Friday, September 27, 2013

Except this acceptance...

What says about acceptance...


  [ak-sep-tuhns]  Show IPA
the act of taking or receiving something offered.
favorable reception; approval; favor.
the act of assenting or believing: acceptance of a theory.
the fact or state of being accepted or acceptable.
acceptation  def 1 .

Do you remember learning about connotation and denotation in elementary school?
I do.
You don't have to tell me I'm strange for it - I remember strange things.

Denotation is the literal meaning of a word or phrase; how it is written and defined in a dictionary.
Conversely, CONnotation is how a word or phrase is perceived.

For example, some might say, "oh just accept that you are never going to..." and that phrase gets a bad rap! It has a negative connotation because it sounds like giving in - settling.

The word acceptance also gets a bad rap - even from me.
I've written about it before...
asking others to accept me and my shortcomings,
and here where I acknowledge that all I can do is accept His mercy and grace, knowing full well I can never earn or deserve it.

Today, I am thinking about acceptance in a slightly different way; accepting from others.

I read an article about raising nice, kind daughters versus mean ones and how our actions as mothers speak more loudly than our words.
There was a point in the article about teaching them to GIVE compliments because compliments are so few and far between these days.

I'm going to propose that teaching them to ACCEPT compliments is just as important as teaching them to give them.
I propose that we teach our children to accept help, mercy, prayers - whatever someone sees fit to bless us with.

I have long had a challenge accepting help, mercy, even compliments from others.
I'm not sure where or when I got the notion that this wasn't ok. That I was supposed to do it all and all alone.  Somehow I perceived that asking for, or accepting, help was a sign of weakness, lacking, inadequacy.

I remember after Sweetpea was born...early and by C-section after 17 hours of un-progressed labor.
I still thought it was my job to take our 3 month old puppy for walks outside every few hours.  Despite the fact that my instructions were to take it easy, lift nothing heavier than my baby, don't drive for 2 weeks. If the doctor had known me better he might also have said, "don't allow your dog to drag you around the yard with the leash!"

My Mom told me not to do it while hesitantly volunteering to do it herself.  She's so not a dog person and I didn't "need any help! I'm fine!" I said.

Why is this so hard?

I don't know the answer to that, but I know this: I don't want it to be hard for my daughter {or my son}.
I want her to accept a compliment with a smile and a thank you.
I want her to know it's ok to feel good about herself, right where she is.  Not because she's working on becoming a "better" her.
I want her to know that it's ok to ask for help when you are struggling.  That's it's not weakness, but trust that the other person loves you enough to help.

More importantly, how can I model trust and faith in God to her, if my actions say that I can't accept even His help?
And if we don't accept that He made us all just as He intended us to be, flaws and all, then isn't that a lack of confidence and a refusal of a compliment?

If Jesus knocked on your door and told you today that

you are beautiful...
you are loved...
you are special...
you are smart...
you are a good wife...
you are a good Mother...
you are a good {fill in the blank with whatever you lack personal acceptance in}...

would you smile sincerely and say thank you?

Or would you hang your head and say, "oh, not really."

Which response do you think He'd prefer?

That's the one I want to teach my children.

a view of the horizon from a plane...

Sweetpea's Art...maybe I've done something right, already?

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