Dear Kid: I Hope People Don't Like You

I hope you aren't everyone's cup of tea #christian #parent #writing

Every day I watch your character develop. I watch as you try on different personalities, as you try new ways of speaking and acting and being. 

I have a front row seat to this show – a front row seat to the singing and dancing and wardrobe changes. I am witnessing a real life character arc taking shape.

You're discovering what kind of son you will be, what kind of friend you will be, what kind of man you will be.

I have hopes for that man - I hope he will love Jesus, I hope he will be kind, I hope he will be happy. 

And I hope people won’t like him.

I hope you rub some people the wrong way. I hope you are not everyone’s cup of tea. I hope the very core of who you are irritates at least a few people.

Because I want you to be you, and you can’t be you without ruffling feathers.

You can’t be real without rubbing a few people the wrong way.

You can’t be authentic and be everyone’s cup of tea.

You can’t be you without irritating somebody somewhere.

See, it’s possible to spend decades on this stage without ever saying your own lines, for the lights to dim and the curtains to close without you ever singing your own songs. It’s possible hide behind masks and painted-on smiles and brilliant costuming. It’s possible to make a lot of people think they like you without anyone ever really knowing you.

I don’t want that for you. I hope you are known. I hope your songs are heard. 

I hope you run around this stage of life being your whole dang feather-ruffling, spicy tea flavored self. 

I hope some people don’t like you.

Invisible Courage Is Still Courage

Invisible Courage Is Still Courage

There are women who would rather run into a burning building than throw out their make-up.

There are men who would gladly go to war if the option was paired against sitting eyeball to eyeball with another person and exposing their brokenness.

If you are terrified of something and you do it anyway, you are courageous. Period  

Courage is born of action in the face of fear.  When the fear is the most paralyzing, when the resistance is strongest, this is where your act of courage can move the largest mountains. The fear doesn't have to be rational, everyone doesn't need to agree it's scary - If you are terrified of something and you do it anyway, you are courageous. Period  

Those brave people who run into burning buildings, who stand up and speak up while others sit in silence, who armor up and go to war - they are the ones we usually label "courageous."  And they are. Just not the only ones.

What if we measured courage differently?  What if our celebrations of courage were as diverse as our experiences of fear?

May we have eyes to see the courage in others so we can call them out, acknowledge, encourage, and maybe throw the occasional party.