Monday, February 27, 2012

Insecure Compliments

Hello Beautiful

I love building up people with compliments.  To orchestrate a personally tailored symphony of uplifting speech is a wonderful experience.  I love analyzing the reactions people have to compliments.  They range from a simple thank you to arrogance; disbelief to mild offense.

This past weekend I was on the receiving end of a compliment.  On three separate occasions with three distinct groups of friends I was uplifted about the same thing in my life.  Being confident in myself I accept most compliments with a big smile and a thank you.  However, on this occasion I could only give a fake smile and try to change the conversation.

As the days past and the same area of my life was brought up I realized that in my heart I did not believe them.  They were beating at the door of an insecurity in my heart.  Each of us has insecurities in our lives.  They surface at unexpected times.  And it seems that they are bombarded with attention all at once.  We have two options when faced with a new insecurity: hide or fight.

We can hide from our insecurities; telling our friends not to speak about something because it is a matter of privacy, offense, or discomfort.  We can avert our eyes from the mirrors in our home that hold our physical insecurities.  Or we can avoid making people because of our relational insecurities.  But we are not meant to live a life hiding from people, things, or words.

We can choose to fight for a complete self. I found it no coincidence that so many people were hitting on the same area of my life.  Perhaps a loving God wanted to see me free from this self-doubt.  The Bible teaches to share each others burdens. So I confided in a close friend.  While it is a terrifying thought to allow someone into our insecurities, I was met with great love.  By the time I left I began to believe what my friends were telling me.  Belief that later turned into tangible action.

We all have insecurities but we are not meant to live with them forever.  As we grow into who we were created to be we will conquer each area of self-doubt.  Fight the insecurities of your life.  Transform yourself so that you can feel confident when someone says, “You are beautiful.”

Monday, February 13, 2012

Celebrate Love

Hello Beautiful

Tomorrow we will commemorate Valentine’s day.  A day that most have strong feelings about.  Perhaps you are the romantic and cannot wait for the day’s activities to unfold.  Maybe you feel it is a capitalist holiday created by greeting card companies to make more money.  Or you could be amongst the “singles awareness day” crowd.  No matter where you are I feel as though we need to set a few things straight.

  1. Valentine’s Day is real.  It was created in the 5th century to commemorate a martyred saint.  A Martyr! Someone who laid down their life for something they believed in.  What a great expression of love.  This was well before capitalism was even conceptualized, much less the greeting card industry.
  2. Singles awareness day is everyday.  If it takes a special day to remind you that you are single… your singleness is probably not hurting you that much.
  3. If you are in a relationship and you are not planning on doing something, I would not want to be you tomorrow.  I do not care how much your significant other says they do not want anything.

Valentine’s day has always been a special day for me.  Rare have been the years that I have had someone with whom to share it.  Yet each year I still love it.  Some years my parents do something extra special to let me know they love me.  Another year it was dinner with a girlfriend.  Sometimes it was having dessert with my closest friends.  My plans for tomorrow are low key, but I’m really excited about them.

No matter what you should celebrate the day.  Denying its existence will not make it go away.  Every 52 weeks it will come back again.  Embrace this day as an expression of love.  I can think of nothing more beautiful than to show your love for another individual.  It does not always need to be romantic.  Christ gave so many examples of how we can express our love.  Take your widowed neighbor some flowers.  Make a nice dinner with five of your closest friends.  Call up your sister you have not spoken to in three years. 

No matter how you choose to celebrate the day, be sure that you let someone know that they matter to you.  Express your love because you are beautiful.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Character Design

Hello Beautiful

In the last months I have found myself considering typography more frequently.  Perhaps because of my current projects at work.  Or maybe due to my current web development efforts.  I have a renewed fascination with this micro-scaled artistry.  Designers sit for hours sculpting each character of our alphabet.  Each stroke precisely laid to convey an idea through a nonverbal communication method.

I have always wanted to create a giant letter like you see on stages.  This past weekend a friend and I crossed this off my bucket list by making a 6 feet by 4 feet “O” and “V’.  We used a basic font; nothing elaborate for first time letter makers.  Yet when you enlarge these letters you realize how complicated even the simplest ones can be.  Each curve of the “O” had to be laid with seamless transition to the previous.  And the legs of the “V” had to be cut with perfect alignment.

What inspiration humanity must have been given to create such a complex communication device.  We have desired to perfect something that is smaller than a pebble.  I often write about the mastery of God’s paint brush as He illustrates the sunset.  Or His cosmic omnipotence as He orchestrates a perfectly timed scenario.  Yet its in the details that He is proven personal.  Often we turn to nature for design inspiration.  Our eyes may easily be enthralled by the dance of vines growing on an aged tree.  We can be captivated by the movement of grains of sand as we walk on the beach.  Or even intrigued by the lines our skin forms as it wraps our skeletons.  Typographers include these natural features in our alphabet’s characters.

Each of these small creative details remind us that we are loved personally by our Creator.  There are things that have been created for us as individuals.  Flowers that live extremely short lives.  Seashells who’s beauty are matched only by their fragility.  Each of these tiny details in our world were formed to remind us that we matter.  Often times our individual worth is lost in such a vast planet.  But you are so much more than a small detail on the face of this Earth.  You are the reason all of this was made.  You are the one He longs to connect with.  You are the character He carefully designed.  You are beautiful.