Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 7- Much Love

So it's Sunday the day I've been dreading. I have so much going on and will be around a lot of people. Church in the morning followed by a volunteers meeting and then my youngest child's 1st birthday party. Now you know the agenda let me break it down. I've been soooo nervous about going to church without makeup. I know it sounds terrible but I look forward to dressing up and looking good for church. I get ready for church with the same enthusiasm as when I get ready for a date night with my man. I have been dreading going to church without makeup all week. In fact the reason why I started my fast on a Monday was so I had plenty of time to get used to the idea before Sunday. This opened up a whole can of worms because I later realized that Sunday was Bret's birthday party. If I would have obeyed and started my fast on Friday I wouldn't have had to stress about that.

I was so anxious about church that I almost talked myself out of going several times. Saturday my husband tells me we're going to first service instead of second service. I'm not really thrilled with this. I like the second service even though it is really hard on my kids. We always get out really late, have to scramble through lunch so the kids can get down for their naps before we kill any of them for their behavior. Even still, I really like the second service but I decided I should obey and go along with what my husband wanted after all first service is still really good.

We walk into church and we notice something different is happening. Everything is DARK. Like completely DARK. I thought to myself that we must be having a candle lit service or something until I realized how hot it was. No air conditioning. No electricity. But honestly the only thing I cared about was NO LIGHTS! I mean can you believe that?! On the one Sunday Believer's Church doesn't have power I am stressing about not wearing makeup! What are the odds of that happening?! Not only that, we were at the first service. By the time first service rolled around they got power and lights and ac. Now I'm not saying God sent the storm that knocked out the power just for first service just so I wouldn't feel so insecure. No I'm not saying that....wellll Okay yeah that's exactly what I'm saying. I know that sounds kind of irrational but I don't care. In that moment I felt the biggest hug from the most awesome loving Father. I looked around and saw everyone suffering in the heat and yeah I cared but...well I kind of didn't. My not wearing makeup become completely not the point. The point was that I know without a shadow of a doubt that God loves me, for me and that is all that matters. If I could have turned on the power I would have because it just didn't matter any more what anyone thought of me. I still can't believe that happened. I walked around the rest of the day in a daze, on a cloud. He's utterly swept me away. What other people see doesn't matter, makeup, no makeup, who cares? Not me, the rest of the day I nearly forgot about it.

So for those I've completely lost let me give an analogy. My husband works really hard all day to provide for his family. He pays for our house, our cars, our food, our clothes, and all the fun things we do. Let's say He came home with a new dress just for my daughter, Lydia and told her that the reason He works sooo hard was to buy her that new dress. Yes there are more practical reasons why he goes to work but to that little girl none of it matters. All she cares about is that her Father is thinking about her, that He is working for her to give her good things. Just. For. Her.

At the meeting I went to I met a lot of new people. I didn't even think about not wearing makeup. I looked people in the eye, not confident because of physical beauty but because I know I am loved and all I want to do is shout it from the nearest roof top. When I see someone I want them to know they are loved too.

At the party, which I plan on blogging about later so you'll have to wait for the details, I was surrounded by friends and family. The people I can be most real with. My friends hugged me and told me they were proud of me. We celebrated the first birthday of my baby boy and many pictures were taken. I am completely honest when I say I absolutely forgot about not wearing makeup. I had joy around my loved ones and peace amongst the chaos. For once while people where here I wasn't thinking about my house and how lacking it may be in their eyes. I wasn't thinking about how my party planning skills come up short compared to some of my friends who were even at the party. I was just thinking "I am loved, I am blessed, I am treasured, I am so thankful."

Thank you to all of you who have supported me this week. To some I know it was a very trivial thing but it was huge for me. I would have had an easier time going on a food fast and drank only water all week then go without makeup. I really appreciate the words of encouragement and acceptance.

Love to you all.

Day 6- My Shattered Pride

Day 6 for me was Saturday. Like most people I love Saturdays. I meet with a group of women every Saturday morning for a couple hours and it is like oxygen for us all. We call it a D-Group, meaning Discipleship Group and we talk about our lives and the Lord and the Word and our struggles and we pray and sometimes we even party. It's wonderful. Without these women I probably would not have been able to do this fast. (If you'd like more info on exactly what a D-Group is and how you can start one or hook up with one just leave me a comment.) These women know everything there is to know about me. I've confessed to them, shared my heart and yet I was still completely nervous knowing I was going without makeup up until I walked through the door. Then it was like I literally forgot all about it. These women love me in a way that has absolutely nothing to do with what I wear or how I look, just like I love them. It inspires me to see others this way. To look at strangers and not see what they are wearing but wonder who they are on the inside. To know how God feels about them. That's how I want to be seen. Not for my insecurities or for the masks I use to cover my insecurities but loved for my heart.

You know what I've heard throughout this whole week? When I tell someone about my fast (which, honestly I didn't tell that many people, mostly I just pretended like nothing was any different) I would always here the same thing "You're not wearing any makeup??" I thought the same thing every time "How could they not know?" How could they not see that this face isn't my best? A lot of people told me I was beautiful but I honestly didn't get it. Especially if I knew them already. If someone saw me with all my makeup and then without and said they didn't notice...??? What? Well I realized that after talking to my D-Group girls that our mask really only covers about 10% of the 100% we're trying to hide. So if a person gets to know us and they see the 90% all the time then when you take away that 10% it doesn't make that big of a difference. I think that is so interesting. We cling to that 10% with all our might thinking we can hide behind it but when someone really gets to know us it's like trying to hide behind a dinner plate. "Like umm I can still see you". And when you remove that shield it's almost like, "Oh good because that was just kind of silly anyway." Does that make sense to anyone else? Maybe that's why it is ok to were makeup ya know? As long as it stays around 10% it's ok because for the most part you really do let people see who you are. I know there are different things that we do hide and are much more successful but when it comes to makeup for me it didn't make all that much difference. I think that's a good thing now. I'm relieved that those who love me still love me without makeup and that it doesn't really change who I am.

This may not have anything to do with anything but I really wanted to share the scripture I was reading. It really moved me. The whole chapter is really good but I highlighted a couple verses.

Psalm 51 MSG

 16-17 Going through the motions doesn't please you,
      a flawless performance is nothing to you.
   I learned God-worship
      when my pride was shattered.
   Heart-shattered lives ready for love
      don't for a moment escape God's notice.