’s parents also will ground their kids if they don’t make A’s (which we never do and I don’t agree with.)

    My daughter was so stressed last week, right before they let out for Christmas break because of all the emphasis on semester finals and some friends who were sharing their grades. I really wish schools would de-emphasize grades and emphasize more individual interests and projects. One of her tests had 179 questions on it! And another one (Geometry) had 79 questions which had to be completed in 2 hours. She’s a freshman in high school – I never even had a college exam that was anywhere near those lengths.

    Still, I can see how our education culture has spilled into our spiritual culture. I’m a recovering perfectionist myself and still struggle with it from time to time but Father has shown me a much better way – to live in the unknown with the One who longs for me to know Him and be led by Him daily. It’s a great adventure – and one that has required me to let go of needing everything to be perfect and “just so.”

    Thanks again for sharing!

  7. Enjoyed this podcast and will look forward to you having Julie on again someday. I’d like to hear her speak more. She has a nice way of relating her thoughts. Thanks again.

  8. I had not really contemplated how much our education system is based upon conformity until listening to your discussion on the podcast. It caused a bit of sad reflection on how much of my early years were controlled by conforming in education, religion, and work.
    My exit from the conformity treadmill was not by choice. With the death of my spouse in 2001, I no longer had the time, energy or desire to conform. With 3 children to care for, my career became a job to do the best I could with minimal time. I stopped attending every event at my religious institution. As I broke the cycle, I began to see that life was better without all of the conformity-based activities. It took several years for the paradigm to shift and conformity to lose appeal. Learning to live loved…

  9. Thank you Wayne and Julie for this discussion!

    Julie, I appreciate your willingness to step out of your comfort zone and share your life with us! It was a true encouragement to me personally as a mom of three in a similar stage of life.

    I, too, am loving all of the rich conversations that come out of every day life with our kids and how those conversations have helped us to connect with God more deeply. I sometimes struggle with idea that our kids are missing out on something “better” or “more” because we are not attending church services. It’s unfortunate that in the world of religion, that our daily, authentic, real-life conversations “don’t count” unless they take place inside the walls of a “church.” God is still working on my concern with the opinion of others in this area especially. It’s a process, but listening to your experiences has helped me to relax a little more, so thank you for that! As Bruce mentioned above, I am still learning to live loved. 🙂

    Looking forward to other ways that you will share your voice with us! 🙂

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