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Shine On

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Testing, testing, 1-2-3…

If you’ve ever read one of my blog posts before, it’s no secret that I L-O-V-E me some limelight! I am usually at my happiest when I am at the center of attention or somehow connected to whoever is at that moment.

I believe that this ‘Look at me!’ mentality is one of the reasons behind my passion for my own birthday, a love that I’ve had for myself, ever since I could remember.

In cheerleading, I loved being at the top of the builds. (I cheered in the nineties, people. We were too cool to do ‘pyramids’; they were BUILDS, dang it!) Although falling from them hurt, no matter what they were called.

I loved seeing my name in print and my big cheesy grin dominating my year book and I would count how many mentions I received from my small high school’s almanac. Although…there was that one year that a rather embarrassing photo of me in mid-toe-touch jump made it to print; I could have lived without that attention!

When it comes to my attention addiction, I’ve never been one for the ‘any attention is good attention’ mantra. Nope. I usually went for the silly, funny-girl, ‘Oh, doesn’t she look cool/pretty/fly?’ brand of attention. Again, I went to school in the nineties, so being told I looked “fly” while strutting around in my LA Gear jacket would have been the highlight of my day! That also, absolutely, NEVER happened, as the nineties also cloaked me in a terminal awkward phase.

But here’s the deal: Loving attention can be a really tricky thing to love.

I grew up in a private Christian school and we’d sing songs in chapel like “Humble thyselves in the sight of the Lord…”. That dang song had the ability to turn a room full of chipper, joyful kids into a solemn group of chanting monks. It was a slow (and to me) depressing song. I still hate it.

Then there was the song that came out a bit later where we’d croon, “It’s all about you…all about you, Jesus…I’m sorry Lord for the thing I made it…” That one always seemed to bite me too.

Now, please don’t think that I’m suggesting that we remove all the verses in the ol’ Good Book about being humble. No, no, no…that would be weird / heretical. Again, not the attention I’m going for.

A long time back, I just decided that my inner appreciation for attention must be that scary ‘human’ side of me that I needed to constantly battle and keep at bay to truly earn my spot on God’s “Good Girls” list, which, by the way, I heard recently that He doesn’t even have anymore. Pshh. What a jip! I was planning on nailing that #1 spot! Whatevs…

But lately I’ve been getting to hear a few really cool things from some chicks who are kinda in the know about these types of things. Ok, so I don’t know what that really means, but these ladies are smart and when they open their mouths to speak, Truth just kinds shoots out and if you are in ear shot of them, look out! You may just get your world rocked.

Example:

Casual Observers:

What the WHAT!? Did I just hear you say {insert kick-ass TRUTH here}

Crazy Chicks Who Speak Truth Like They’re Part Owl or Old Turtle Wearing a Graduation Cap:

Yup. You did. You’re welcome.

You know that whole ‘Who am I? What is my purpose?’ things that we sometimes do? Often it’s a transition in our lives that gets us feeling a little wonky and triggers the whole ‘Oh crap! Why am I here again?’ feelings. I guess you could say me trading my cozy home office and constant kid-cuddle time for a new full time office job and whole bouquet of bad office lighting catapulted me into that freak-out territory. Yep, it’s pretty fair to say that.

So whenever I thought about all those BIG questions about who I was and what I could be used for, I always seemed to come up with answers that seemed just a touch on the dramatic side. I quickly squashed them out and figured that my lack of Bible reading probably caused me to be so selfish, and decided to try to cram in some of God’s Word. (Because that’s how God loves to speak to people, right? By CRAMMING it in our heads. Um, no.)

Then I’d move along and kind of forget about trying to figure out my purpose, because, honestly, it’s kind of an overwhelming thing and it’s much easier to focus on groceries, daycare pick-ups and middle of the night ‘Mom, can I use your bathroom?’ situations.

But back to those smart ladies who I compared to cartoon owls wearing graduation caps: I was talking to a few of them and they asked me, “What if liking the spotlight is part of who you were made to be?”

WHAT?! But I thought I was supposed to be humble!

“True, but God doesn’t make us with dreams and desires only to have us work forever to try and bury them and try to cover them up.”

Whoa. Really?

Now I’m not saying that there isn’t room in the ‘I love the spotlight’ personality type for failure. Oh man. One of my biggest fears is being prideful or ignoring others, or to be seen as being self-centered. (Regardless of how much I joke about my own self-love, if anyone actually felt that I was self-centered, I would be crushed.)

I find this fear comes out a lot when I’m disciplining my kids. If they do something self-centered (um, hello…they’re 5 and soon to be 7…that’s all they know how to do!) I jump on them faster than a free pair of shoes.

“Must.Curb.Self-Centeredness!” I hear internally.

If I don’t discipline them and ‘bend their will’ to be more loving, than I would be raising some awful human beings with no love in their hearts for the people around them. And God would probably be pretty pissed at me for screwing them up!

Yikes…I know. I’m working on it. I cannot claim 100% responsibility for the character that my children will develop. Sure, I know we parents have a part in molding and shaping it, but I have to let go of the feeling that if I drop the ball, they are doomed for a life of sucky-human-being-ism. Or hell. That would suck.

So anyway, I’m going to be exploring this little nugget of “Maybe it’s ok to love the spotlight and still be an asset to the God-Squad” truth.

What are your thoughts on the spotlight? Do you also tend to glow in the light of it, or do you prefer the shady coolness of the background shadows?

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life.

That ‘shine among them like stars’ part is my favorite : )

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