When You Never Measure Up

There I was running with skinned knees. Sweat dripped from my forehead making my brown unruly curls a tangled mess. My little royal blue and white pleated skirt flapped as I ran, chasing the Homecoming Float filled with the school’s most adorable and charming cheerleaders. I just needed on the float with the cheerleaders, but if I tripped and scuffed my white saddle oxfords one more time, all hope was lost…I’d never be able to cheer in the Homecoming parade.

Who am I kidding? Me? A cheerleader?

None of that ever happened…it feels like it did though.

It feels like so many times I fell so short, didn’t measure up…was just never quite good enough.

How many times have you given every last ounce of your best effort, and yet, success still seems to elude you?

How many times have you seen the goal, the end in sight, and yet, it continues to move farther away?

I had an ah-ha moment the other day…you know when a light brightens up the thinking corners of your brain.

I realized that I’ve always been a cheerleader.

I never had the cute little uniform and shiny pompoms.

I never had the poofy hair bow and saddle oxfords with bobby socks.

Yes, I know they don’t wear saddle oxfords anymore.

I didn’t have enough rhythm or high pitched voice to belt out gi’ me a Ceeee!!!

But yes, I’ve always been a cheerleader. I’ve always looked for the extra on ordinary days. I’ve always rooted for the underdog. I’ve always wanted you to know that you matter and there are brighter days ahead. I’ve always looked for simple ways to make life grand.

Because, there will always be someone who does things differently than you and that is ok. How boring life would be if we were all the same. You were created to be you. You were created to bloom where you are planted. You can brighten your corner of the world.

And I believe in you. Right within you…you have what it takes to be who you were meant to be. Ask…seek…knock…the door will open.

Yes, in tiny small ways, I realized that I’ve always been a cheerleader.

Now where are my pompoms and hair bow?


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  1. WOW! There for a moment I thought I had missed something of your growing up years, as I was already married and didn’t live nearby.
    Yes, you are a great Cheer Leader and you can make your own big fluffy bow and pompoms. Keep cheering everyone forward. You do an amazing job. Love you.

    1. I’m grateful for the cheers you extend to all of us. You always find a way to lead the cheer. I love you for it.

  2. You are The. Best. Cheerleader. Eeeever! I’m very thankful you’re my sweet sister. Love you so much! Love your post!

  3. Very interesting, and I have a story that goes perfectly with your ‘Cheerleaders’.
    Some of my best memories after marrying a ‘Shumaker’ were the visits in Eldorado, at Mother Shumaker’s. One day I ask her what her favorite song was, so I could learn to play it on the piano. Without hesitation, she replied, ‘ Brighten the Corner Where You Are’. You are certainly carrying on her sweet, helpful, traditions! Mother Shumaker was such an inspiration, and I loved her dearly.
    Aunt Carolyn

    1. Oh Aunt Carolyn, thank you so much for commenting and telling me something about my grandmother that I never knew! She was an inspiration for sure! And so are you. I love you.

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