Remember when the world was small and flat,
And it only held a few people?
You don’t? I do. I was there.
And all the people in that small flat world were there for the express purpose of making me happy.
That was my world when I was young,
before I found out that there were horizons I hadn’t crossed,
and mountains I hadn’t climbed,
and that there were people who weren’t put on this earth to create joy just for me and the other little people I knew.
It took me a long time to realize that I occupied only a small corner. In fact, I think it took me longer than most to realize that. I was oblivious to unhappiness of any kind for a long, long time.
And then, one Sunday morning when I was about ten, I found myself with a brand new doubt. It was the first doubt I ever remember feeling that maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t altogether amazing.
That maybe I was only close to amazing.
My family attended a different church that summer Sunday morning. My father had a sister who lived what is now an hour’s drive from where we lived. At that time, though, it seemed like another world, one with dirt roads and a scary, rushing river to cross by ferry.
But that isn’t what gave me my doubts. I was with my family, and I knew my aunt and uncle and their family. It was all good.
I went to my cousin’s Sunday School, and loved it. Her friends were my friends. Why not?
In this little church, the Sunday School class stood up before the whole congregation, and each student recited a Bible Verse by memory. Like Tom Sawyer, I had no idea that sometimes bad things happen when you don’t prepare properly.
I stood up without fear, and began to recite the Twenty-Third Psalm. Not just the first verse, which would have let me sit down feeling amazing. No. I went for the whole green pastures and surely goodness and mercy, forever.
And surely, there was no mercy for me that morning.
I stumbled at verse 3. The kind minister gave me a word and I went on. By the fifth verse I was so scared that my memory failed. But instead of sitting down, I continued to the end, repeating after the minister, line by agonizing line.
Today I realize how fortunate I was not to have to go back to that church and face that Sunday School again.
Because now I know what happens to children who are so close to amazing, but only they know it.
The whole world, beyond your horizon, on the other side of your mountain – that world – it isn’t always so convinced that you’re amazing.
The most important thing I finally learned was that the ones who didn’t think I was amazing often didn’t feel amazing themselves, and weren’t always perfectly happy. And once I knew that, I realized that everyone in the big world sometimes needs help to feel amazing.
Sometimes everyone needs to be assured that being so close to amazing is okay, and we all need to raise the amazing in each other.
The Everyday Amazing Group
A couple of months ago I was visiting Thistlewood Farms blog, a place I often visit because of the beautiful stories and pictures. This blog belongs to Karianne Wood, and that day she was asking if any of us wanted to be in the launch group for her book, So Close To Amazing.
You can imagine how that title drew me, and I volunteered. And she accepted me. Wow. I was so scared I would end up in a place where I would feel less than amazing. I am so new at blogging, and still so unfamiliar with far horizons and tall mountains.
But when someone opens all her communications with “Hello, amazings,” and spreads so much joy with everything she does, you can’t help but begin to feel amazing. Karianne is a champion at raising the amazing in everyday places, for everyone she meets.
Then, last week, she gave us three tips on spreading joy, which is the way to raise the realization that being so close to amazing is okay.
1. Stop the comparison game.
What keeps you from feeling amazing? Or even so close to amazing? Chances are it’s because of comparing yourself to someone you admire and coming up short. The comparison game sabotages feelings of self-worth, and keeps you from even attempting things outside your comfort zone. But even in your comfort zone, you need to feel that you are enough. You are okay exactly the way you are, and you don’t have to accomplish many things perfectly. Perfectly imperfect is enough. God made you to be you, and that is good. No more peering past the curtain at the neighbor and wanting what she’s got. You have what you need to be amazing in your everyday place.
2. Do something for someone else.
There is nothing that can raise your amazing like doing something good for someone else. Everyday you wake up feeling less than is the day to reach out to someone. Make a casserole for a sick friend’s family; put a card in the mail to a lonely person; wave at your weary postman or smile at the grump in the checkout line at Target.
3. The best way to your own joy is to put joy into the world.
When have you felt the most joy in your life? A bubbling up of happiness that just has to boil over and spread around you? How do you get that joy when it’s missing?
Follow the first two steps above, and then…
then you spread your feeling of enough to everyone in your everyday spaces.
Everyone deserves more joy. The whole world needs more joy.
And some of that joy can come from you. And then, because that’s how joy is,
it spreads to more people and more people.
And that’s kind of what we’re doing today with our blog posts, on this
So Close To Amazing Book Launch Blog Tour
To celebrate the release of Karianne Wood’s new book, So Close To Amazing, thirteen blogs are linking up their stories. And we want each one of you to link up your story, too.
So follow the links and read all the amazing stories, then click the link below to link yours.
Blogs on The Tour
My Creative Days
Little House Simple Living
A Fresh-Squeezed Life
NOT A TROPHY WIFE
nourish and nestle
Not Just Paper and Paint
Sondra Lyn at Home