This blog post is part of a link up with Lisa-jo Baker. Anyone can be a part of it! Just check out Lisa-jo’s site (http://lisajobaker.com) for the word prompt and further instructions. The idea is to write for five minutes with out constantly editing or second guessing ourselves. It’s a supportive, positive community, and I’ve been blessed just by dabbling my toe into it.
Louie was a goofy friend of mine in seventh grade. He always wore a white baseball cap, most time paired with a turtleneck and a hockey jersey (I never did figure out why the turtlenecks). He was tall and gangly, with a fountain of brown bangs and a very prominent (read: big) nose.
But he was so funny.
He was generous and helpful. Louie was kindhearted.
When you’d known him more than a day you realized how handsome he was, how unique and athletic, how his brown eyes were warm, his height and stature comforting. Suddenly Louie was quite a looker.
I’ve started to wonder how other people look at me, not so much physically but how they view my dreams, my aspirations and quirks, probably because lately I’ve run into so many roadblocks and rejections.
Do they play along with my goals, no one willing to tell me I’m being unrealistic?
Do they pat me on the head and humor me so they won’t hurt my feelings?
Do I look different from the outside than I do to myself?
Does it matter what the view is, except that it comes from the One who made me who I am? The One in whom I am most fully myself?
It shouldn’t make any difference if I achieve “success” on earth if I have been faithful with what was given to me in the circumstances I’ve been placed. Sometimes, though, when I’m being really honest, the view from outside does matter to me.
It’s like the difference between current trend of ombre hair color and just being overdue for a trip to the salon so you have really bad roots. Or to use another hair analogy, it’s the difference between having beachy texture and a frizzy windblown mess. What if while I’m walking around thinking I’ve got it down and lookin’ good, everyone else can see that my dream is really a snarly hairdo in need of a comb and a dye job?
What are your dreams right now? How do you keep hope in a dream when it takes a long time to arrive? Most importantly, how do you maintain your focus on the One who made you?
My 2nd grader had “Sports Day” at school. In a bizarre exciting twist, it turned out to be 98 degrees for the outdoor event — or at least that’s what the weather people said it hit and it felt like they were right — when it had been a high of 60 the day before. These were intense conditions for Sports Day, but the kids had a lot of fun and the organizer had the good sense to pass out freezies to cool off the children at various times. She won extra points for that, in my opinion.
I helped pass out stickers at the Sit-up station, and I feel I did a very fine job. Here’s further evidence of my dedication: ——>>>
Yes, I know. I am a wonderful model of motherly sacrifice. Sorry, no autographs at this time.
I was also the crowd cheerleader, and inspired the children to come up with cheers of their own, maybe because they thought my cheers were too basic. They cheered for individual children’s names, fish, “feel the burn” and various colors. They were very creative. It’s probably because of the great example I set. I’m a very enthusiastic cheer-er.
An interesting phenomena occurred a couple times through the course of the day. Certain kids figured out that yellow was the color for the highest performance. Categories were orange, blue and yellow. People who went the farthest, dribbled the ball enough times, or completed the most earned a yellow sticker. Once they figured this out, kids would ask us how many sit-ups they had to do to earn a yellow sticker. Surprisingly, many of the children who asked this question went on to attain the elusive yellow badge of honor.
This started me thinking about goals. Is it beneficial to know the outcome you’re striving for before you begin so that you can push yourself to a certain level? If we know the cut-off for a certain goal, will we naturally aim only for that goal and no higher? Can I be content with a blue or orange sticker?
This year I decided to enter some writing contests. It wasn’t a written out and posted sort of goal, something stuck on my bathroom mirror to remind myself, but I wanted to get my writing out there for feedback.
Be careful what you wish for.
I have heard back from two of the four contests I entered and it was not with letters of congratulations. I didn’t even make it to the next round.
Would it have served me to have a goal of winning a contest, of getting a yellow sticker? I don’t think so. I think I would feel my accomplishment of entering, which was a big step for me, would have been diminished. I’ve got room to improve, but I showed up, had fun and did my best.
I’m happy with my blue sticker for now, thank you very much.
What goals are you working toward right now? How will you know when you’ve met your goal, and how will you reward yourself?