A long time ago when my kids were little, I made a simple decision that has brought MORE JOY to my life than I ever expected:
I decided to SMILE in all of my pictures, no matter how I looked.
Before that time, I would get my photos processed at the local Walgreens and spend several moments nitpicking how I looked in each picture- the good and the not so good. Now I realize how silly (and how prideful) I was, and how being hypercritical of my “Irish-prone-to-wrinkle-skin”, or hyper-focusing on the remnant of flabby skin after two pregnancies with 65-pound-weight gains simply stole my joy.
I saw how important this was when I realized my pictures were being ruined by my overly self-conscious, half-smiles. Everyone else in the pictures looked so happy…except me.
I decided then and there that I wanted to look back on my pictures and see happy smiles, no matter how I perceived I looked in each picture.
So now, whether I have on makeup or not, look a little more wrinkly than I like, or have a few extra pounds on my frame, I want the prevailing emotion in my picture to be JOY… not pride, or self-consciousness, or overanalyzing, just FUN and appreciation for that moment in time represented in that picture that the Lord has given to me and my family and friends.
I love how the Bible gives us an important clue in Psalm 90:12 on how to live wisely (and joyfully) with no regrets:
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
I started asking God to help me realize my time on this earth was short and to help me learn to live every moment of my life with more joy.
When I’m 80 years old, I want to look back on my old pictures and see the smiles on every page. I want to be grateful for each and every memory God has given me to enjoy on this earth.
Deb and the Help Club for Moms Team