Crashing off the Pedestal~

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Ever found yourself putting people you admire on a pedestal – and then face the inevitable, crashing disappointment when they fail to live up to expectations?

When I was a little girl I can remember looking up to so many people with incredible admiration; they didn’t have to do much to gain that admiration either! I was a little girl with a high “believability”  in people.   From the President of the United States, our church pastor, my schoolteacher, to singers on the radio, I found myself putting them on a pedestal; they could do no wrong. Ah, the naiveté of childhood!

As I got a little older I can vividly remember when some of my “pedestaled heroes” began to reveal their true behaviors and this truly devastated me. My expectations and admiration were all based on what I believed to be true about them. For example, I remember when my perfect third grade teacher lost her temper while talking to her colleague in the hallway outside the classroom and cursed like a sailor~ I was just around the corner and heard every word!   Within an instant her pedestal began to crumble!

Growing up meant realizing that all people are humans with flaws and shortcomings. The truth is that it is actually much healthier to live life understanding that we all have areas that keep us humble every day. As much as I loved imagining people without flaws it’s just not who we, as humans, truly are. Because of this we all need people in our lives who know us, stand with us, challenge us, and support us when we come crashing off the pedestals we, or others have placed us on.

 

At the end of the day, Pedestals are for statues, not humans.

Being honest about Christmas~

It’s Christmastime with all the lights, gifts, celebrations, cards, and busy schedules.  All around us we are besieged by products adds, Christmas carols, and the reminder that “If we order today our gifts can STILL arrive by Christmas day!”  Hurry ~~ Hurry!

Let me be honest, I love the Christmas season as much as anybody, yet, as I pay attention to the people around me I am tenderized by the fact that there are many facing challenges and changes IN THE MIDST of this season. Not everyone is experiencing a Facebook Christmas full of photos of fun, food, and laughter.

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I am aware of folks facing incredible physical challenges, financial pressure, relational pain, loss, and loneliness. For them, the holidays present unique challenges. I see the commercials with the children missing their daddies serving in the military; it takes less than one second for my eyes to well up with tears. I watched a man suffering with Parkinson’s disease carefully taking steps down the aisle at the store slowly gathering up family gifts as his energy (not love) drained with every step; tears again.  I read a blog of a colleague whose son has just married and faced a painful surgery to remove an enormous tumor in his brain; my heart breaks for what this young couple is walking through.

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No, I don’t want to write a blog that brings you down! I don’t. Yet if we miss what is really true during this holiday season we will be unable to be ready to respond to the needs around us. I have simply chosen, in this season, to be very mindful of those who serve in customer care during the holidays; I’ve committed not to be too busy that I don’t forget to thank them by name, smile at them, and compliment them.  It has been remarkable how those soft touches have changed their countenance. This is a little thing!

We all face challenging situations; some seasons are harder than others yet these challenges can just seem more pronounced during a season. If you are in a season where you are experiencing health, peace, and joy then CELEBRATE IT! If you are facing a season that feels heavy and challenging, I encourage you to trust in the One who loves you more than you will ever know!  Deuteronomy 31:8 says ” It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”   I just LOVE that!   That is what Christmas is truly all about!

Even as I write I am keenly aware that many of you are in a tough season, some of you have just passed though challenges, and there will be others whose lives feel incredibly easy at this time.  I wish all of you true joy in whatever situation you find yourself this year.

Perhaps this season, and all year through, we could find the good tension between celebrating our own lives and remaining mindful of those whose lives are facing great challenge.  Let’s be human.

Merry meaningful Christmas to you, my friends.