My usual thinking process works like this: I observe someone’s accomplishments, and I remind myself that I am less than. I confess that I struggle to publish these blogposts because of this comparison thing that I’ve got going on. The internet is brimming with brilliance, bigger, better, (what’s another”b” word?) . . . so what in the world am I doing here?
I love making these blocks so much, and it is an incredible experience reading along in the Bible from cover to cover, and I just have to tell somebody. So that’s why I’m here.
I attribute my mindset to a lifetime of peer group conditioning. My elementary school education in my very ordinary neighborhood had a huge role. The school was average (I can say this as an educator myself), but the clientele was exceptional. And living in the stable little neighborhood that we were, I was with this peer group all through junior high and high school, many even through college. I sat next to students who would later become astronauts, mayors, school superintendents, major TV network newscasters, professional musicians, and published authors. Our playgrounds produced professional athletes too. I could continue, but you get the idea. Was it something in the water? We all shared that dribbly drinking fountain that some smart aleck would stop up with a piece of gum. Who knows?
But my point is, I saw greatness up close and personal. For example, I would work on a project, say, my fourth grade Native American tribe report. These were the days when we did all of the work ourselves, during class. There wasn’t such a thing as homework, unless you wanted to practice the spelling list for the Friday test. So I’d research and complete my work, thinking it worthy of an “A” grade. Then when it was time to share our oral reports, one of those kids would get up out of their seat, go to the front of the room, and proceed to just blow me out of the water with the depth and breadth of their presentation. They’d go further into the task with concepts that I wasn’t even aware of, and therefore that would never have occurred to me.
All this to say that I’ve grown up with a healthy understanding of my place in the crowd. I’m not at the bottom of the barrel, and I’m not anywhere near the top. I like keeping my head under the radar, safely sharing the middle space with the rest of the crowd. It’s quite comfortable here.
Well, today, I can say that I own it. At least when it comes to this passage in Proverbs. I’ve spun wool, and knitted warm things for my family. Just let these verses speak for themselves. It doesn’t say that she enters shows and brings home ribbons, so join me. Let’s compare. When it comes to fabric, we’ve got skills. We own this:
“She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. . . She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.”