Day 7–What do I value?

7 days without using any non-hygienic beauty products–woo hoo!!

Today I attended the opening session of The Gathering.  This is an annual meeting of all clergy in the Desert Southwest Annual Conference.  It was great to see my colleagues.  There were many new faces in the crowd that I didn’t immediately recognize.  Our presenter for the day was Rev. Sharon Ragland (a brilliant pastor!!).  The first question she asked of the group was “What do you  most value.” I am definitely a values driven individual.  I believe it’s so important that we name what we value and then place our time, talents and energy in that direction rather than living in a way that is reactive to whatever presents itself to us next.   Some of the things I value are:  1.)  spending unstructured time with my family  2.) living below our means  3.) self care  4.) continuing education  and 5.) growing in my relationship with God.

#3 has been called into question throughout the last 7 days for me.  I think I closely relate many of my non- hygienic beauty products with self care.  I have noticed for the past 7 days my skin feels very tight and dry when I wake up in the morning.  I’ve been using moisturizer at night, but when you quit using 12 anti-aging products cold turkey, maybe your skin naturally rebels and get very stiff literally overnight.  I also view wearing makeup as a sign of self care. In some way it says to me, “I value myself and my appearance enough to add a little something to brighten up my look.”  For me, makeup is very much a part of the whole package, which includes carefully choosing what I wear, how it fits, whether or not it’s appropriate to the occasion, and whether or not it draws too much attention.

Perhaps my discomfort with this Lenten fast is that I assume too much attention is being drawn to my face because I’m not wearing makeup.  Is my lack of makeup causing people to notice me too much?  I’m probably just feeling vain.  In reality the only one talking about my lack of makeup is me.  However, a pastor who has known me for a very long time approached me today and said, “Don’t you think you need a little bit of lip gloss?”  I completely freaked out and assumed someone had put him up to saying that.  No…he’s just been reading my posts and did a great thing by helping me laugh at myself during this journey.  Thanks, Jeff.

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