Archives for January 2020

Why is it so hard to receive a compliment?

Why is it so hard to receive a compliment and just say thank you? Like many women when someone compliments me, I often feel the need to explain or tell them where I got whatever it is they are complimenting me on.

Why Is It So Hard To Receive A ComplimentRecently, while at the doctor’s office I complimented a young technician on her hair. “You have beautiful hair,” I said. She responded, “It is hair extensions.” I looked for awhile and couldn’t see any evidence of added hair so I said, “Wow, I can’t see that. It all looks like your hair.”

She stopped what she was doing and raised her beautiful black hair up and showed me how additional locks of hair was taped underneath her original hair. She said she went to her beautician and had it done and was due a visit soon. “Wow, I say. I would never have known”

As I sat there and watched her I thought about if you were going to do something to make your hair look thicker and beautiful, why not just say thank you. I said that to her and she flushed a little and said, “Thank you”.

I know how she feels because I do that too. When someone compliments an item of clothing or something I find myself saying, “Oh, I got it at the store for a good price.”

Sometimes when I try to compliment another woman on how she looks because she had lost weight or the way her clothes fit, she will often say, “Oh, no, I need to lose another 10 pounds,’ and if I say, “No, you look wonderful”, they will continue to protest. Why?

Maybe it is because most of our compliments are about how someone looks. When in fact, we need someone to validate who we are or the way we behave.

Come to think of it, when I compliment someone on their behavior or how they treat others, I usually get a sincere thank you.

If we are constantly complimenting our children on how pretty, cute or adorable they are then that is what they work on the most. Whereas, if we compliment them on their behavior that is a way to lift them up.

Yes, we want to hear that we look good but even more so, we want to hear that what we do in our lives, our homes, our work and our world is of value. And so do the people in our lives because feeling valued and appreciated is a basic human need.

I find that when I compliment my grandchildren for helping or doing something they have not been asked to do that they do act more responsibly. When I compliment my husband he stands a little taller and glows a little.

Compliments aren’t just for the receivers; they also benefit the giver. My children always look at me funny when I compliment strangers in the grocery store or people I meet along the way.

But the truth is compliments make us feel good, both giving and receiving. It is a proven fact that being generous with giving sincere compliments helps us notice and appreciate what’s good and what we like in those around us.

How can we accept those compliments that we are fortunate enough to receive in our lives? A sincere “Thank you,” or “I appreciate your kind words,” will do.

My Christmas tree is still up

My Christmas tree is still up. I know — Christmas is over and it’s time to take the decorations and lights down and get on with life.

My Christmas Tree Is Still UpBut Christmas isn’t really over until after January 6th, the day when many Christians celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany from December 25th until January 6th. These days are a collection of 12 feast days beginning with Christmas day and ending after the revelation of the wise men. The revelation is called Epiphany or the unveiling or finding God in the flesh, (the baby Jesus in the manger).

This is the time the Three Wise Men (also sometimes called the Three Kings) visited and gave gifts to Jesus. This day actually closes the Christmas festivities and is the day many people exchange gifts.

I have a friend in Georgia who leaves her Christmas tree up all year long. She turned her small office into a Christmas room with a tree decorated with beautiful lights and ornaments. The room is filled with books, Christmas art pieces, and music that she can walk into anytime she wants to feel the magic of Christmas.

“It makes me feel good, she told me. And it reminds me that I can keep the spirit of love and giving in my heart all year long.”

If we read about the three Kings, we learn that they were from three different countries, India, Persia, and Babylon. They were magicians, referred to as the Biblical Magi, and astrologers who provided advice into the mysteries of life. They were consuls to the kings, not really kings themselves.

These men studied the stars, connected the dots of the ancient writings that told of a star that would direct them to a king. When the star appeared, they recognized it and followed it.

Their journey brought them to the palace of Herod the Great, King of Judea. But he was not the king they were looking for so they continued on in faith until they found the baby Jesus.

Their gifts they brought to commemorate the King of the Jews were; gold, as to a king; myrrh, as to one who was mortal; and incense, as to a God.

The magi are a perfect example of knowing what you know, believing what you believe and doing what you need to do.

I recently read a comment on social media that disturbed me; “Seriously Walmart? You can’t give us one more day to celebrate Jesus’ birthday?”


The day after Christmas, Walmart, along with other retailers put out a line of Valentine gifts. I thought to myself as I read and reread it, “Walmart is a business, not a religious organization.”

A day later we were having dinner at a restaurant, a friend came up to our table and said he didn’t understand why people were still celebrating Christmas. “Why are people still playing Christmas music. After all, it’s over,” he said.

Remember the quote by Charles Dickens, in the book, A Christmas Carol, “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”

We are living in a time when it seems we are being told what to think and how we should feel. Maybe a simple New Year’s Resolution that we could keep would be “We will learn from our past, live in the present and walk in faith toward the future.”

Another interesting quote I saw on social media that we might add to our New Year’s Resolution, too; “Let’s promote what we know instead of bashing what we hate.”

We can learn from the Magi by believing in the grand miracle of God made flesh to atone for our sins and let us do it everyday of our lives.

And we can leave our Christmas tree up as long as we want to.