The other day I was scrolling along when i came across the same kind of beautiful pics i see every day:
Beautiful selfies with husbands. Beautiful selfies with babies. Beautiful selfies with friends. Beautiful selfies in beautiful nature settings. Beautiful selfies with hands on hips. Beautiful selfies everywhere.
Then I saw you.
Sorry, I don't mean to be rude, but your selfie was -- um -- not so flattering. The camera angle was all wrong. Your chin wasn't positioned the right way. Your hair was -- uh -- sloppy ponytailish, (like sweaty-gym ponytail, not pinterest ponytail). You could have used the ol' "crop" feature. And have you heard of a filter?
It was frankly a bad picture.
And it was the most refreshingly beautiful thing I have seen all day.
You are with your child, and you are obviously so authentically joyful, it stops me. You have a smile -- like a real smile. Not a trout pout or a sexy smirk or a trained-camera cheese. It's a real genuine caught-up-in-the-moment smile. Your child looks happy too. Not the tired smile of "Let's take 10 pictures so mom can look good in one of them" smile (I so do this!), but a real, "I'm having so much fun right now" grin.
Then not only did you keep this not-so-flattering picture, you posted it. For the world to see.
I just have to say thank you. Your picture has shown me real beauty. And it's made me wonder. What kind of woman posts a picture like this? I mean a sweet, but not-so-flattering picture?
A confident woman.
A woman with no ego, no self-worship.
A woman who doesn't crave a steady stream of "likes."
A woman who cares more about the moment she's living than the picture that captures that moment.
God, help me be that woman. Let me be that mom. A mom who doesn't use my husband or my kids as props to get the perfect picture of me.
I'm definitely not this woman right now. I wouldn't have posted this picture. I would have taken a few more back-ups, so what if Josiah's eyes were closed, right? But not you.
As I look at my own daughter, (totally bald and still a little snotty from her lingering cold) I am swept away by her beauty. She is the most beautiful baby in the entire universe to me. And I want her to be convinced of her beauty throughout her life-- the beauty her God gave to her. The idea that anyone would make her feel insecure makes me want to mama-bear someone real fast.
Your "beautiful" picture made me think about the kind of mentor I want pouring into Abby someday--- someone like you. Our girls are drowning in insecurity. They see perfection everywhere they look. And they're not seasoned enough to know that behind most perfect pictures is a complete disaster. Many of their Christian leaders speak about confidence in Christ and then live out a subtle, yet very real form of social media self-worship.
Of course I’m not talking about being cute or stylish or trendy, or even posting beautiful selfies -- all great things in moderation. Some of my own mentors are the cutest little fasionistas out there (and they post cute selfies too), but they’re also real—never seductive, never immodest, never plastic.
As Christ followers who want to raise up a future generation of girls, we have to allow Christ to transform us. We must take every post captive before the Lord. Because they're following. They're "liking." They're copying US. They need to know that our source of joy is not found in building an entourage of admirers but in cultivating praise for the Lord.
I pray one day Abby will have a Godly leader in her life who will be real. She may be cute and trendy but please God, let her be real. Let her mentor not speak Jesus in small group and then quietly follow the allure of the world. Let her be physically healthy without being in love with herself. Let this woman’s social media pictures not entice Abby to run after a shallow and sickening type of beauty that is gone in an instant.
So thanks for posting your adorable selfies. But thanks for posting this one too. Thanks for the reminder that real is beautiful. Thank you for not conforming to the mighty strong pull of the culture to worship yourself and ask everyone else to worship you too. I pray one day my daughter will have a confident, modest, beautiful, and real woman to follow just like you – one who loves Jesus with her whole entire self(ie).