Friday, September 21, 2012

Unfurl the Beauty

This week I asked Cadence and Chandler to exchange handwriting papers. They bent over long lines of shaky zeros, ones and twos, looking for the best. I gave them star stickers to indicate their choices. This strategy had to be part of our homeschool because I've been in love with and modeled one philosophy since the kids were born: family equals a person's built-in cheer squad. I figured while they were telling people how awesome they were, they wouldn't become kids who know they're special and promptly forget everyone else is. This reached its all-time high when I was dishing something out and my kids were saying, "Good job, Mommy! You can do it!"

I've been thinking about last week's blog. Not only do we hide the hard parts of life from each other, we hide the good. All this hiding sabotages our truthfulness, either ruining or stagnating relationships, but we still do it and anyone who answered a question correctly in junior high knows why. There are ramifications for being the tall poppy and if we do something noteworthy, we brace for the cutting down that often follows. We self-deprecate, dumb-down our vocabulary, and take off the fun earrings before we leave the house. We shoot for an average, invisible version of ourselves, where risk of rejection drops off sharply. The ideal leading lady for a rom-com is attractive enough to be believable, but ordinary enough for female viewers to root for, not envy. 

I've played this game and it's not fun. I don't like to be the center of attention, but I like putting clothes together in an imaginative way. I used to shy away from clothes I loved because I was afraid people would notice me. The first few times I bought things I actually loved, I hardly wore them. When I did, I was so nervous I wondered if it was worth it. But I pushed past it (very gradually) and now I'm free. In my tiny closet, I play with color and textures. Now if people notice, I hope it brings them joy and I think that's the difference. I was made this way on purpose and the purpose was good, so I trust that when I unfurl who I am, it will be beautiful and it will be a blessing. 

That's only one area of my life, but it feels so good, I want to tell the world. And cheer them on. I get to wondering how fascinating all these "ordinary" people are. What gifts do they hide because someone was unkind? When they get brave and show us their papers, will we look for the best? Because they are family, or at least our neighbors, and they need to hear how lovely they are. 


  1. I wrestle with some of the same feelings of not wanting to draw too much attention to myself, yet getting dressed is often my most favorite part of the day. I've just embraced that I love color, pattern, and texture and hope I can inspire others because when you love what you are wearing it makes you happy all day long.

  2. I love this. Thank you for your words, there is so much peace in them.

  3. I agree Taumi! And thanks Stephaine - spreading peace is one of my highest hopes for my writing.

  4. So true! Love this, and especially your ending with This Little Light of Mine... Brylee has chosen to sing that almost every night for a while, and it's the theme of the series I'm doing next month :)

    Funny, I have always classified myself as un-creative and non-artistic. I told some friends that recently, and they wondered where my blog fit in with that. I guess blogging is the first time I've embraced something that's always been there, but I'm finally learning to "shine" in. Getting past those boundaries and stepping out of those boxes can be a challenge, but so worth it!

  5. of course you're creative Trina! just look at your sense of style. ; )