Sharpen Those Around You

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with life? Do you strive to be successful, but find that often your ambition causes you to become overloaded and unbalanced? If you’ve never felt this way, you can stop reading right now. This blog doesn’t pertain to you, and you’ll be unable to relate.

HOWEVER, if you have felt that way, please know that I feel you. There are so many days that I feel that I’ve been off more than I can chew while sitting at a table amongst the elite – so I have to put on a smile, chew and swallow everything that I’ve bitten off.

This weekend, I hosted a Mother-Daughter Tea Party for WHYS Girls. I had plans of transforming a cafeteria into a luxurious banquet hall. My only problem? I have zero ability to decorate, and Pinterest sends my indecisiveness level up about 12 notches. I’d asked a lady from church to help out a couple months before, so she and I spoke about it, brainstormed, but had come up with no affordable ways to get the walls covered. As the days closed in, I still hadn’t figured out how to cover up the walls. Panic ensued. I reached out to my “network” (a few close, reliable friends), and enlisted their help with setup. They immediately agreed. The day before the event, a friend of mine mentioned using PVC pipe to decorate. We’d already planned to run some cord to hang “curtains,” but something told me to stop by Lowes and get the pipe.

The morning of the Tea Party arrived, and we all showed up. I began to put the PVC up, and realized that I got the wrong size connectors, so we would not be able to use the pipe. We considered multiple other options, and we finally agreed on using table to make an impromptu wall (Thank you Tameka!). The place actually turned out pretty nice. Was it my ideal decor? No, but nice nonetheless. We had the party, and everyone seemed to have an excellent time. As I mentally debriefed the next day, I realized a few things about the party that are so applicable to our every day lives.

  1. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. In life, we can spend so much time striving to make things perfect that we miss out on the opportunity to make things beautiful. Not beautiful in the sense of pleasing to the eyes, but beauty that pleases the soul. Beauty that inspires and motivates. As we were wrapping up the tea party, one of the ladies said, “I wish we had something like this when I was a teenager.” And she wasn’t talking about the decor… She was talking about the gathering together of friends and family. I’m reminded of the story of Mary and Martha.. we can get so consumed in making things look good, that we neglect to make sure that we are connecting with those around us, and are giving them what they need from us.
  2. Bigger is not always better. As I grow my organization, I often get frustrated with how small our meetings are. Over half of the people who RSVP’d for the party did not show up. We had so much food that the caterer got there and asked, “how many people are you expecting??” It actually turned out well, because due to the small size, we were able to get everyone into the “walls” we had created. The same applies for many life circumstances. We always want things to be big. Big parties, big houses, big promotions at work… but we really have to stop and think, “is this big because it should be big, or because my ego wants it to be big?” Sometimes there is more significance in the small things.
  3. Someone else needs what you have. As I mentioned, I bought the PVC pipe that had to be set to the side because it was useless without the connectors. As our balloon designer was setting up our arch, she noticed we had the connectors, and asked if she could use a couple. Umm.. yeah. You can actually use all of them. LOL. Sometimes our gifts are not for us. Sometimes our ideas are not for us. We have to be willing to share. I see so many people hoarding their gifts and ideas. When we fear losing what we have, we not only lose the opportunity for connection, we keep others from getting what they need as quickly as they could.
  4. All you need is a few good people. My tribe is awesome. My tribe is committed. I couldn’t pray for better people. They showed up, and they showed out for me. Jessica Hightower, Ja’Mese Coty, Shelia Robinson, Lynn Quibble, Monique Allen, Marie Munoz, Tameka from church, my Dad, my Mom, and most of all my wonderful sister who drove from New Orleans to Houston in the middle of the night with her three kids under 6 years old to bring me some chair covers. We need those people. We need those few good people who are willing to go above and beyond what is required of them to assist with things that are of no benefit to them. Find those people. Be that person.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17

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