Sunday, September 28, 2008

Prayers for the Stauffers

Juanita, a dear friend and fellow homeschooler, could use your prayers. Her 14 year old daughter, Emily, was attacked and killed while on a walk yesterday afternoon. Emily was a beautiful young lady inside and out. Her dad wrote a short blog post about it today.

Accept your self part 2

I found Celtic Mom's post through Mary's post, and what they were saying went along with the accepting yourself journey I've been on.

Celtic Mom talks about how we compare yourselves to others and end up with an "unjustified inferiority complex". She reminds us that we are all unique and each one of us is special in some way, but the sad thing is that we tend to focus on what we think is wrong with ourselves instead of on what is right. She challenges us to find pride and joy in being who we are, instead of wishing we were someone else.

That's not always easy, but it is important. We have to remember that God created each one of us unique and if we are busy trying to be someone else, then we are missing God's plan to be who He means for us to be. Instead of looking at others and trying to be like them we need to look at ourselves and be who we were meant to be.

I know all this, but I still couldn't bring myself to list 10 things I like about myself like Celtic Mom and Mary asked. I like the idea, but it's just too hard. Sorry. I am, however, working on seeing the positives, not the negatives, and even trying to realize that some of what I see as negatives may in fact be positives. I am meant to be me, not a carbon copy of someone else.

Accept yourself as you are

I seem to have struck a cord with many with my recent talk about how much I hate pictures of myself and how I'm trying to get over it. For many years now I have joked that I am alergic to cameras. I avoid them, at least the front of them, as much as I can. You would not believe how many paper pictures I have ripped up and how many digital pictures I have deleted over the years. Because of that, there are very few pictures of me, especially since I've been married and had kids.

Finding the scrapbooking hobby a few years ago made me realize how sad that is. According to pictures, I have pretty well been absent from our family's life for years. I can't go back and change the past, but I can change the future, and I've been trying to work on that, but I really haven't been that successful. I haven't been able to let go of the fact that I don't like pictures of myself. But I need to get over that. The importance of it was really driven home to me recently by this blog post, which was drawn to my attention the day after the writer of the post died, just a few days more than a month after she wrote the first post.

Earlier this month DD was getting ready to go out and looking like her beautiful self and I wanted to take a picture of her. She agreed on one condition, I had to get in the picture with her. Reluctantly I agreed. I hate me in the pictures. I almost deleted them right afterwards, but I kept them for her. I've never posted them anywhere but I am going to post them here as encouragement for you. Here are the pictures DD took that day:

Here are a couple of pictures I took of myself and Little One the day after I read the post I linked above:

And here's one I took of me. The great thing about a digital camera is that you can take lots and delete lots until you finally come up with one that is passable, if not totally acceptable. This was the best of the many that I took so you can imagine how bad the others were. ;)

I challenge you to do as the lady I linked to above said, "hand over the camera and get in those photos!", or have some fun taking some self photos of you with your kids, or even you alone. Don't let another day pass with your kids not having a picture of you, especially one of you with them. You may not like what you look like in the pictures, but it is the you that your kids love. Be brave - get in those pictures, and keep them, and post them even. Accept yourself as you are.