Thursday, December 4, 2008

Paying Attention (again ... or is it still?)

I started this post and saved it as a draft back on Thanksgiving Day - if that's when Nov 27 was. I didn't publish it because I felt I was coming off whiny and negative, and that wasn't how I wanted to come across at all. So I saved it as a draft. But now, after a series of events, (three times a charm again) I am going to post it. I'm leaving all the original text as is and am going to put my new notes in a different color to differentiate them. Not that anyone cares about my thought process, but I need to keep them separate.

The original reason (reason #1 in my paying attention) I was going to post this was based on a reaction I had to my co-worker and friend Sarah's post. She was bummed and down on herself over a party she's trying to put together.
My friend Sarah is graduating from UNR on Saturday, December 6th, then she's got finals the next week. How crazy ridiculous is that, for the university to have graduation before finals? Totally ridiculous I say.

So here's the thing. Sarah is one of the kindest most gentle people I've met in life. I wrote about her for one of my Positive Post Tuesday posts. I didn't go on about all the nice things about her. Sarah doesn't realize how much like any of the rest of us she is. That's cause at age 24 (soon to be 25) she hasn't lived long enough to experience that other people are just as insecure and self conscious as her.

I know what it is to want to be the popular one.
I know what it is to want people to like me.
I know what it is to always feel 'second' best.

I can identify with Sarah, planning and organizing events has always been a very risky business for me. I've always considered myself shy, quiet and reserved. I don't expect people to actually want to come, so I don't plan anything.
Ok, so that's all I had originally said. Somehow I thought I'd said more. Maybe I deleted it.

And then, later on the weekend (this is #2 in the paying attention part of my story) I read a post on
"Where's My Damned Answer," the first post I'd ever read on the blog in fact, that really hit home. The post was titled "100 Day Challenge: Family stories". I had (and still have for that matter) no idea what the 100 Day Challenge is even about, but I read Carol's post. And I commented. Here's my comment:

I actually started to blog about this myself over the holiday, but since it sounded so negative, I decided against it.

I grew up under the shadow of my older sister. She was always “the out going one, and the pretty one,” which by default left me to be the shy one and the ‘not pretty’ one.

At age 44, I’ve finally realized I’m pretty darned outgoing myself, and I don’t think a single one of my friends would ever describe me as shy. I’ve always had a hard time believing my husband for thinking I’m beautiful. That one still stands. I’m just me, and that’s good enough.

I read this morning in the book I’m studying 1 Corinthians 15:10 - But by the grace of God I am what I am …

[I'd forgotten about 1 Corinthians I am what I am.... guess that makes reading the blog #3, since the scripture was #2. but who's counting, are you?]

So I posted my comment. Then later in the week (which would have been #3, but since I forgot about the scripture, it makes this #4 ...) I told Sarah about my aborted blog post - telling her face to face how we're all insecure beings at our core. And I told her all the things about her that I've always admired and respected in her. I told her not to worry about those people who she is trying so hard to develop friendship with. I said "The people you are going to be friends with in life, are going to be those people who like you for who you are just the way you are."

Ok, so on to #4, which by now is really #5. Apparently I won the "100 day Challenge" drawing for having posted my comment. I had totally overlooked Carol's reminder Remember to post on this or Monday’s post to be eligible for this drawing next week. And thus, I realized I guess I'd better post my post. And thus, here it is. Long winded and all. [sorry, I really am trying to be less wordy]

How does this all wrap up? And what am I paying attention too? I dunno. How's that for an answer? I just had the same subject come up time and time again. Five times in fact, in the past week. So this is my take away:

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Corinthians 15:10

I had to read it several times before the entire verse made sense to me. and his grace to me was not without effect means I noticed. It isn't in vain. I am aware of the truth that I am what I am, cause that's how I am made to be. I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me doesn't mean that I'm all that for being who I am, I am who I am because God is with me.

At least that's how it adds up to me.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Beautiful? Check. Outgoing? Definitely check! I think you hit the nail on the head with that verse. It's a great realization that we have worth because of God within us, in spite of all we can or can't do. There's no point comparing ourselves to others. Except that's a whole lot easier said than done. The kind of lesson I have to learn over and over.

Thanks for your comment and encouragement on the Classic post. That was such a wonderful analogy that just made a world of sense, and I'm sure Dave and Tracie will appreciate just as much, if not more, than I do.