Choosing to Stand Tall

Choosing to Stand Tall

It’s taken years to be truly on this path to freedom, but here I am in 2014 finally able to embrace who I am, and whose I am. And I don’t plan on retreating back to where I once was!

We have an unfortunate cultural trait in our country called ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’. It’s common enough for there to be a name to it. When a person stands taller from the crowd, they are pulled down or cut down with words so they no longer stand tall. It’s sometimes overt and sometimes more subtle, but the outcome is the same – to prevent another person from rising to all they could and should be, so that another feels better about themselves. It’s the opposite than what Heaven intends for our country, which a culture of true honour, comradeship and courage, and a People that will cheer on others in their chosen path.

I have been on the receiving end of this, and without doubt I’ve probably hurt others in this way. I can only repent for where I have partnered with this myself, and pray the Lord keeps me sensitive and humble from walking in it again!

What we want in the Body of Christ is for EVERY PERSON to walk in fullness, and in that way we are all better for it! We can honour the unique voice of one another, and enjoy and celebrate the brilliance that shines from each person.

My Journey in Becoming a ‘Tall Poppy’

For many years, and more so since becoming a mother, I’ve frequently been on the receiving end of jealousy, cutting down, and revilement, because others have desired what I have or have been jealous of what I am capable of. It has caused me to withdraw, be silenced, and isolate myself from others. Sometimes, it’s been shrouded in religious language, or a ‘minor’ reason given instead of the ‘main’ reason that hides what it really is. Other times the responsibility has been put back on me, as though the cause is me – I’m causing insecurities to rise up in others, or intimidating women because I am skilled and gifted in areas that others may not be. I’ve been pressured to hide my light, to be less of myself, to enhance my struggles and shortcomings so that others feel better about themselves.

But do you know that excluding others, cutting off or cutting down someone, or withdrawing your friendship or care of someone because you perceive them to as the source for your discomfort, is really unloving and based on a lie?  And at times, the victorious life they lead might actually be the result of years of perseverance, cost and sacrifice? Or perhaps an outpouring of favour of the Lord they have grown in, to be celebrated and cheered on?

Here’s a snapshot.

I love my husband and children. I very rarely need time away from them. I do need time by myself to re-energise at times, but it’s not because I’m fed up with them. It’s because I’m an introvert that likes to sit and read, listen and think. So I don’t crave the time out of the home without my family that others might. I also love spending time with other families, and I don’t crave women-only get togethers. Rejoice with me that I’m different and what a change the Lord has brought about in my heart – when I first got married I wasn’t sure I wanted children, as I was still hurting from my parents’ divorce. What a transformation God has done in my life!

I don’t believe my way of parenting is the best/only/right way. Truly. I have many convictions about things that are right for our own family, but that doesn’t mean I think it’s the best way for your family. Those decisions that we all have to make about raising children, eating, Church fellowship, homeschooling or public school – they are all things that we can only be responsible for ourselves and not for others! I freely and joyfully love to help others, hence this blog as one example. But if you decide a different way, then go for it and be the best you can! So celebrate with me the victories and the courage it has taken to go against the mainstream, as we have pursued the best plan for our family.

I (usually) have a well-ordered and clean home. My mother set a wonderful example for me. I also learned young how to do this, as from 11 I lived without my mother under the same roof. It became necessary if I wanted clean clothes! Celebrate with me God’s redemptive purpose that has come about, and that he has brought strength and excellence into my life as a homemaker. It’s come at great cost.

I love to be home with my children and am glad for the blessing to homeschool them. I’ve had hard days. Really hard days! But the vast majority of the time we enjoy ourselves and my children are thriving and doing well. But the cost of living off one income is I only get a haircut once a year, we wear our clothes out (except the kids who benefit from a very generous Nanna!), we don’t get out of town to see family often, and a thousand other things we can’t afford to do. Worth it? Yes yes yes! So tell me I’m doing a great job and encourage me. Don’t tear down homeschooling because it offends your worldview or theology, or gossip about me because you see imperfection or you feel inadequate yourself. Be the best ‘you’, and encourage me to do the same!

I love to create a warm and hospitable environment for people to come to. It’s true – before you arrive at my home, I will often whisk around and pick up things that you might trip on, check the toilet for any ‘surprises’ my children may have inadvertently left, and perhaps wipe down the dining room table where you may place your coffee cup on arrival. Enjoy the place I’ve created for you to enter into. Embrace the English cultural background I come from, where you can sit and be served rather than the more common way in our culture of being told to ‘help yourself’ or ‘make yourself at home’( which is fine too). This is how I do hospitality – be blessed by it!

