Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Shiny Things and Selfies

As I was clicking around the internet this morning trying to help a friend sitting in the doctor’s office to make The HPV Vaccine Decision-- to V or not to V, I found something I loved.  As far as HPV, I had not researched the topic in a while.  This post is not about The Decision but here is a great article she found -- seems grounded and balanced.  Just in case you’re interested.

So I’ve told you before, you get me to clicking around on the internet I am like that person distracted by Shiny Things.  For me, that’s book recommendations from magazine sites, thought provoking articles written by smart people-- so there I go, reading, “bookmarking", adding to the very long Wish List on Amazon…. and a couple of hours later, I look at the clock and roll my eyes.  Sucked in.  Again.

But I found something worth it!  Promise.  And I will share it with you in just a bit.  For the last few months, I’ve been focusing on some Scriptures regarding my own selfishness like, "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:3-5 and "For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3--and here’s a biting one, "For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” James 3:16

Of course, I still love “self” and struggle with denying my “self” any thing I decide my “self” would like to have.  I make selfish decisions and have selfish thoughts, but I am asking the Lord to TRAIN me to do it differently- a prayer I’ll be praying for the rest of my life.  So I have been a little touchy when it comes to any derivation of the word “self”-- especially when I hear it or see it with my kids.  The one that seems to just ooze with, oh, I don’t know, selfishness, is the new-ish word “selfie”.  I just called a “selfie” selfish.  Let me try again without clicking over what I just typed-- a selfie CAN be selfish.  So, no, of course, selfie’s aren’t wrong but they CAN be and they CAN place a focus- an intense one- where we need no more focus.

How do I know that? I am a girl--well, actually a 43 year old woman and I am raising a daughter who is 12.  Twelve.  I’d like to know how many times a 12 year old girl looks in the mirror.  That Shiny Mirror.  I’ve heard John Fuller from Focus on the Family talk about taking mirrors OUT of their home when their girls were pre-teens and early teenagers.  I am beginning to understand why.  We aren’t there yet, but I see her looking.  And I understand that too.  All of us gals do.  Which one of us hasn’t been horrified when the camera was flipped and we see ourselves trying to take a picture of what is in front of us?  You know the thoughts we have.  Are they healthy?  Do we say them out loud for our daughters to hear?  We check the next closest mirror.   Do I really look like that?  I know she’s going to look in the mirror… often, but I want to give her -- and myself--things to think about while she’s looking or when she thinks about checking herself one more time or when she wants to take a few “selfies” with her camera or when I see myself on the flip side of my camera….
I see myself, but how’s my heart today?  Can I be beautiful when I am angry with a friend?  Can I be lovely when I’ve been disrespectful to my parents {or my husband}?  Can my beauty shine through if have been lazy towards my responsibilities?  Have I looked at His Word as much I have looked in the mirror?  I see what I look like when I take a selfie, but what would I see if I took a selfie of my heart?

Those are not just for her, but for me as well.

Just this morning before school, when I saw her go OUT of her way, like climbed on top of something just to get a peek in a mirror too high for usefulness, only for decoration, we had this 3 minute exchange-- something like those questions above.  To at least get her thinking.  And to remind myself of the same things.  Right now, I am the one to model this for her.

In my clicking around this morning, I saw this post by Jennfier Dukes Lee. “What I Saw When I Gave Up Mirrors for Lent”.  Of course it caught my eye.

"I'm tired of how we, as women, often see ourselves and each other as a series of parts and "thigh gaps," or lack thereof. I'm tired of the photoshopping and the airbrushing, and yet, I am guilty. I deftly wield Instagram's Amaro filter to magically take five years off my face.
I'm tired of being a hypocrite in front of my daughters. At ages 12 and 9, they're now are old enough to know when I'm talking a good game and when I'm actually living what I believe. Children are mighty fine accountability partners. They are also mirrors themselves, reflecting what they see in their parents.

As Christian parents, we are the main (or at least the first) influencers in guiding our children into having a positive self-image and developing a healthy understanding of their identity in Christ—loved and accepted, as is. But now—perhaps more than ever in human history—we are being bombarded with opportunities for literal self-reflection."

Read the article and be challenged.  Read it to your middle school girls or teenagers.  Get their thoughts, because you know they will have one or two.

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