Monday, December 10, 2007

Compliments Are Funny Things

This has been an interesting weekend.

On Saturday I went to a Ladies Christmas tea. I have to admit that I went half-heartedly. I had plenty to do at home and I was just, flat tired. I had a nice time...nothing to write home about...but nice.

At the tea we listened to a very good teaching about being Marys and not Marthas this time of year. The speaker gave an example of a mythical Christmas lady that we possibly all have in the back of our minds. A sort of Martha Stewart meets the Proverbs 31 lady with the Titus 2:3-5 lady thrown in for good measure. Everyone had a nice chuckle at that, acknowledging that she is indeed lurking in the back of minds this time of year.

On Sunday a dear friend came up to me and whispered in my ear, " You are my mythical Christmas lady." I hope that I appeared to take it well. But in truth I was appalled. I would like to note that this friend meant this in the best way possible, as a compliment.

But compliments can be funny things.

Either I am doing that well, I do have it that together...OR....I'm putting up a better front than I thought. Not that I try to put up a front. Because I don't. What you see is pretty much what you get. I am a work in progress and I am far from perfect. And it is uncomfortable, to say the least, to have someone view me that way.

Husband assured me that I don't come off as perfect. But, you know, he may be too close to the situation.

I am really a little dismayed. I want to be a good example to other women, especially younger women. But I don't want to appear perfect because it implies a sort of unrelatability. Like I couldn't possibly know what it is like to have a messy house, things undone, snotty nosed kids, bills unpaid, etc., etc., etc. The thing is I know all to well about those things. It is only by God's grace and strength that I get through each day. I'm telling you that I can do nothing in my own strength and when I do, it can be very ugly.

So if you know me in real life and you think, for some odd reason, that I am perfect or something, I just want to say that I am not. I am a work of God, still being worked on, still struggling with sin and all that stuff. I am where I am by His grace.


Gina said...

I've been the recipient of similar compliments/comments over the years. Several times actually.

I'm not trying to impress anyone or come off as something I'm not. I have very high standards for myself and I work really hard. I've decided that I can't help what other people think of me.

Anonymous said...

WHAT? You aren't PERFECT????? lol. Cyndy-I love to hear about your "imperfect" times, because that makes you even more real. No one is perfect. If they appear to be, then they are hiding something, I can guarantee it. I love you just the way you are, and I thank you for being YOU, for being so open, and for being such a wonderful sister in Christ! LOVE YA, Frances