Monday, October 29, 2012

Admire, Grow, Embrace

I have a friend.(actually, I have many friends) I have known her since well before we were teens. We are very similar. We both love to read. We think very similarly about a lot of topics. We are both strong women. And I think one of the most amusing things about our friendship is that we both call the same girl our BFF. Lucky bff.

We are also very different.

She so sweetly referred to me just recently as her most productive friend. 'Cause I get a lot of things done. And when I think of her, it is in admiration of her ability to make things beautiful.

She is everything in this area that I am not. I'm too practical. The kids are going to break something, you know? Or I just don't want to be bothered. The fluff and stuff doesn't fit so much into my streamlined life style.

But, in my eyes, she is a living, breathing Martha Stewart. Seriously! I don't know if she is inspired by Pinterest or not, but let me tell you, the meals she makes, the way she caters, how she decorates her life and home, are all Pinterest worthy. She decorates in ways that I could never even imagine, but that I'd sure love to imitate. "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" and all that.

We admire in each other the things that we are not. And I think that is wonderful.

We admire the thing we are not-not necessarily how we wish we were. Not that we don't both challenge each other to grow beyond our comfort zone. (I'm already thinking lanterns and leaves to decorate like she did last night.)

And, I think this is key. Admire, grow, embrace.

Admire what makes people different. I keep going back to the thought that God created such a diverse creation. Many colors, shapes, sizes, and species.

Our cultural clarion call is tolerate diversity. I hate how it is used. But the principle is very good. Just because people are different doesn't mean they are judging us. It doesn't mean that they think we should be just like them.

Challenge yourself to grow into skills and traits, etc. that you wouldn't normally use to describe yourself. If you aren't artistic, try some painting. If you aren't organized, try making a list for your week. Raise the bar. Grow.

Embrace the diversity. I am not artistic in the traditional sense. But I do appreciate art and beauty. And I surround myself with artists. What I can't or don't do, I allow others to contribute to my life.

Instead of feeling the need to compete or judge, allow others' strengths to enrich your life.

I love teaching kids. When I do Bible Clubs I enjoy telling the stories. Pulling out awesome facts and weaving them into something beautiful. What you aren't going to see me doing is skits or crafts. I just don't have the patience or desire to do them.

But, if someone I am partnering with loves doing skits or crafts, I make time in the schedule for them. I try to allow them to utilize their gifts and interests.

People thrive, and life is much fuller, when everyone adds their bit of personality and strength to the collective pot.
True colors, that's why I love you...beautiful-like a rainbow.

Instead of getting our hackles up when we read what someone else does or doesn't do, why not embrace the color they bring to our life? Instead of feeling like we don't measure up, embrace what makes you-you, and them-them. Instead of being scornful or derisive, let's be encouraging.

Tolerate diversity. Welcome diversity. Encourage diversity.

In your life, who do you admire because they are different from you? How can you grow from their example? How will you enthusiastically embrace your differences?