Pick me up

An arched balcony overlooking the Prado (Paseo de Marti)

Several years ago…..more than 10 years or so. I fell in love with Joyce Landorf Heatherly. Who is she (you might ask)? She’s a fantastic author and I would love to sit with her and just talk. She seems to have great insight into the hearts of women and what they think and feel. Her writing is so on target! She has ministered to my heart with several of her books. My favorite? Balcony People. It’s title may not make sense to you but once you read the book it opens your heart to a whole new way of thinking.

I was the wife of a seminary student when I first read it. I could relate everything she said to my own life. I wanted to be a balcony person and I wanted to surround myself with balcony people. What is a balcony person? I’m so glad you asked. A balcony person is someone who pulls you up and encourages you. She lifts you up out of the blek and believes in you. Do you know any balcony people? Don’t you love being around them? Me too!

She uses that analogy to drive home a point of being an encourager. I know in my own life….I have needed encouragement in a variety of situations. While I was growing up I could’ve used it to cope with many unhealthy circumstances I was facing. Being a teenager is tough in every way but living in a hostile home environment made it even harder. I could’ve used a balcony friend/parent. Maybe I would have made wiser choices for myself. God certainly had his hands on me…I am living proof of that.

The opposite in her book is a basement person. You can imagine where this is going right? A basement person is someone who drags you down. They discourage you in everyway. Doom and gloom accompany them in every conversation or situation. They just bring you down! No matter what is going on when you leave them you feel bummed! I had a huge epiphany while reading this book the first time. I felt so convicted about what other’s would label me. I know how to whine like a pro but….in my heart….I’m a total believer in boosting people up. I like being UP! I’m all about finding the positive in something. But there are times…when I just want to bum out and complain! Maybe you do too.

I have teenagers now. I recognize struggles that they face. I see when they are hurting and need encouragement. I have made so many mom mistakes along the way. But I try everyday to start anew and fresh. I pray that they know how I purpose to love them and train them to choose what’s best in their lives. I try to love them as a balcony mom (and I know they would say….but you basement mom us at times too). That’s never my intention. Life has a way of dragging you through some mud here and there. It’s all an adventure that none of us should travel without God. He can help us be the balcony person we long to be.

So what are you? Are you a friend that can be trusted to pull another up? Do you use words of encouragement and do you put hope into those you encounter? I hope so. If not, are you planting seeds of doubt in those around you? When someone is hurting do you confirm that it’s just hopeless? I hope not. Think about it. Do you want to be a balcony person or a basement person? Everybody needs a good pick me up!

1 Thess. 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

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