Friday, May 31, 2013

An "Elementary" Boost

When was the last time you felt delighted in?  When it happens, it's not something you forget.  It becomes one of those memories that resurfaces from time to time.  It's something you replay in your head.  And it can brighten your day in a big way. 

Today was a day that I felt delighted in.  But I think you'll be surprised by WHO delighted in me.  Any guesses?  Drum roll please... it was my son's Kindergarten/First Grade class.  Who got it right?  Trust me, if I was guessing, this answer would not have been on my radar screen at all.  Are you ready to hear about the "elementary" boost I received?  Here it goes...

Today was field day and I decided it would be fun to take my four year old to watch his brother participate.  Knowing that we would be outside all day, I strategically decided not to take a shower.  I did not want this decision to be overly noticeable, so I washed my face (and didn't even put on one lick of makeup), threw on my pink ball cap, and we were ready to go.

When I walked into my son's classroom, you would think I was a rock star.  (Notice I didn't say look like a rock star... see paragraph above).  And while I might be exaggerating a little bit about the rock star status, lots of the kid's said hi and were excited that my four year old and I were joining them for the day.  (Note that being the room mom does help with this kind of welcome because you are the one who throws the parties.)

One little girl came up to me and told me how much she liked the parties.  Later, that same sweet girl, who embodies joy like no one I've ever seen before, looked me straight in the eyes and said "I think you're nice."  I was so touched... in my book, that's one of the highest compliments you can receive from a gal in Kindergarten. 

But the icing on the delight cake came when my son handed me a note from his best friend.  This note said "You are my best friend because..." and it listed some things he liked about my son.  But his best friend didn't stop there.  The note also included something about each member of our family.  How cute is that?  A seven year old writing a note that includes something about each person in his friend's family is pretty amazing.  The part he wrote about me brought tears to my eyes.  It said "And your mom is beateful." 

For those of you who don't know my story, I've struggled with feeling beautiful a lot during my life.  About eight years ago, I got Bell's Palsy, which paralyzes your face.  And the entire left side of my face became paralyzed.  My face looked deformed as a result of being paralyzed and I knew, for a fact, that I was ugly.  I believed lots of lies during this time.  And one of my biggest fears was that my son would be embarrassed to have his friends over because my face was deformed. 

So the fact that my son's best friend wrote that I was "beateful" in a card... completely on his own... without any prompting... on a day that I was "au naturel"... touched me.  I almost broke into tears whenever I thought about the note during the day.  God used these words to remind me that I am beautiful, just as I am.  And He also showed me that all those fears I had... all those lies I believed... were not reality.  They were just not true.  And how cool that God's messenger today was my son's best friend.

I wonder... does someone you know need some encouragement today?  Do they need to receive an "elementary boost" like I experienced?  How can you be God's messenger?  Instead of just thinking a compliment in your head (I know I'm guilty of this!!), actually say it.  Tell your friend she looks beautiful.  Let your hubby know how much you appreciate him taking care of the yard.  Let your children know you appreciate their good behavior.  Tell the wait staff how much you appreciate them serving you so well.  Look the cashier in the eye and actually engage in a conversation with them.  You never know how much the person might need your "elementary" boost. 

And in case you need another nudge to start boosting others up, check out Ephesians 4:29: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Just think how the encouraging words you speak today could build someone up who is struggling, or help someone who's having a bad day, or speak truth to a friend who's fighting lies and needs the "elementary" boost of your words to help them take their thoughts captive. 

Maybe you are the one who needs the boost today.  I've got a message just for you.  From the One who absolutely adores you.  From the One who knows everything about you and loves you just the same (Romans 8:34-39).  .  From the One who pursues you (Luke 15), is compassionate and gracious towards you (Psalm 145:8), and whose love never fails.  Listen closely and let this truth settle deep in your heart:

The Lord your God is with you, He is might to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing. 
Zephaniah 3:17

Yep, you read it right.  God takes great delight in you AND He rejoices over you with singing.  Can you hear Him?  Can you envision the twinkle in His eyes?  Can you imagine the smile on His face?  You are delighted in.  Let this be your "elementary" boost... every day.

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