On Feeling Small

Friday, January 30, 2015

A recent talk with some little ones sparked a memory with me recently.

I think I was 11, totally awkward, striving to be the girl people liked in a world where there were just some down right mean girls. Fifth grade, teetering between playing with Barbies and wanting to drive a car because that's normal right? I remember the day as clear as any. It was girl scout Sunday and while I loved any opportunity to be social with friends and to eat gobs of cookies I was acutely aware that the green knee socks of my uniform were a total disgrace ( to me at least). Hideous, ridiculous and ultimately a very direct path to the demise of my ever being considered anything near cool. I felt so small.

It was some Girl Scout recognition Sunday where they marched us down the isle of the church with our brightly colored patches sewn onto our also bright Kelly green vests and made a big deal about all the grand skills we had accomplished. I remember literally having a brick like feeling in my chest. I thought I might die. I did not want to go and I surely didn't want to wear those stupid socks. But there I stood, amongst all the other little brightly clad schoolgirls with perfectly brushed hair and perfectly polished smiles on the front steps of a church, whose bright red carpet below my obnoxious green socks matched my face. Who in the world thought of this insane outfit anyway? I am so sorry {I'm not sorry} if you are a girl scout who loved her uniform or a mamma of one who does. To each her own eh? our opinions of the uniforms are here nor there. It was how I felt in that moment.

The point is this. Humilliation.

Indeed I survived and all the mommies and daddies beamed and I made it through knowing that the boy I had the.biggest.crush.on.ever had now seen me in kelly green knee socks and would probably laugh me out of the school I was in. Someone for the love be out there reading and cringing with me. It still makes me sad for the 11 year old me. Yes, I am now way closer to 40 than I am 11 but I remember it still the same. The feeling of being totally humiliated. The problem is that I was judging myself and my worth through the worlds values and that always, always leads to an open door of disappointment and dissatisfaction. I know that in the grand scheme of things this seems so small. But it's such a real example of how from such a young age everything about the way I viewed myself was through the lens of how the world saw me, judged me, viewed me, labeled me.

As a mom now with the most unique, precious, gifted, beautiful and totally different little souls to raise up I want to teach them a different way. I want to raise them as bearers of self worth so that they can be better avoiders of humiliation. Not self elevation, no, more just an accurate God given worth. in all honesty I want them to know that it's about being more humble. When we change the lens and view ourselves from a different angle, everything becomes more clear. When we posture ourselves lower, we think of ourselves more highly. We are braver and stronger and far less apt to cave to the world view. When we realize that humility isn't feeling bad about ourselves but forgetting about ourselves, not making such a big deal about ourselves (read all the million things we can ind that we hate about us) and when we can have a sense of humor and laugh at ourselves in spite of ourselves there is far less need to care how the world wields their measuring sticks at us. 

I had no idea my value in Christ. None.

Humility
Humility (adjectival form: humble) is variously seen as the act or posture of lowering oneself in relation to others, or conversely, having a clear perspective and respect for one's place in context.
 
Oh these little ones of mine... My oldest, just a bit shy of 11, also teetering now between boyhood toys and adolescent wanderings. Wanting to know that he's accepted and loved and chosen just for who he is. What a jewel in my Mamma crown that one is. A spirit so tender and a heart so open and innocent. We're striving, he and I, to learn to see ourselves how God sees us. We are on this journey together he and I and oh what journey it is. Our children have so much to teach us if we will humble ourselves enough to learn from them. It's funny in our little times of affirming one another how the things I think are my biggest failures are the things he loves the most. My "soft" hugs, my homecooked meals, our "full" plates... And the things that I kill myself over bc in the back of my mind someone did it better somewhere don't even register. Not once. It's the little things I haven't given much thought to that he remembers. He sees the little things, the details, the time spent and the words spoken, arms wrapped around and nights when I creep in his bed and hold him tight just because... one day he'll be gone and his room will only be a shell of all the things he's collected and left behind.
 
Positioning ourselves lower will always help us see more clearly. The birds eye view is grand indeed, but from there we miss the details, the little things that matter so much to our little people.

Let's be humble and in tune with what makes our children feel big or small. I remember small and I hate it. There are still things and people and memories that can thrust me right back there if I'm not careful to keep my eyes up and my knees bent. 

So let's do it for our littles. Let's teach them the right lenses to look at themselves and the world through. Let's point them to the only perspective that matters. The creative, holy, perfect one of Christ and let's put humiliation in its place, under our feet where we stand tall and brave and bold in the places we've been called for such a time as this and then, then let's encourage someone else to do the same! 

Let's know who and who's we are. Let's slather our kids with the truth of their position as jewels in the Father's crown, not to build their self esteem but to help them build foundation in their self worth. Children who know who and who's they are won't go searching for affirmation anywhere else and wouldn't that just solve a million little problems all at once? 

To living our worth... Cheers sisters! 

Xoxoxo, 
Amanda 
 

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