Perspective

I hate being the center of attention.

And yes, I know I’m loud. It’s something I really dislike about myself. I’ve always wanted to be the soft-spoken woman who only speaks when something is incredibly important. But I’m not.

Knowing that, I’m not surprised in the least at how loud my daughter is. We joke around the house that she has no volume control. Everything that she does, she does it loud. Singing, talking, reading, dancing, playing. I’m never worried when I hear her scream, the panic comes when she’s silent for more than a minute.

What amazes me though, is how much she enjoys performing. She loves to be watched. Recently she walked up to a random lady in the store and said, “My name is Abby. Want to see me dance?” Without waiting for an answer, she proceeded to make up a song and do a little jig right there. I’m certain her idea of heaven is a full-time audience.

And maybe that’s what it is. Heaven. Maybe it’s each of us up on our own little stage singing and dancing and speaking words of praise to God. He could be the spotlight and the music and the audience all at the same time.

The problem with that image is that it terrifies me. I’m nearly sweating at the thought of it. And I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t be afraid of Heaven.

I would much rather imagine blending into a crowd of saints and letting my voice be hidden by all of theirs. You know, like I do at church. I don’t sit on the front row, I don’t sing loudly, and I definitely don’t wish that I was on stage.

There’s something wrong with that, isn’t there? With wanting to blend in? More than that- with being afraid to stand out? There’s something wrong with fear in general.

I don’t know where my fear started. I’m pretty certain it has to do with being afraid of others judging me. Being scared of not measuring up. The mental exaggeration of my faults. The curse of perfectionism.

But I think God is using my daughter to break my scaredy cat shell. Simply put, I’m noticed everywhere I go with her. In every store and at every event, Abby draws attention to us. Like yesterday when she walked around town with hair bows clipped to her ears as earrings.

Earrings

Through her words and her actions, people notice her. And in turn, they notice me. And her unbelievable fearlessness makes me proud. I can’t help but smile at this person, this ball of energy, that I’ve created.

All I can say is, isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work? Aren’t people supposed to notice the child and then the parent? Shouldn’t my faith draw attention to me and cause people to look at my God?

I wonder how many opportunities to draw attention to God, through my actions, I’ve avoided. I think maybe my fear of attention, my embarrassment at my loudness, has been hurting more than just me.

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3 Comments to “Perspective”

  1. JEANNIE, OH JEANNIE, PLEEEEEAZE, MARKET YOUR WRITING SKILLS SO THE REST OF THE WORLD CAN ENJOY!!! LOVE YA

  2. Some thoughts…
    1. Abby is quiet when she sleeps. She just doesn’t do it very often.
    2. You are not and were never loud and/or noisy. You say what you think in a strong voice.
    3. You did sit front row in high school band.And you were great at your first chair spot!
    4. Did her ears hurt from the clips on the bows???

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