His drawing of a strawberry was lopsided, the printing was primitive, but the proud smile on my little guy’s face was as genuine as the ring of strawberry jam that circled his mouth. He had made the jam and then had labored over the personalized labels that made each jar an announcement of his creative mastery of the jam-making process.
I still have one of them in his baby book to preserve the memory of making jam with him (and his three brothers that followed), because from the mashing of the berries to the last swipe of the red marker, I was helping my boys to build a shield of protection over their tender hearts with three strong words:
“I CAN DO”
Confidence based on competence is rugged and resilient, but, the truth is that the dents in that shield come early (and often) as we accept from the important people in our lives statements which do not line up with the true words that God says over us.
Slapping on a label may save me some time when I’m searching for jam in my pantry, but a label on a person means I never bother to see what’s inside. I fail to ponder the life ingredients, the unique qualities that have come together to create this particular soul — which sets me to wondering:
What hasty words have I affixed to the real live people who populate my days?
Are you also prone to affix a label to a soul — rather than taking the time to enter into the life that comes with it?
We’re pondering the topic of “labels” this month over at SheLoves Magazine. Consider this your invitation to join me there for the rest of my story — and also to read widely and often from the selection of good thoughts that you will find in that friendly and supportive place.
Join me over at Leigh Kramer’s place for lots more September fun with the “What I’m Into” community.
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