Picture in your mind a person who makes you smile. Who is it? At the mere mention of their name does a spring of joy start to well up within you? Is your mind flooding with fond memories you have of them?
Picture another person who makes you smile, and another, and another.
What is it about them that you are especially fond of? What do you admire about them? What makes them stand out? Why do they hold such a special place in your heart and your thoughts?
Are the people you picture similar? Are they different? Are they uniform and standard in personality, or are they unique and original? Are they perfected or are they works in progress?
A Progression of Personalization
I have no idea what your answers are to the above questions. I only know how I answer them. I could sit for endless hours telling you about the incredible individuals I have been blessed to interact with in my lifetime. Just talking about them brings me such joy.
The people who come to my mind first are people I have known for longer periods of time. I have witnessed changes they have experienced in their lives and as they have moved through different seasons; job changes, career changes, family changes, health changes, financial changes, goal changes, faith changes, and location changes.
Through the progression of these changes in life and with the passing of time, I have noticed that these individuals become more personalized and more distinct in who they are. They become less and less like others while at the same time become more of themselves.
These individuals are particular. As they operate in their uniqueness, they leave an indelible impression of fondness on our hearts. They are not perfect people, but they are people of progress and development. They learn and they grow in such a fluid way that you could say they dance through their days.
While they are not without their share of painful and problematic experiences, they persevere – progressing to be a person who is personalized.
The Oenomel and Ebullient Encourager
This is the me that I want to be – the Oenomel and Ebullient Encourager. Don’t worry if you do not have a clue how to even go about pronouncing Oenomel and Ebullient. I would recommend listening to them online. Six months ago, I had no idea these words even existed. These words are part of my personal progression. I have completely fallen for them.
Oenomel (pronounced ee-nuh-mel) means one of two things. The first is a drink made of unfermented grape juice and honey. The second meaning is something combining strength with sweetness. While the first definition sounds like a tasty treat I should try, it is the second definition that captivated me.
Strength and sweetness. Strong enough to endure and persevere, but able to retain a sweetness instead of turning bitter. Yes, that is the kind of encourager that I want to be in my life.
Ebullient (pronounced ih-buhl-yuh-nt) means overflowing with fervor and enthusiasm or bubbling up like a pot of water at a rolling boil.
I am a firm believer that my mission in life is to encourage with love, passion, and enthusiasm. This mission is written in my DNA. It goes with me where ever I go and is bigger than any specific role I have in life.
As I started progressing into how to live out this mission, I developed PEP UP for Joy. Passionate Encouragement and Prayer Uplifts People sharing Joy. Yes, it is a website and a blog, but it is so much more than that. For me it is a part of who I am. It is woven into the words of my blog posts, but also in the cards, text messages, and letters that I write. It is a part of how I speak.
One of my favorite passages from scripture comes from Hebrews chapter 10 within the section calling us to persevere in faith. It says:
“And let us consider how we may spur one another
on toward love and good deeds,
not giving up meeting together
as some are in the habit of doing,
but encouraging one another –
and all the more as you see the day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
This truth has given me direction and redirection so many times as I have walked down the road of my life.
Oenomel and Ebullient are new pieces that I have picked up along the way. Taking in the meanings of these words, mixing them with my mission, and allowing them add flavor to who I am could yield something new and delightful.
I have no idea what the full impact of these words will be in the making of a future version of Me. Most mornings when I look in the mirror I think to myself, “How did I get here?” How did I get to be this version of myself?
If I am completely honest, there are days where looking in the mirror gives me such a mix of emotions. I am sad that I am not better. I am disappointed from the results and consequences of the decisions I have made. I am frustrated by the things that are unfinished. I am grateful for the gigantic amount of goodness that I have been allowed to graze in. I am joyful because there are so many storms I have weathered.
I am happy because I have these gorgeous gray hairs that are appearing. Yes, you read that right. I love my gray hairs. I selfishly and vainly admire them in the mirror. It’s a big flaw of mine. They make me smile.
This mix of emotion and madness, mission and meaning, is what I look like right now…it is me in the making. The mess of progressing into who I am yet to be, the person I will become. Through it all, I want to be fluid and flowingly dance my way through the days in hopes that a bit of God’s joy will shine through me.
Live it Out
You, my precious reader, are in the middle of the making too. I do not know what you feel or what you focus on when you look in the mirror. What I do know is that YOU are a Miracle. You may be in the middle of a mess or feel like a mess, but in the midst of it all YOU are a Miracle.
You are You. Never before in the history of creation and never again will there be a distinct individual like You. You are the only You. You have a 100% personalized combination of gifts, talents, experiences, connections, hopes, dreams, fears, failures, memories, and characteristics.
What pieces of progress have you picked up along your path?
How are you incorporating them into your daily life?
How are they adding to who you are?
No matter what age you are, as long as you are breathing air into your lungs, you are not finished yet. You are still in the making.
“So we’re not giving up. How could we!
Even though on the outside it often
looks like things are falling apart on us,
on the inside, where God is making new life,
not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.
These hard times are small potatoes
compared to the coming good times,
the lavish celebration prepared for us.
There’s far more here than meets the eye.
The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow.
But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (Message)
Pray Through It
Beloved and Treasured Lord,
Thank You for Your love and grace that covers us in our mess and through our progression of growth and development. There is so much more than we can see, plan for, and anticipate. Yet, not one detail of our lives, not one moment, not one breath was taken without Your loving care watching over us.
Lord, when we are in a mess or when we feel like a mess, please remind us that we are still in the making. In the name of Jesus, who so graciously gives us our abundant lives, amen.