I was tired, hot and hangry*.
It was Friday afternoon and we were closing up shop after our Rummage Sale’s second full day of operation. This is our youth group’s largest and most profitable fundraiser of the year and it takes hours upon hours of work to prepare for the event. We’d spent weeks sorting clothes, moving and setting up tables, hanging clothing racks and pricing items and we were all looking forward to it being over.
During the Rummage Sale, the temperatures in our area hit tropical level hotness when only weeks earlier (on Easter morning) snow covered the ground. Between the heat, the crazy breed of 7AM rummage sale shoppers and the longs hours I was exhausted. All I wanted was a cold shower, a big ole burger and my comfy bed.
That afternoon as I locked up the bay doors to the garage, my best friend’s 8 year old daughter came up to me and with her green eyes wide with excitement asks, “Can I show you something I made for you?”
I growled a “sure” as I continued working. She unrolled a piece of paper and lifted it up near my face in order to get my attention.
I read it out loud back to Grace, “Be You?”
“Yup.” She smiled and skipped away.
“I’ve been struggling to be me since I was her age,” I thought to myself. Now at 31, I still question whether I’m my true self or just some fraud. My eyes constantly noticing the things in others that I seem to lack. From the completely shallow (like the length of my hair or size of my waist) to more weightier topics (like my long list of insecurities).
This has been my constant inward grappling all these years– wanting to fully accept myself with all my dents and bruises while allowing myself to be imperfect. I’d like to be gracious with myself and my short comings and stop badgering my soul. I’ll be the first one to tell you I’m not there yet. I’m still learning to be kind to myself in the process knowing there will be moments that I forget its ok to be ME.
It’s obvious I’m no master at all of this, but I want you to know you don’t have to conform to some kind of mold. You have complete freedom to be you– to be fully you. Whatever that looks like. Silly. Witty. Sassy. Quiet. Inquisitive.
If I’ve learned anything from Grace’s note, its that maybe I should love me as much as others do. They don’t love me because I’m like someone else, but they love me because I’m me. And if others can love me for me….maybe I can love me for me too.
*hangry= Hungry + Angry
3 thoughts on “Be YOU: Wisdom from an 8 Year Old”
Thank you for your ministry in writing.
Thanks, Art! I appreciate the encouragement!
Well said, Holly!