Weekend Walk, 1/12/2013: Take My Picture

“Take my picture, Mommy!  Take my picture!”

In the middle of Sunday morning chaos, pulling on stockings, buttoning dresses, clipping 006on bows and tying on ribbons, my three-year-old twirled in her dress and posed for a Kodak moment.

And I clicked the camera.

I don’t ever remember being this way, so eager to say, “Cheese.”  I’ve always been the one declining photos, offering to hold the camera, tossing into the trash any pictures of me I don’t like.

But when I’m out and about with my daughters (or even just running around the house frantically trying to get four females ready for Sunday morning church service)… they want to stop and take pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures.  Not of the scenery.  Of them.

It takes us three times as long to walk down the Main Street of our town and probably twice as much time on location on our family “field trips.”  But I don’t mind.

I love that they feel beautiful enough to want to pose.

There was a day I stepped into the bathroom to put away a stray toothbrush, and I caught one of my girls watching herself in the mirror.  She smoothed her hair and glanced up at her reflection, pleased with what she saw.

How beautiful is the girl who feels beautiful in her own skin.

This rare gift, how do you teach it?  How do you help them keep it for life?

Somehow, most of us grow out of it.  We glance in the mirror and critique the image or sigh in frustration.  We step on the scale and slander ourselves with our thoughts.  We pose for that picture and know we won’t be happy with it later, not with the smile or the hair or the wrinkles or the chin or ….

Even my husband, in the early days of falling in love, would sit across me from the table and I could feel him watching.  I didn’t know where to look.  I was uncomfortable in his gaze.  What imperfections would he see in me if he looked too closely or watched too long?

Later today, I’ll take my seat at a piano and offer up the music for a wedding ceremony.  There will be a moment at that wedding when the soloist will sing, “How Beautiful the radiant bride who waits for her Groom with His light in her eyes” (How Beautiful, Twila Paris).

The beauty of the bride isn’t so much the hairdresser and the hair spray, the makeup, the gown.

It’s that she walks down that aisle feeling loved.  In a moment, she knows she is wanted, precious, and she radiates the joy.

And it’s beautiful how she loves him.  So we, thinking of another, run out of time to be so self-analyzing, so self-criticizing, so self-condemning—so “self.”

It’s a verse for meditating on all week, with a reminder of how beauty is looking to God–our Groom–thinking of Him and less of me.  Beauty is caring for others.  Beauty isn’t feeling shame, but feeling redeemed, feeling precious, feeling loved.

“Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame” (Psalm 34:5).

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2013 Heather King

Weekend Walk: Back-to-School lessons and a verse

I have a chatty daughter and a not-so-chatty daughter.

The first year my oldest attended preschool, she would climb into the car at the end of the day and I would ask, “How was your day?”

She would then jabber on for fifteen minutes or so about she-said’s, he-said’s, activities, games, and lessons.

When my next daughter attended preschool, she hopped into the car at the end of the day and I asked her the tried-and-true question, “How was your day?” expecting a full report.

She answered, “Fine.”

I paused and waited.  Silence.

“What did you learn?”

“I don’t remember.”

It took time for me to learn to ask better questions:

“What did Sam bring for show-and-tell?”
“What did you eat for snack?”
“What book did you read at Story Time?”
“What craft or project did you make?”

Better questions merited better answers from her. That is, until this introvert daughter of mine finally announced, “Mom, I don’t want to talk anymore.  Please stop asking me questions!”

At the start of the new school year, I’m thinking about asking God better questions: prayers not so much of need-fulfillment and wishlists, but requests for closeness with Him.

Will You impress on my heart each day where to go, what to do, what words to speak?

How may I abide in You more fully? 

How can my self be so entwined with Yourself that our hearts are united with the same purposes and desires?

Our back-to-school verse for the week is:

He wakens me morning by morning,
    wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed
Isaiah 50:4b

Let’s enter this season of fall, of changes, new beginnings and fresh starts, with the daily prayer to wake morning by morning as a better student of God and His Word with a softened heart, an engaged mind, and a teachable spirit.

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I’ve been sharing prayers for our schools this past week on my Facebook page.  You can join me there by liking the page in order to pray along with me.  Or, you can visit this link to see the prayers and even print a version to keep in your Bible, prayer journal or on your fridge.  Let’s cover our kids, our teachers, our schools in prayer.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.