Friday, January 17, 2014

An Old Favorite...

Today I'm resharing a post I wrote before many of you were reading, but even if you've seen it , I hope you enjoy it today. 

Unfurl the Beauty
Originally posted 9/21/2012

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. 

Unfurl your beauty this weekend, my friends! Especially if that means dressing down into sweatpants and being a soul at rest or a soul in struggle. I'm starting to see that beauty isn't just when you're doing well. It's more about taking care of yourself so you can be vibrant some of the time. My favorite writer, Glennon said some spot-on stuff about it over here. This made perfect sense to me as I've added listening to music back into my life. I always listened in a haphazard way, but in years past, I would purchase CDs, memorize entire albums and use the music to relax, express frustration or sing to Jesus. I've missed this a long time and struggled to get my music transferred from CDs to a mobile device. 

I had an iPod, but it died. I inherited my husband's iPad and just got all the music I owned and loved on it. Now I sit in my living room and listen and listen. I fill up with the beauty. So good. I hope you fill up this weekend. 

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