Camera Shy

I am not a beautiful woman, but aside from one day a month when the moon is bright and high and my system and ego run haywire—I just don’t care.

I feel pretty inside.

I like my eyes and my hair and my un-thin lips. My heart is full and I’m generally content. I’m surrounded by a fine man and a good boy, a loving extended family, and friends who know exactly how I take my coffee. And oh yes, the crazy dog.

I’m happy with who I am and where I’m at.

Yet despite that quiet confidence, the minute a camera gets pointed in my direction, I get nervous. Really nervous, as if that small tool with a lens and a shutter truly could steal my soul.

black, camera, cute, eyes, girl

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The last time I looked good in a snapshot was circa 1975, when I was too young to care if the photographer caught my “good” side. Now, whenever I hear the words Smile! or Get together!, I cringe. I get self-conscious and I start to flush. The color creeps up my neck and my face and I look like I’ve tipped the bottle back one too many times. I overcompensate by smiling too wide: a habit I learned decades ago to avoid braces catching on my lip.

I look ridiculous. And drunk.

And because that happens I hate the picture, and the cycle continues.

And yet—apart from those instances when I have to flip a photo over or resist the urge to un-tag myself on Facebook—I feel pretty, no matter what the film says.

My heart says “pretty.”

My soul says “pretty.”

My smile and my laugh and how good it feels to sit with friends and share our days says “pretty.”

I’m a child of God, and when He put me together He had a specific design in mind, which—above any earthly reminder—says “pretty”. It says it loud and clear and with an unconditional love.

And who am I to question that?

Linking up today to “We Encourage” at Call Me Blessed and “Playdates with God” at The Wellspring, and the lovely Amanda at Serenity Now for the Weekend Bloggy Reading Linkup!

And So It Begins

Another new year’s dawned and I’m so happy.

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In my book, there’s something very freeing about January and the fresh start that it offers us.

While I’m old enough to know that I’m not going to make any sweeping changes in my life, there are a few things I’d like to tweak. So no, I won’t be …

  • learning to speak fluent Italian {though that old college text calls out to me at least once a season}. No matter how often I try, I never seem to get past “Ciao, Concetta … come stai?”
  • changing the way I eat. Sorry, I like a slice of toast with peanut butter on it at night. I just do. And if I’m going to eat ice cream, I’m eating frozen cream and not anything else.

… though I will try my hand at

  • calculus. If anyone could teach me, it’s my girl, Jenny, though I wonder if she really knows that she has her work cut out for her.
  • making biscuits from scratch. I just think there might be something more romantic about the process than the sound of cardboard popping under the edge of a spoon.

And if I do none of the above, and only follow these three goals for 2012, I’ll consider the year a beautiful success:

1. Take more walks.

2. Pinball less.

3. Be deliberate.

All 3 kind of mean the same thing. My body and my mind are craving a pause. I need to stop giving non-top priority things “top priority” status.

I want to enjoy these days more … while Matt’s still little and I’m still home, so this year I’ll take more walks with him, stop myself when I seem to be jumping from one thing to the next {pinballing}, and be more deliberate—more careful about the promises I make and projects I take on.

They say if you write it down, it carries more weight, so there: I’ve done it.

What changes will YOU make this new year?

Linking up to We Encourage Tuesday today. Just Call Me Blessed!

Constants

this little light is evolving. When I started blogging over a year ago, it was out of a cry for help.

A cry from myself to myself.

I needed to say out loud from my own proverbial rooftop that I was in pain. And I wanted it to cost less than a therapy session.

I was angry at everyone:

At women who laughed and gave me the “ … and you only have one child!?” challenge when I seemed {I guess unreasonably to them} at wit’s end with The Boy.

At women who actually had more than one child.

At those who joked about how easily they got pregnant.

And at myself. For being mad at them in the first place. Everyone has their crosses.

And I wanted to move past it. So after one particular evening when a dinner-out-went-oh-so-wrong and I completely lost it on two

good-hearted, God-sent

and unsuspecting friends, I started a blog so that I could finally do something constructive with that pain. this little light became my place to share the heartaches and the joys and say out loud {but to no one in particular … or to everyone in particular?}: “Hey, this happened and it broke me.”

And a magical thing took place: being able to do all that blessed me.

image source

I have gained so much over the past year. A healing. A freedom. An energy. A feeling that I’m finally doing what I love {Day 28 of 31 : Putting Words on Paper . small but grand, baby}. It’s a dream come true. The pain is not so startling anymore.

So while I never know what thoughts are going to pour out onto this virtual paper, I just want you to know what this little light will always be:

  • a place where the focus is on all the good stuff that brings us joy {though I can’t say there won’t be that occasional rant … I’m still contemplating starting a blog called the dark side where I can post about things like people who park their supermarket carts sideways across an aisle while they leisurely check out the baked beans selections … ooh, sorry: I digress.}
  • a place those who’ve lost can come to see that there is light at the end of their tunnel, however improbable that may seem
  • a place that features resources that may help grieving parents with their sorrow

and a place to remind us all that

you can survive whatever it is that breaks you.

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