Thursday, October 22, 2009

Self Reflection Can Be Harsh & Entertaining

I was going through some old journals, papers and pictures the other night. What a trip. I am very aware of certain things about myself. For example, I have ALWAYS been aware of how loud I am. I have heard this ALL my life from ALL the people I have ever interacted with. I am loud. From birth on...and I really don't try to be loud. When I get excited - whether good or bad - my decible level exponentially increases at rapid paces. I like to think of myself has having charisma. But, as I was going through this stuff, I stumbled on a couple of things that made me almost pee my pants laughing.

Exhibit 1: 8th Grade Report card
I was a decent student so that was good to see, but upon further inspection into the details of this card, I found a post it note from my Phy-Ed teacher. It read: "Ericka is very loud. It is very annoying. You need to work on this Ericka!" That is basically verbatim there folks. I had to laugh...1) because I know that I am loud and that couldn't be more brutal of a note from a teacher 2) I never liked this rude teacher 3) it's Phy-Ed for God's sake! who is quiet in Phy-Ed geez! I also happen to notice that many of my teachers consistantly gave me check marks for fostering a good work environment. Man, I honestly feel bad for that.

Exhibit 2: My mom's letter to me from 8th Grade Graduation
It was a tear jerker indeed, but they weren't just tears from having my heart strings pulled on. I laughed so hard it drove me to tears...that funny! My poor parents! I wish I had this letter on hand to quote it because I know that anyone who knows me will get the biggest kick out of some of the quotes. My husband was also laughing hysterically with me. Basically, she tells me the standard touching things you would want to hear from your mother. But she doesn't mince words and also shares how challenging I have been when it comes to my volume. Essentially, she shared that she often had to seek scripture to find the strength and the positives in my booming voice. And if she hadn't found some supportive scripture on...oh say...making a joyful noise unto the Lord (me being the one the Lord hears first) she would have pulled all her hair out by now. And that is a very close paraphase...

One thing that really stood out to me in this letter and has always been something my mother instilled in me that I never forgot: Just remember to always think about having Jesus with you at all times. If he were here in the flesh, would you do and say the things you do, would you take him to the places you go? Would you want him to know your thoughts? This will always keep you on the right path. Those are words I have always remembered and tried to live by. The wisdom my mom had to keep that in our minds is astounding. That one stuck and makes so much sense. BTW - This was way before the popular WWJD bracelets hit the scene. I still, to this day, try to live my life in that mind-set. My mom is truly an inspiration to me and I just hope that I can impart some wisdom that sticks like that to my children

And let's be honest, Jesus would not have liked many of the places I have been and many of the things I have done. And I am sure the poor guy has some industrial ear plugs in when hanging with me all these years!

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