Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Who Am I? My first speech for Toastmasters

Being the good student that I am, I looked up the instructions for the Toastmasters Ice breaker speech and came up with this question…who am I?

Then I thought - You all know me,
You know I’m David’s wife
I’m my kids’ mom
I work part time here at Shoreline

But maybe you didn’t know that I am also
Miss TEEN North Dakota 1987, yes…and I DO have a tiara!

My pageant experience came back to haunt me last year when David put together a video for my 40th birthday. My mom saves everything, so she supplied David with lots of great material for this video including VHS pageant footage.

My birthday video was precious and many of you were a part of that, thank you!

But in the week following my birthday, David was up late one night and I heard this sneaky laughter coming from our home office. He had been scheming to get this footage on Facebook and was finally successful. I had to get up out of bed to see what he had done to me!

Sure enough, there I was, my sweet idealist 16 yr old self singing Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match and of course, crying when they put that crown on my head.

I had already been defending myself at home. Our boys asked, Mom, why did you have an afro? Well, actually that’s not an afro, it’s a perm and everyone had big hair in the 80’s!

Now it was out there for all our Facebook friends to view. And they did.
I felt a little exposed.

I watched as the comments popped up…all 28 of them…I defended my hair, I defended my expressions, and finally I defended my tears and I quote myself:

“spend a weekend in rehearsals and interviews...getting just a few hours of sleep....put yourself out there to be judged...excited, exhausted...then someone puts a crown on your head...YOU"D CRY TOO!”

I’m not sure what motivated me to put myself out there to be judged but I had been doing this since 1st grade. Piano recitals, vocal competitions, talent contests. Why would anyone submit themselves to this?

and yet here I am today in this very moment being evaluated….AGAIN

I think all humans are prone to this. We are constantly evaluating each other. We watch American Idol and we wait to hear what the judges have to say about each contestant.

We critique. We judge. We evaluate. We compare.

One of my favorite children’s books speaks to this tendency. Max Lucado’s You are Special. I remember the first time I read this book to my boys. My throat got tight and my eyes were welling up with tears and I was trying desperately to make it to THE END without completely falling apart.

It is a beautiful story about embracing what God says about us.

In the book there are little wooden people called Wemicks, all created by the same woodcarver, named Eli. Each Wemick has a box of gold stars and a box of gray dots and they spend their days giving each other these stickers. But there is one little Wemick who is the exception to this rule. The stickers don’t stick on her. What’s her secret? Each day she climbs up the hill to visit Eli. Everyday she is reminded of what HE says about her.

This is the truth - I know people are watching me. I know they’re listening to me and that is one reasons why I’m here today. But I also know that I’ve spent way too much time hungry for gold stars and way too much time lamenting each grey dot. Allowing other Wemicks to tell me who I am.

So, who am I?

There is no panel of judges who can answer that question

The only TRUE answer is found at the feet of Eli.

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