Colorful center piece for table – check. Easter baskets with appropriate balance of chocolate, sour candy and non edible items – check. New clothes in festive colors for all family members – check. Delicious meal planned – check. Reminding kids of real meaning of Easter – check. Easter photo counseling session for mom – Um, nope…
I have a phobia of photos. I don’t know exactly when it started. I just know that at some point in my life you could take all the photos of me you wanted. There were no pre-approved angles. There were no hissy fits over fat arms, chubby cheeks, flat hair or unflattering clothes. There were just photos – photos printed and placed in cherished albums that I delighted in looking at over and over.
But somewhere between blissful teenage years and middle age baggage, I became horribly afraid to face the image staring back at me. I could be having a fantastic day in an outfit I think has passed all inspections and with hair that looked great the last time I left the mirror. Enter an unsuspecting photographer bent on capturing some special moment of me and my kids (usually my poor sweet my husband) and I’m confronted with the fact that I don’t look like the image in my head. And the hissy fit begins.
On Easter Sunday we always take photos of the kids in their spring attire and usually capture at least one photo of the family. Of course this involves lots of prep work and acrobatics to get everyone looking good and in the right position. And then there’s the inevitable setting up of the camera on objects never meant for this purpose (since no one wants to find and retrieve the tripod), pressing the timer button, running, falling, jumping into the photo just in time, reviewing said photo, deleting said photo and repeating the whole ordeal. After a “few” of these, I finally give up and convince myself Photoshop can fix anything.
Such was the scenario on this blessed Easter morning of 2012.
I had everything set for a fabulous celebration. Everyone had their favorite candy. The table looked beautiful. I had dinner ready to go and each family member had a new outfit. We headed to church and celebrated. Just as we drove back into the neighborhood a few hours later, I remembered the inevitable horror that was about to begin. And sure enough, seeing those photos sent me into a downward spiral of disgust and guilt.
So I did what every woman suffering a case of the “fat, dumb and uglies” as my friend calls it. I texted my hair stylist and demanded to know what the heck was wrong with me. Being the delight that she is, she reassured me I was not about to stop traffic with my horrifying hairdo but she would give me some “umph” if I could come in this week. Surely a trim would solve ALL my problems. (Humor me yet again.)
That helped but my attitude still stunk and I was mad at myself for having an attitude in the first place. It was EASTER! Sadly, I can’t say that I had an epiphany, unlocked the secret of my fear and loathing or will never fall into that pit again. But I can say that I know this is an area where the enemy works to drag me down, to prevent me from being the joyful, thankful child of God, wife and mother I was created to be. I know this is an area where I need God to reveal how He sees me and to help me overcome my irrational view of myself. And I know He will.
Until then, No photos allowed. <smiley face…but seriously>
Special thanks to: my friend and prayer partner, Dawn, for coining the phrase “fat, dumb and uglies” and my hair stylist and friend, Joy, for putting up with my Easter Sunday hair crisis text.
3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV)