Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Importance of a Good Word

Ever have someone act some weird way and wonder what made them that way? Well I do. Maybe because I know things that have affected me in my life so I always wonder what made someone do or act the way they do, especially if it’s out of the ordinary.

So I have to say… I am not the most confident person. I am very critical of myself and my work. My business is probably one of the things I am the hardest on myself about. I am always worried the client won’t like their cake for whatever reason. Of course they usually love them and tell me so but there are some people that aren’t as animated or excitable, (kind of like me), and I always wonder if they really liked it. I remind myself that there are lots of personalities out there and not everyone is going to go crazy about a cake. :)

Anyway, I have the perfect example of why I am the way I am. Yesterday was Easter. We had plans to spend it at my parents’ house. They had actually moved a few months ago and we hadn’t seen their new house yet and my Grandpa was coming too. My brother Matthew and his wife Glenda and their two girls were to be there too. So I make cakes and sweets all the time so I thought I would offer to make the desserts. Seems logical right? My mom said that sounded good which surprised me. For this occasion though she said that was fine and I planned on what to make. I made a small carrot cake, shaped like a carrot of course, chocolate truffles because Nathan asked for them, chocolate and vanilla cake pops for the kids, a lemon sour cream pie and at the last minute I made some m&m cherry chip cookies.

When we arrived at my parents’ house we just put it all away for after lunch. A couple hours after lunch we start setting everything out and I learn that my dad made a boxed cheesecake and a jello cake. Of course they made desserts too! I was a tad surprised for a minute but then I got over it, because I wasn’t that surprised. Remember I was more surprised that they allowed me to bring desserts in the first place?

As we are taking out the desserts my mom asks “so what did you bring?” She doesn’t sound like she really wants to know. Later I found out all she had was a cookie which was about the size of a quarter. I let her know what everything was, she says nothing except, “that doesn’t sound good”, after I told her what flavor the pie was. My dad had carrot cake and he said “it wasn’t too sweet” which I took as a good thing.

It’s not that I expect everyone to go crazy with compliments or anything, really. Just a normal amount of common kindness is all. Something like “oh that looks good”, or “those are pretty”. Between the looks they made and what they said I didn’t think they really liked what I brought. Of course they didn’t try much. That’s not the point though.

This is the reason I believe I am so critical of myself and not so confident in general. My parents weren’t those people that encouraged their kids or gave compliments. I remember a time that I won an award at school. I think I was in 2nd grade and our entire school had an essay contest. I think it was k-3rd grades but I am not positive. I won 2nd place in the contest and there was an assembly that we invited our parents to. During the assembly they called us up on the stage and gave us a ribbon. It wasn’t a huge thing, looking back at it, but for an 8-9 year old girl it was a big deal. After the assembly was over my mom read the essay and got really upset. We were supposed to write an essay about our mom or another “mom” in our life. I wrote about my mom of course and how she had raised animals and had a garden; things like that. My mom thought I had written about my grandma and was not happy about it. I felt horrible. She later said she was sorry for getting upset but the damage was done. I don’t ever remember trying to do anything else like that and I have no idea what happened to that ribbon or essay. I probably threw it away. I still have a hard time trying new things or doing something where I might fail.

Now, I know my parents love me and did the best they knew to do when we were kids. Do I think they are proud of the person I am now or do I think they were when I was a kid, no, not really. I am not trying to put my parents down at all but I have learned that God is proud of me and my husband is proud of me and that is enough. This is just something to think about and share with others. Easter was a reminder to me as well. I know that sometimes we are so busy and get stressed and caught up in life that we might not take the time to do those little things that mean so much.

I try to make sure that I do those things with my kids. I don’t want them to be overly confident and full of themselves but I want them to be self-assured and not second guess everything they think or do. My kids get daily encouragement and are praised often. I make sure and tell them they are doing a good job, even when they can do better. I mean if I put down their efforts or don’t encourage them I am going to crush their spirit and they won’t care to try. I am pretty sure we will still screw our kids up someway but hopefully this won’t be the way. ;)

I want to inspire you today. Make sure and encourage and compliment your children. They really are fragile little people and what we do now will affect them their whole life in one way or another. Not that we can’t work through things and come out stronger on the other side but how amazing is it that God has entrusted us with these little people in the first place. I definitely want to do the best I can and give them the tools they need as adults and when they have families of their own someday.


Lori said...

Bonnie, I feel the same way (always wondering if people are going to like what I make - usually scrapbook related.) I have actually stopped making gifts for my husband's side of the family after the first thing I made them and I barely got a thank you. But even my own family doesn't give me enough praise when I make things for them. What a great message in your post. I know my girls love when we compliment them on drawings, schoolwork, etc and it IS so important!

Lori said...

oh, and I would have GLADLY eaten one of everything you made and told you how yummy it was! :)

Bonnie said...

Thanks so much Lori! Your scrapbooking work is amazing too! I have gotten picky about who I will give handmade gifts to also. I love to make gifts but if they don't act like they like it then what's the point. I know I love to get something hand made!
Thanks for your kind remarks! HUGS

Bonnie said...
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