Last night at Sixteen’s volleyball game, two different moms told me that my boys (Ten and Twelve):
- Were so cute
- Were so well behaved and always seemed happy
- Got along really well
I’m still laughing.
One out of three aint bad; they are cute.
Perception is such a funny thing. The way we think we are perceived and they way we are actually perceived can be so far apart. I remember when I used to lead worship at the women’s Bible study at my church. One night there was a woman in the audience who had a scowl on her face the whole time. I mean, if I had been a newbie I would have been totally freaked out.
But then afterward, she sought me out to tell me how much she enjoyed the worship music and how it touched her heart. I smiled and thanked her, but inside I was wondering if I should mention that she might want to tell her face how she was feeling!
So, back to my boys. They actually are good kids and they do get along pretty well in public. But at home? It’s pretty much World War Three.
Every. Single. Day.
Which means I walk around feeling stressed out by their behavior, trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong and how I can fix it. So, when two people make comments about my boys that are so far from the perception I have, I take a step back and evaluate. They really are pretty good kids. They drive me crazy and they don’t get along. Except when they do. Like at volleyball games. I think maybe I should take what I can get and give them a little credit, ya know?
And then I wonder…am I doing the same thing to myself? Am I walking around stressed out by all my flops and failures that no one else really sees? Am I constantly trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong and how can I fix it? Probably. It’s a quiet and subtle voice, so it’s easy to just let it play on in the background all day without realizing it. But I’m sure it affects the face I’m wearing. I’m sure it colors how I see the people around me.
I’m not going to beat myself up over it. Because that would be a lesson in missing the point. I’m just going to start listening a little more to some of the other comments in the conversation. I’ve been reading through Jesus’s words this week. The Red Letters. And in those red letter sections, I’ve seen some pretty cool comments about how valuable I am and how much God loves me.
And you know what? He says the same thing about you. He probably even thinks you’re cute.