Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Warm Fuzzies vs. Cold Pricklies

When my oldest was in elementary school, they began a program to help develop self-esteem. They tried to teach the kids and the parents about the value of warm fuzzies and the potential damage of cold pricklies. We live in a world where the norm seems to be the cold pricklies. I don't know if it's because people just don't feel comfortable giving away warm fuzzies. It is so wonderful to be somewhere and look at someone who has a fun outfit on and compliment them. It just makes their day. (I know it makes mine when someone gives out a genuine compliment--not like going to the mall and trying on a dress and have one of the clerks say, "Oh, it looks so great!!! And you look in the mirror and go YIKES!!!)

As I think about the start of a new school year and the barrage of negative comments the kids get from their peers and unfortunately even from some of their teachers, I want so much to send my guy and my seminary kids off with enough warm fuzzies to help them battle the cold pricklies that will inevitably come. It is so hard watching someone struggle with low self-esteem especially when you think they are amazing. Our world has become so competitive and there are many who want to build themselves up by tearing others down.

We have some very good friends in California who are builders. I miss them so much because you would leave their house feeling like you could do anything--they just made you feel like you were incredible. I think each time I left I was 2" taller than when I walked in. No, it wasn't that you walked out with a big head, they just made you feel you were doing great and as a result you wanted to do even better.When we attended Conference last October, Doc and Priscilla spent a lot of time building all of us. I was sad that we didn't get to play Scrabble with them--because even when you put down "CAT" he makes you think that was the best word ever, and then he puts down some 7 letter word using a Z and gets triple points, but you still feel your "CAT" was a great choice.

One of the first lessons we will have in seminary this year deals with their coming to know who they are and who they have always been. That is such an important lesson. Yet, sometimes even knowing who we are finds us affected by what others say and what others do. (In my case, sometimes it's what I think others are thinking about me.) We know that discouragement is one of the adversary's greatest tools.

It's always amazing to me that the older I get the more I realize how little I know and how much I have to learn. I always thought by the time I was in my mid-50's I would have a better grasp on it all. Fat chance. I know more today than I did yesterday but some things are harder than they were before, and some lessons seem to need to be repeated over and over. I've made mistakes as a mother (just ask any of my kids) and have tried to learn from them. I pray that I can be the kind of mother that is there to build up my children and grandchildren--to help them recognize their potential and to help them see the vision God has for them.

By the way...today was the best day ever of exercising--day 8!!!


Liam's Mom - Gina said...

You are such an insightful and good person, Yvonne! It's neat that you are humble enough to know you don't know everything even after being a supermom for so long.

No matter what, we all have self-esteem issues from time to time. I am glad you have good friends who make you feel 2 inches taller and a few IQ points smarter. That is a rare and wonderful blessing!

Nancy Face said...

I just ♥ warm fuzzies! I would love to be like your friends and build people up...what a wonderful gift that is! :D

You're so right about discouragement being one of the adversary's greatest tools (or weapons). I've seen that so many times. :(

DAY 8!!! I'm so proud of you! :D

Yvonne said...

Gina and Nancy face: Talk about builders...Thank you both for the kind words. You have always been so kind and encouraging in all of your comments. It is very much appreciated.

Melissa said...

I remember a teacher in elementary school making us "warm fuzzies". She used pom poms and glued those wiggle eyes on them. We weren't supposed to keep the warm fuzzies. We were supposed to pass them on. It was kind of fun :)
It is amazing how things effect our self esteem. Do we ever just let go of what we think others think? (I have the SAME problem...) In my head I know that I don't need to prove myself to anyone but still....

Amanda said...

Warm fuzzies are the best! You are so right that this world is full of cold pricklies. One of the hardest things of motherhood is feeling helpless about what your kids might run into 'in the world' adn seeing them in pain when they experience the cold pricklies. We just have to keep trying our best to love and encourage them at home.

Yvonne said...

Melissa: Thanks for the comment. You are right how we know in our head, but getting our hearts to get it is the hard part!!!

Amanda: I'm a mother hen who always wants to protect her chicks!!! You are absolutely right about the need to love and encourage them. Thanks.