The Baggage of Average

By Steph Fink


Just that word irks me.

It’s so…well, average.

Last March I sat in a mother-filled-room.  The keynote speaker, Julie Barnhill, asked a question that I did not particularly care for; a question that I didn’t know that I needed to be asked.  A question that brought up a lot of my own baggage that I’ve traveled with since my own childhood.

“Are you okay with having an average kid?”

I’ve never seen a “Proud of My Average Kid” bumper sticker but they do exist.  I know this because as I wrote this piece, I Googled the words “average kid bumper sticker” and I found, “MY KID MAY NOT BE IN THE HONORS CLASS BUT AT LEAST THEY’RE NOT A NERD”.

“Are you okay with having an average kid?”

This question puts a pinhole in the bumper sticker balloon of every mother that has a “My child is an honor student at____.”

I’m not really okay with my kids being average for one reason; I think my kids are extraordinary.  I know that sounds biased, but it’s true.  They have strengths and weaknesses which only add to their above average-ness.

Part of the reason I struggle with the “average” question is that I’m weighed down with my own baggage from the word average.

And I’ll be the first to tell you that being a Type A personality does not help.

When I was a child, if I brought home a 95 (out of 100) on a test, I was asked, “What happened to the other five points?”

Or if I brought home an A-, I was asked, “What happened to the A+?”

I know my parents’ hearts weren’t to drive me crazy, just to push me to be my very best.  Perhaps they too had some baggage with the word average?

Either way, I don’t want my baggage with the word “average” to weigh my kids down.

I’ve found that my answer to this “average” question has been found this school year.  I am okay with average because in Psalm 139:14 there is refuge for average people like me.  “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.”  We all have strengths and weaknesses and both are included in the packaging of “wonderful”!

While my one son may be exceptional in math yet have horrible handwriting…he is wonderful!

While another son may currently be an exceptional speller yet has horrible handwriting…he is wonderful!

While I may be horrible at Calculus yet also have horrible handwriting…God thinks I’m wonderful!

Do you see a pattern forming…no, not the handwriting, the wonderful part!

God’s helping me find the “wonderful” in the word average!

Do you wrestle with the word average? Do you know that God thinks you’re wonderful?


**Steph’s writing has appeared in Proverbs 31 Ministry, P31 Woman magazine.  In her free time she can be found encouraging numerous MOPS group in the northern Virginia area on the “Colorful Art of Friendship – Allowing God to Paint the Masterpieces” and MOPS leaders on “Being a Bright Light”. Steph can be found blogging at or on Facebook at Stephanie Fink or on her Facebook page Encouraged in Heart – Stephanie Fink.  She loves big hair, big cups of coffee and big bear hugs.




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2 Responses

  1. This is such a awesome article! I am ok with my kiddos being in the middle group (or the average group). I think there are some serious cons to being at the top or the bottom group.

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Heidi, there are some serious cons and pressures. I hope that no matter where our kids stand in math or sports or work that they know they are loved and WONDERFUL!

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