A sweet woman I may never see again made these tulips for me. She lives in Brazil, and she was an incredible encouragement to me, even despite our communication difficulties with needing an interpreter. Our interpreter, and mutual friend Emily once shared a book with me called “Balcony People” by Joyce Landorf Heatherley. It basically talked about the great impact we can have on all of the people in our lives, everyone we encounter. We can boost them up or we can shove them down, referring to people as either balcony people, or basement people. We can ENcourage or we can DIScourage everyone we meet.
I have a few very special balcony people in my life. One of several in particular who immediately comes to mind is Edna. We share books back and forth and one of our favorites is “I’m Proud Of You,” the story of a friendship with Mr. Rogers. Edna signs every email to me with “IPOY,” our acronym for “I’m Proud Of You.” Edna is certainly one of my balcony people.
And, then there’s those basement folks. Everybody’s got them. But let’s not talk about them, okay? I don’t want to be a Basement Person. Basements are damp and dark and discouraging.
I’d prefer to follow Edna’s example. I want to be a Balcony Person!
The first time I read this book, it caused me to realize who my balcony people were. The second time I read it, it encouraged me to make sure I always took the stairs up to the balcony in my friendships. And the Mr. Rogers book? It helped me see how important it is to encourage our children, and even when they are grown, to encourage them, and always, always, always tell them “I’m Proud of You.”
What about you? Wouldn’t you rather be up in the balcony?
Thank You, Edna – for being my Balcony Person, and for always speaking love and wisdom and encouragement into my life. I love you.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29