I love to create nourishing meals for my family and am good at it. I had to learn young, and at 11 I was cooking roasts and making school lunches. God has used those difficult circumstances and turned them into something good, something helpful, a blessing to my family, and also to others that have been on the receiving end of my generosity. Please, rejoice with me at His goodness expressed in my life!

I’m frequenting on the receiving end of the Father’s generosity and our family find ourselves with abundant provision that is beyond logic. Rejoice with me in the goodness of God! It has sometimes come at the cost of many times of enduring faith and hope, tears and prayer, and we ourselves have been generous with all we have in our hands, at times with extraordinary sacrifice.

You probably won’t catch me posting photos on Facebook of my messy lounge, my baking fails, or any other imperfectness – not because I don’t have those days like every other mother, but because I choose to celebrate the victories and strive for the excellence that I know is in me.

I’m not perfect. I fail daily. There is grace daily. I’m utterly dependent on Him.

I am a beautiful, gifted, beloved child of the Father. I love who He’s created me to be, and love my life, and I love growing in who I am in greater measure. Rejoice with me that God has taken brokenness and grief and turned it to wholeness and joy. He’s brought beauty from the ashes. I will no longer hide my light!

And He can do the very same thing with you.

“The church is God’s body, where every member is welcomed, accepted, loved and valued as a contribution. There is room for us to live in Christ while we are learning to be Christlike. This means we make space for the ugly and the beautiful in all of us to grow and change.” From MANIFESTING YOUR SPIRIT (Graham Cooke)

Tall poppy Monet

18 thoughts on “Choosing to Stand Tall

  1. Kiley

    Amen Sister! Alot of what you said about yourself rings true for me and my family also. You are a great blessing to many and will be touching so many lives that you will never know about. May God continue to use you in a mighty way. Thank you for your inspiring website and encouragement to be a homeschooling Mum. x

    Reply
  2. Carol

    Victoria- thank you for being so open about this problem we have in our culture. I am thankful you are following God’s plan for your life & family. He has been showing me some areas He is working on in my heart & life this year as well. Hugs to you! Carol :)

    Reply
  3. Kathryn

    Hey Victoria, I really enjoyed reading this – thanks for sharing. I have thought about it a lot as I have gone about my work today. God has and is doing a wonderful thing in your life! Thanks for being a part of mine. Kathryn x

    Reply
    1. Victoria Post author

      Dearest friend, you are a strong and beautiful tall poppy yourself. I pray you will know just how incredible you are, and just how amazing Jesus wants to be in you. Thanks for being part of my life too. love Vic

      Reply
  4. thehomeschoolingdoctor

    I will celebrate with you that which makes us different, unique parts of the body of Christ which can reach out to other diverse women (and men and children) in ways that only you can or I can. Go light our worlds and no bushel baskets can hide us. Greetings and Christian love your way!

    Reply
  5. Rebeca Jones

    Wow. I love it how the Lord seems to tell me the same message over and over. I have been mulling this particular issue over for a while now, and you have simply confirmed (beautifully, I might add) that this is indeed an issue that needs to be addressed.

    If we could but set aside our petty jealousies and insecurities and replace them with love and encouragement, how would that affect our world? The world would know that Christ is REAL by our love for one another.

    It starts with me, doesn’t it? And you. Being our best selves and showering others with the grace of our Lord. Lovely, lovely message!

    Reply
    1. Victoria Post author

      Hi Rebeca, I was so unbelievably blessed by your comment – thank you! Thank you for showering ME with the grace of our Father! I genuinely pray today that the Lord will show you who you are in Him, and just how incredible He thinks you are. Once we know who we are and whose we are, it changes everything. And that’s one revelation we can keep growing in for the rest of our lives. :) Bless you, from Victoria

      Reply
  6. Jana

    I am not sure how I arrived here to read your blog post, but I am so blessed to have done so. Praise you Lord, and thank you for Victoria and her words. I too feel like a poppy and have allowed myself to shrivel up and wilt away, sinking low, so no one will notice me anymore. I NEVER want to cause others to feel less than, it’s quite the opposite really. After realizing what I have allowed happen, I am going to go feed myself properly and get strong again, for the Lord. I choose to stand strong and be the woman God intends for me to be. Victoria, there is really no way to communicate to you what your words have done for me today…I am grateful God has used you for my benefit. He is so good! Lots of love to you, and all the other poppies out there! <3

    Reply
    1. Victoria Post author

      That is so fantastic Jana! Yes stand tall beautiful one, and be all that the Lord has created you to be! May you thrive abundantly in all that He has called you to. Blessings on you and yours today, and let your light shine bright for all to see. – Victoria

      Reply

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