Out Of The Box

June 8, 2017

Out of the Box

Do you categorize people based on differences? I honestly didn’t think I did until it hit me smack dab in the face at a recent convention. It got me thinking: What might happen if we stopped putting people in boxes?

Arriving at the National Alliance on Mental Illness Convention, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to hear from leading experts in the field. I was also eager to meet others walking the same path. After all, this conference was about “us” coming together to help one another, and I knew firsthand what it was like to fiercely love and care for someone with a mental illness.

I began mingling, and after a few awkward exchanges realized this was not at all what I had anticipated. I was looking for the “me too” associated with connecting with people on the same journey. However, when I asked, “Who is your loved one with a diagnosis?” many times the answer came back, “It is me.” At first, I felt as if I had crossed a line or put my foot in my mouth until it dawned on me …

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I am overjoyed to be guest posting over at Sparks of Redemptive Grace.  To read the entire post click here.  Hope you will find your way back here to leave a comment.

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  1. Reply

    Brandi Raae

    It’s so natural to put people in boxes, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing at the #LMMLinkup all that you are learning through your trial.


    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Brandi – Thank you for hosting such a great linkup. I look forward to it every week. I love that you stop by and read my posts. Maree

  2. Reply

    Gretchen Fleming

    Oh Maree, what great insight! I am a 📦 person, quick to form judgements and decide whether someone is like me or not. What a injustice to myself and others! You write with such wisdom and grace☺️ I love reading your work!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Gretchen, Thank you for your kind words. I have to say the feeling is mutual. I love reading your posts. Just last night I was thinking how grateful I am for the connection made through writing. Blessings, Maree

  3. Reply

    Lisa Appelo

    Maree Dee, Thank you for sharing wisdom from your own walk and modeling sensitivity to the whole body of Christ. Happy to read this b/c I’m your neighbor for the second time recently!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Hello Neighbor,
      Lisa – I love it when I am neighbors with someone twice. It gives me the opportunity to get to know someone better. I can’t wait to hop over to your post and see what you have written this week. Thank you for your kind generous words. Maree

  4. Reply

    Mandy Hughes

    Such a beautiful post, Maree Dee! This made me think about how I view others and deeply touched my heart. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Mandy – You are so welcome. Thank you for stopping by, reading, and leaving a comment. Blessings, Maree

  5. Reply

    Erin @ burdenfreecaregiving.com

    Such a good post, Maree. Last night, when Adventures in Odyssey came on the radio, the whole show was about mental illness. They did such a good job explaining mental illness, especially to such a young audience. I wish I had written down the title of the program for you, in case you could use it your ministry somehow.
    Bless you for your writing, and speaking, on behalf of others!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Erin, Thank you for your kind words and mentioning the radio show. I will have to try and search for it. I don’t think it will be too hard to find. Maree

  6. Reply


    Marie you certainly got me thinking – such good truth. Most of us never look to categorise or exclude anyone but can easily do so by being too much in our own little world and coming from our own perspective. Good to have our perspective shaken up sometimes. I got a lot out of reading this – thank you.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Tracey – I agree most of the time we do not mean to categorize people, but we do it automatically. I am so glad you stopped by and read this post. Thank you for commenting. Maree

  7. Reply


    Thank you for this, Maree Dee! Sometimes I jokingly call my extended family ‘box-makers’, because we specialize in putting and keeping each other in boxes. But ‘if we make a habit of fitting people into our predetermined boxes we will miss out on seeing each other from God’s perspective’. This is so true and extends to many different labels and boxes we use to limit others. I loved the insight God give you at this meeting and I’m grateful that you’re sharing it here. Blessings!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      I loved your comment. It made me smile and laugh, the part about “specializing in putting and keeping each other in boxes.” I do want to see people from God’s perspective, not mine. Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. Have a great weekend. Blessings – Maree

  8. Reply


    I think it’s insidious and unconscious but no excuse! Thank you for bringing this issue to the surface. Blessings on your necessary ministry!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee


      I agree we do it unconsciously most of the time. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.


  9. Reply


    I was encouraged and challenged by your words. I think that putting people in boxes is an unconscious thing we all do, but I too, want to be more sensitive to it. Jesus is such a great example of someone who modeled acceptance well. Visiting from Susanne Eller’s today.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Yes, Dawn I agree it can be such an unconscious thing we do. I agree Jesus was such an example. He never ceases to amaze me how he accepted everyone even when it was inconvenient. Hope you are have a blessed day. Maree

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