I received a compliment the other day. A genuine one. Not because she had to be polite (this squid keish looks delicious…) and there wearen’t even any hidden little daggers waiting just beneath the surface (Wow! You have lost soooooooooo much weight!). It was just a compliment. And suddenly I realized the tremendous power that can lie dormant in a few little words. It changed my day, made things just a little less crazy, the world just a little more easy to live in.
Compliments are difficult to accept sometimes. When people tell me, “Your boys are so sweet and well behaved.” Part of me wants to laugh. I remember all the crazy tricks they pull. All that baby powder scattered across the bathroom and the crayons they melted in our oven. But then I realized that if someone says that, then they are being sweet and well behaved at that moment. And for the most part they are sweet well behaved boys. Just because they have times of tyranny, does not negate all of those marvelous moments of obedience. And so I am learning to say…dum dum dum dum…Thank you, they are. Compliments don’t come every day and maybe we don’t necessarily deserve them every time, but they are nice, encouraging, and occasionally have the power to make you laugh for years to come.
The best compliment I’ve ever received…I’d just made some homemade pizza and one famished teenage boy took a bite and declared: “You should cook for God!” And he meant it. Maybe it was a little over the top, but I cherish that memory every time I put too much cayenne into something and burn off our stomach lining…again. So what is the best compliment you have ever received? And did you brush it aside, or accept it?