I propped my feet up as I grabbed my devotional book and Bible. Our colder weather means I need to cover my feet. So there they were staring at me when my mind went into a make-believe scenario.
In through my front door burst the host and hostess of What Not to Wear. I could hear their giggles from the front door as they sarcastically blurted out, "You are dressed like that and you were planning on taking your 16-year-old son to school? "
The laughter continued as they told how I would have embarrassed him for life, (which I do think is part of our responsibility to do to all our children at one time or another...embarrass them with our funny looks). Then they went on to harass me through photos candidly taken over the last month of me in my baggy jeans. Yes! after one year of working my bottom off at the gym, 15 pounds of my stubborn fat has left me with bottom sagging jeans. I was truly in need of some education in fashion (in their opinion)................as the laughter continued, I covered my makeup-free-and-in-need-of-a-haircut face, while leaving my fashion-less attire exposed.
My desire for a gift card of $5000.00 and total make-over went (puff!) up into smoke as I opened my devotional...........NO, I DID NOT KNOW THIS WAS COMING!
In 1997, there was an article written called the The Body Project. In this article they compared the diaries of girls from the 1830's to the 1990's. In the nineteenth century, the girls diaries focused on "good works", whereas, the diaries written in the 1990's focused on "good looks."
The goals of girls in the 1830's focused on character qualities
- think before speaking
- work seriously
- be self-restrained in conversations and actions
Compared to goals of girls in 1982
- make myself better with the help of money
- lose weight
- get new lenses
- new haircut
- good makeup
- new clothes
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a contrast and it is now 2012 and I must say we have not returned to the virtues of women in the 1830's.
I was startled from my daydreaming makeover. Where could I find myself in these two examples? Where does God see me?
- "The biblical starting point in dealing with the fear of looking unacceptable to God. Does a woman "hope in God", or hope in the approval of men (or women)? This is the key to "not being frightened by fear" (I Peter 3:6) (again not be frightened by fear, not be fearful of my future...my circumstances?)
- Expressing God, not self, is what a godly woman wants to do. Excessive preoccupation with figure and hair and complexion is a sign that self, not God, has moved to the center. John Piper - Taste and See
WOW!!! I handed back the imaginary Visa card and pondered these words. Do I feel there is anything wrong with looking your best? NO!!! I am sure my husband left the house this morning thinking...'you know that wasn't really an appealing sight"... so I agree you should do your best. What I heard was.....girl, right now there isn't any VISA card....I am dealing with your heart!
I think my exchange of the VISA card for heart surgery with my Lord is worth more than any outward make-over.........it is inward, and that spills out onto the surface for all to see. That is when I reflect His glory and no amount of make-up can do that.
"With God at the center-like the "sun", satisfying a woman's longings for beauty and greatness and truth and love - all the "planets" of food and dress and exercise and cosmetics and posture and countenance will stay in their proper orbit.
If this happens,the diaries of the next generation will probably go beyond looks and character and speak of the greatness of God and the triumphs of his grace. And they will more often be written from Calcutta than from the comfortable houses of America." John Piper - Taste and See
What strong words....I want my diary to change.