March 31, 2011

Like Marbles In A Jar . . .


Three months ago I issued a challenge to myself and those who read this blog.  The challenge: that we, as women, try harder to build up other women.  Thirty of you left comments telling me that you personally would join in my crusade.  That small gesture in and of itself gave me such hope and built me up in ways I can’t tell you.  Thank you for supporting what I think is an important idea.

We are now one fourth of the way through a year of Being Builders.  For the first few weeks or maybe even month, I was a building rockstar!  Good thoughts and positivity towards all womankind oozed from my very pores. 

And then reality set in during February and I had to check myself too many times to count. Even though it was the ‘Month of Love’ I wasn’t feeling the love towards some of my fellow females.

So when March rolled around, I knew I had to step up my game and make a daily goal – something I could be accountable for – to help me do and be better about building up other women. I chose to pick one woman each day to build up.

At the beginning of the month I made a numbered list in a notebook.  I love me some list making!  For each number, one through thirty-one, I would record what I did that day to Be a Builder. And so the month began.

During the day I would silently pray to know who to build. Some days I knew exactly who it was I should lift and help. Other days I didn’t know until an opportunity would present itself to me to take.

Let me share a few of the ways I was able to Be a Builder:

  • I sent multiple cards, emails and text messages to family, friends and acquaintances telling them how much I loved them and listing specifically their wonderful qualities. Of all the things I did this month, I believe the written or spoken words had the most impact.
  • I took flowers to a woman who just received life altering medical news about one of her children.
  • I made lunch and took it to a friend to eat together.
  • I babysat children so a mom could have some much needed time to herself.
  • I made a remark to a Target cashier about her darling red sweater set and pretty necklace.
  • I delivered Builder Buckets to three women anonymously.
  • I went to hear my mother speak in church.
  • I complimented a complete stranger on her darling outfit.

Now that the month is over, I look at this list and see these instances, no matter how big or small, as individual, beautiful moments where I was given the opportunity to see another woman through God’s eyes.  Each of the women I built up is beautiful and remarkable in her own way.  Each has something to give to the world.  Each is a cherished daughter, sister, wife, mother and Child of God just trying her best in life.  I really felt an amazing capacity to love other women through this exercise.

As I caught this photograph of Ollie playing with marbles, I was intrigued by the beautiful composition that was being created with each marble added to the jar.  That is what my month has been like.  So many different colors, sized and types of marbles.  All lovely individually, but together, a cacophony of color and glass that catches light and shines so radiantly.

So many different colors, sizes and types of women. Alone we are great, but imagine what we could do together if we just built each other up. Each act of building up another woman is like adding a marble to the jar.  As it gets more full, it only becomes more beautiful.


How about you?  How are you doing on building up the women around you?


christy said...

As always, a reminder to keep on doing it helps me to recommit to try harder. What a beautifully written post and analogy, as always. Thanks for helping me be a builder. You are making such a HUGE difference. Way to go! Wish I could bring you some cookies!

Apis Melliflora said...

One of the things that helps me along in this builder journey is observing women who are already natural builders interacting with other women.

The way they listen with their hearts, respond sincerely, and follow through with action is inspiring.

I too made a conscious effort to listen, communicate and respond more often to women with a genuine heart of compassion and understanding.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to point out that the comment you made to the Target checker is the kind of thing we can all do EVERY day. That didn't take you any extra time and it probably made her day. I very often have too much on my plate to take someone a spontaneous meal or treat, much as I'd like to, but I can always share a smile or a kind word, especially for someone like a cashier who so often gets only rudeness and complaints. Kudos to you for encouraging us all to be a little kinder.

Aiketa said...

I am still in the learning process to be a good builder.

Today it was my cousin turn. I went to visit her, who is 30 weeks pregnant with twins and on bedrest. We both had a good time together and she was so happy to have a visit.

Is so magical to build the women in my life.

Bells said...

I'm happy to report that I have delivered 7 builder buckets and they were happy surprises for those that received them. I just bought 7 more and I already know who needs them. I gave away some extra hugs and I was able to listen to and encourage some wonderful women. Thanks for this challenge, I needed it to heighten my awareness of women around me. Thanks for your clip art too, it got the ball rolling for me!

MelancholySmile said...

As sands through the hourglass....


Great post. I totally want to be you when I grow up.

Christa said...

Great post. I strive to be a difference and teach our son to be a difference also. For his 13th birthday this year, he did 13 Random Acts of Kindness. People had their mouth hanging open when they realized that this was how he was spending his birthday as a teenager. It really is a better place when we can spread the light to the people that we can. Great job!

The Dragonfly said...

Ooh, Krista, I love that idea for a teenagager's birthday! May have to steal it! :)

Meaja said...

What I love about this everlasting journey of building others is that I find myself being more grateful for now. Living in the moment now and appreciating people now and letting them know I see them now.

The Queen Vee said...

You build me up, sad to say the I've reached the age where my kids are parenting me. Love ya DF, love your example.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying hard to be more thoughtful. To be more appreciative of all the women that I serve and serve with. I've sent out many thank you cards and I've given out 8 builder buckets. Even if it's not helping anyone else, it sure is helping me.

Heather Lindsey said...

I've been very aware that my dear 10 yr old daughter needs constant building...everyday. Hugs, kisses, random compliments help to bring the sparkle back to her beautiful eyes. Even though she's not a "woman" yet, she will be. I want her to be built up enough to be able to build others.

Thanks for the continual encouragement. You make me feel hopeful. Love ya, friend.