Image Building

Friday, November 13, 2009 3 Comments A+ a-

Image seems to be the theme of the week. Everywhere I turn, I’m faced with a new revelation, a new thought regarding images and the images we try to present to the world.

This week in Beth Moore’s Daniel study, we’re learning about the falsehoods and gods we create in trying to maintain our images. I love that she gets so deep, forcing us to ask the hard questions. Is the same person we present to the world, the one we deal with in the dark of night? I try, really I do, but even I know that I fall short of this goal.

As I continued reading in that day’s study, another Beth Moore thought jumped out and convicted me. She said, and I’m paraphrasing here, even those who pride themselves on being real, can learn how to fake being real.

Hmmmm. Yes. I can see how that could be true. And I probably fit into that category as well.

I consider myself real; I try to be real as often as possible. In fact, dare I say it, I may even be prideful when I talk about being real. But have I gotten to that point where I can fake being real? It depends. Yes, I feel as though the person you read about on here is the same person you’ll meet in person. (I hope that’s the case. I pray I’m not portraying myself to be someone I’m not.) However, there are still topics and areas in my life that I won’t discuss on the blog. Finances, marital, and family (both immediate and in-law) issues, anything that has been placed off-limits by my husband and/or family, are just a few examples. In not talking about them, am I portraying my life as perfected in those areas? I hope not. We have just as many issues behind the scenes, but some boundaries can’t be crossed.

Ok, I think I got off-topic there for a moment. Back to image-building. I didn’t have to look very far to find an example of image-building in my own life.

The highly-regarded, highly-anticipated Christmas photo. The photo that says to all our family and friends, look. Look at my beautiful children, my hunky husband, and see how blessed I am. I AM blessed and my children ARE beautiful and I AM so very in-love with my hunky husband; BUT let me assure you that our lives are not so squeaky clean and together as the picture portrays us to be.

Take for instance the morning of our photo-shoot.

I may, or may not have, scolded Devyn for the umpteenth time to “sit still and let me do your hair!” I may, or may not have, told Hudson, “Tough, Kid. I know you hate that outfit, but you’re wearing it!” I may, or may not have, whispered to Jon in angry undertones that it was his fault we were running late. There may have been fighting amongst siblings, a lost bow, and dirty clothes that I forgot to wash for this big day. In short, not one of my brighter moments as Mom and Wife.

And then, when we pulled up to the park and were assembled just right, of course we put on our happy smiles and were loving and affectionate with one another. Just in time to capture the perfect, loving family that we are.

If that’s not an image-building moment, I don’t know what it is.

Don’t get me wrong; I see nothing sinful in wanting the gorgeous picture. We are all proud of our families and want to show them off during this magical time of year. I just wanted to point out a moment that was crystal-clear to me; a moment in which I caught myself giving into the pressure of creating the perfect “image”. And I want more of that clarity! I want to be more aware of those moments when I’m about to step over that line of being real, into creating an image. I want to know that while I can put my best foot forward, that when it comes to the nitty-gritty dirt in my life that I’m not afraid to open up and allow God to use whatever He needs to clean the gunk out. I don’t want to present the fa├žade of who I am, but the real thing.

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

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Katie
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2:48 PM delete

I love it! I feel so often that I can fake real. We can't let anyone else see the imperfections in our daily lives. It is so good to hear that we are not all perfect and the more we share these things with others, the easier it is to not fake our lives. Thanks for the wonderful, and funny reminder :)

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Sarah
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11:57 PM delete

Loved capturing that "image" for you;). Don't I know that picture time, or should I say the time leading up to it, can be riddled with some of the most "real" moments. But in the end, we cuddle and smile because, by God's grace alone, we remember to see the best in each other, we are reminded that love is a choice, not a feeling. You've got me in deep thought now about "faking being real". I think that's exactly what happens a lot of the time. And here's the real kicker, how often, as we pride ourselves in being real, are we searching for admiration for our realness? ahhhh!!!! Is there any question how much we need Jesus?! Makes me want to lay flat on the floor in His Holy presence, face down and not say a word.

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Christine
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11:02 AM delete

Great post Jenn. Very convicting.

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