Tag Archives: encouragement

“Watch me!”

We have been at the pool a lot lately. My son loves to go off the diving boards. He spends hours alternating between the low dive and the high dive. Each time he gets on the board, he looks over to me and gives me the thumbs up. When I give him the thumbs up, he’ll proceed. If I’m not watching, he will wait or yell, “Hey mom, are you watching?” This is why I haven’t been reding much this summer. I carry my big book to the pool but I’ve been on the same page for weeks.

My son’s longing to have me watch him is similar to the way we all want to be seen. How cool to have someone always watching and cheering you on. Wouldn’t it be great if before we took a leap in life, we could look over to God and have Him give us the thumbs up?  We all want reassurance that what we are doing is right and good for us. 

I was in a seminar once and the speaker said her mom hung a picture of Jesus in every room to remind her that He was always watching her.  She claims her mom did this to scare her.  She said it like, “He’s ALWAYS watching…” As in, “Don’t try to get away with anything because even if I don’t see you, Jesus sees everything”.  This woman was really traumatized by this and felt very afraid of Jesus.  She said she couldn’t accept the Eucharist as a child because she was so afraid of Jesus.  She was taught that he was a judgmental, punishing God.  She was taught to fear. 

How different would that message have been if she was told this…”Jesus is always watching you.  He is everywhere you are and he loves you so much, He can’t take His eyes off of you.  He is cheering for you, He is giving you the thumbs up, He is with you always.  He is your protection, your comfort, your assurance.  He is your friend.” 

Much better, eh? 

It’s all in the perspective.  It’s all in the way we look at it. 

As a parent, I know how important it is for my kids to see me there, on the side of the pool, paying attention, giving the thumbs up, clapping, congratulating, cheering.   I realize they are building their perceptions of life based on what they are experiencing. 

The diving board is really a metaphor for life.  When we are going to take a “leap” in life, what has our experience shown us? 

Am I being encouraged?  Are people rooting for me?  Am I good enough?  Am I brave enough?  Am I supported? 

What has your experience shown you?  Are you going to jump off that board or not?

©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

Store it up

I was watching a show and they were talking about a book coming out called “Fragments”.  It’s a compilation of Marilyn Monroe’s never seen before writings. 

I find her fascinating.  I really am intrigued by famous people.  My daughter was watching a fashion show and they brought up Jacqueline Kennedy and she asked me about her.  She did not have any idea what she was asking for!! I went on and on about the Kennedy family and showed her pictures and books and tried to explain all of the history.  I was laughing about it thinking about all of the information we all have in our heads about these famous people! 

I want to read the book about Marilyn.  I especially like the title, “Fragments”.  What a great word. 

When they were talking about the book, they talked about her insecurities but also about the fact that she would tell herself, “I’m frail but I’m strong” over and over again.  Aren’t we all?

She seems to me like a lost little girl…someone who the world just gobbled up.  She didn’t have a strong sense of self so she let others mold her.  We used her and she let us.

That’s not a judgment on her, I have empathy for her and sympathy too.  I think her life serves as a cautionary tale.

The world has its own agenda.  It’s not just in Hollywood where these things happen.  It’s every where, every day to people like me and you and all of us.  We too are frail and strong.  We too are insecure. 

There are many messages coming at us from all different sources.  Some of them are really shiny. 

You know what I mean…they look fun and enticing and fulfilling.  Sometimes we take the shiny path and it’s not fulfilling.  We feel empty.  It’s times like this when we have to go to our reserves and fill up again.  But we can only do that if we have reserves. 

I want to teach my children to store it up.  Store up love and kindness and encouragement.  Store up faith and knowledge and wisdom.  Store up memories and laughter and fun.  Store up successes and lessons learned and truth.  Store up friendships that are real and authentic and supportive. 

Remember when your parents told you to “save for a rainy day”?  I always thought they were talking about money but now I know it’s about all of these other things. 

Save for a rainy day because the rain does come.  Sometimes it pours.  Hopefully then we can go to our reserves, to what we’ve saved, to our storage,  and we can see the sun again. Hopefully, we’ve created an umbrella for ourselves. 

The rain came for Marilyn and she didn’t have enough saved.  She had no umbrella and nobody stepped up to help keep her dry.  Shame on us.

 While we are busy filling up our reserves, let’s all try to fill up other’s reserves too.  What kind of encouragement can we provide today for someone who is “frail but strong”?   

By the way… that’s everyone you meet.