Day 27–I’m dreading this…

27 days without non hygienic beauty products

My good friend Billy always reminds me that if there’s something I don’t want to do, I should do it first in my day.  No use dwelling on it all day long.  I’ll still have to accomplish it before the day’s through, so why not do it first so I can enjoy the rest of my day?  Brilliant.  I didn’t take his advice, as evidenced by the time I’m writing this blog.

One of the topics that surprised me in Cameron Russell’s TED talk was her candid offering that models are the most physically insecure people on the planet.  They are consumed with the way they look by virtue of their profession.  They’re insecure because they have to think about what they look like every second of every day, perhaps knowing that they have to measure up to the industry standard all the time.  She implies that models have a lack of freedom to feel good about the way they look if they’re not dressed for a photo shoot.  I would imagine this lack of freedom is based on reality.  What if a model was caught without her makeup on?  Would she be praised for her courageous, natural look or paraded on websites designed to humiliate and berate?

With great courage and dread in my shaking typing fingers I will admit that I, too, am deeply insecure about so many things.  At the risk of airing out my dirty laundry, let me be completely transparent.  I am an insecure parent, primarily in my relationship with my 10 year old daughter, Addison.  At some point in my adolescence I did what many teenagers do…I worked to differentiate myself from my parents.  Thiswas and is a healthy process for teens.  However, this process was not without its serious aches and pains for both me and my parents.  I can’t speak for my parents (and I should say that my mom has been following this blog) but I know I carry many of those aches with me still today.  These aches translate into parenting insecurities and spill over into my relationship with Addison. I wonder if I’m doing the right thing in fostering her independence, yet still disciplining with firmness and love.  Will she end up in therapy some day sorting out her issues with her mom?  Will we at some point grow together even after we have grown apart?  How on earth do you ever “give wings” and let go of one who grew inside you?  At the same time how do you raise a child to never live at home again for any measurable length of time??  These are the thoughts inside the insecure head of a parent of a pre-teen girl.  God help all of us in this category of parenting.  (Side bar–while I was writing this, Addison launched a paper airplane into my room that landed at my side.  In it was a message:  “Dear momma, It seems that you spend more time on your blog then play with your kids and I don’t like it.  Love, Addison–Notes like this don’t play into my insecurity at all.  This is the work of a wonderfully manipulative child.  God help me now.)

I am insecure about my abilities as a pastor.   I wonder if I am enough to my congregation.  I would always like to accomplish more at the end of the day.  I am insecure about not taking risks and trying new things.  I am insecure about trying new things and failing.  Standing in front of people on Sundays, whether I’m praying or preaching is like bearing my soul to the world and I crave affirmation, which leaves me ripe for feeling insecure.  I guess my first clue should have been when one of my good friends at church left a book on my desk called “So Long Insecurity” by Beth Moore.  Hmmm…it’s now on my shelf and I haven’t read it yet.  Maybe I should.

Finally, I will share with you that I’m insecure about my body.  By all measures my 40 year old body is fantastically healthy.  But I am one of those who falsely thinks that if my thighs were a little bit smaller I’d be happier with myself.  I can listen to Cameron Russell when she says that not even models are happy with their bodies.  I am beginning to wonder if I’ll ever be satisfied with how I look…makeup or not.  Will I always find something about my appearance that I want to change?   Will I ever go out for breakfast and get the full stack of pancakes and pour maple syrup all over them and not think about the carb count landing in my mid section?

Wow…I just re-read this and am insecure about pressing “publish”.  How will you receive it?  With grace, I hope.  Here’s what I promise.  I promise tomorrow that I will share how I deal with these insecurities.  If I simply stopped at identifying my insecurities I’d be left in hopelessness.  But I have worked and do work every day at carefully addressing each of these areas of my life with intentionality so that I do no become paralyzed by insecurity, but instead invite God into those insecure places to provide life abundant.


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