Tag Archives: Personal Development

For Fear of Scars




A while back I started trying to grow avocados. Not because I need to grow avocados, but we were eating them on a regular basis, and I know it’s possible to sprout the pits, so I thought, “Why not?”  You can read my thoughts about that adventure here.

The tree above is Alice, and she’s beautiful. She was the first seed to do more than start to sprout. The rest would either start to sprout then die or never even get started. Google told me that when she reached six inches tall I should cut her down to three inches, then plant her when she grew back to six. I was nervous about it but, being the good girl I am, I obeyed. During this time I continued to grow seeds, partly because it was fun and partly as a back up in case something went wrong and Alice didn’t make it.

As the weeks went by, Alive grew in wisdom and stature. Well, at least in stature. The only problem was, she now had a wonky stem. It was lovely and straight for a couple inches, then suddenly stopped and there was an elbow where another stem started. It was also straight, but only after its wonky elbow start. And that bugged me. A lot. I had a second seed that was showing great promise so decided to plant it as well, but this time I would skip the clipping step so my tree wouldn’t end up with a scar.

The photo below is three years later. Both trees are still alive; one is thriving. These trees are only a couple months apart in age, but you wouldn’t know it to look at them. One is strong and tall, almost ready to stand on its own without help, and the other is, well, look at it. It’s puny. Not only is it short, but the stem is skinny. Really, truly, properly skinny. If you’re tracking with me, and I’m sure you are, it will come as no surprise that Alice, the tree with the scar, is the strong one. The tall one. The one that looks like it has a fighting chance to someday bear fruit.


So who do I want to be? Alice or her little brother Andy? Sure, Andy has a lovely straight stem, but it’s also scrawny. His leaves are brown at the ends, and it seems unlikely that the poor thing will ever have what it takes to be fruitful. I choose Alice. I want to be an Alice. I want to be strong and tall, ready to bear fruit in season. Even if it means a scar or two.

Life is hard, guys. Really, really hard. The only way to come through without scars, sometimes massive scars, is to hide: to not reach out or risk or love. (Although, even that will probably give you scars…) In the end, you might end up with no scars, but you’ll also be without fruit. Nothing to show for a life lived. That’s not what I want. I want a life worthy of the One who made me; one I can lay at His feet when I meet Him face to face as an offering of love. So yeah. Bring on the scars, because they are the path to fruit.

Colossians 1:10– so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;


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On Being Authentic

“Hi, I’m Barb. I’ve been married 45 years to Bob. We have 4 kids, one of them’s a doctor, and 7 grandkids. The youngest one is starting 1st grade this year.”

“I’m Sarah. I’ve been married 25 years to Mark. We have 2 kids. The youngest one started college this year, and we’re so excited!”

And so it went around the room. All 18 women, in their 50’s to their 80’s, introduced themselves in this same manner. I was stunned. I now know about their husbands, including some of their names and professions, their kids, and their grandkids, along with various details about names, ages, accomplishments and milestones. What I don’t know is anything about any of these women. I don’t know if they’ve had careers, hobbies, or accomplishments. I don’t know what they like or what they don’t like. I know nothing about them as human beings, except that they are wives and mothers.

As I sat and listened I realize this is not a phenomenon unique to this group of women. I think these roles are so overwhelming and all encompassing that it’s natural, at least to a certain extent. However, I don’t want to be that. I don’t want my friends to be that. In the topical discussion that followed the introductions, I learned little things here and there about some of the other women,  including two of them that have careers. I only learned that because they had to leave as soon as the meeting was done to go to work. What??? Why did you not say that before? What do you do? Are you a doctor? Do you sell Avon? Are you writing the next great American novel? Why do I not know this???

What if we all decided to draw a line in the sand? To stand up and say, “As of today, I’m me. I have accomplishments and dreams. They include a marriage [or not, as the case may be], and great kids and grandkids, but they also include…” Do you think we might have less loneliness? Do you think we might have less depression? Do you think the church might start looking more like The Church? I do. If I knew how, I’d start a campaign. A campaign to help people see themselves as more than their relationships, more than the accomplishments of their family. A campaign to help people reclaim their own identity and accomplishments.

What do you think? Are you brave enough to stick your neck out and introduce yourself as you really are? As who you really are? I think it’s time you try.

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