If you have joy in your heart....let your face know.
Doesn't that make you think?
What does your face show?
I am pretty sure most of you have heard that phrase referring to someone's "resting" face. Do you know which one I am talking about?
The "resting b*t*h face". (Sorry about the use of asterisks on this family friendly blog, but that is the only word I have ever heard used in that phrase.)
The kids and I talk about this sometimes...how you will look at someone and think they are going to be the crankiest, meanest person in the world, based on how they look when they are just sitting there....but then, you get to know them and they are the sweetest, kindest, nicest person ever. You really just never know. But, shouldn't you sort of be able to tell?
Do people know how they look to the world?
It has made me wonder, more than once, what my resting face says to the world. So, I made D-man take a picture of mine and send it to me. (See what you get for hanging out in the living room with your mom, D-man?!?)
Does it say I am tired?
Does it say I am annoyed?
Does it say I really need to get some eyebrows?
Does it say I am happy and joyful?
I can remember my dad pushing his thumb into the center of my forehead between my eyebrows whenever I would furrow up my brow. He told me not to do it too much or my face would stay that way and I would have permanent wrinkles that would make me always look angry.
I thought of that again this morning, when my pastor talked about letting our joy show on our face for all to see.
Which things on my face am I allowing to become permanent wrinkles? The cranky furrowed brow or the joyous eye crinkles?
It also made me think back on something I once heard on Oprah....about whether or not your face lights up when your child enters the room. (I just looked it up...and it was Toni Morrison who said it on Oprah).
I am pretty sure my face does usually light up when I see my kids. People have told me sometimes they can tell when I am singing and I am looking at my kids because I look happy (that can go the other way too, if they are acting up and I am in the middle of a song and am trying to communicate my displeasure to them, while keeping the congregation in the dark, but with my face I am conveying the message that they had better stop whatever they are doing right this second!)
Overall though, my heart does a little leap of joy when I see my kids, so, I guess, my face also says "Woo Hoo" when I see my little sweethearts. Don't all parents feel that way? Or do they feel that way and then just not show it? We watched a Christmas movie this last week with Amber Riley who had a rough childhood and was putting herself through school, working a bunch of jobs, singing in her church choir, but was looking for a family to spend Christmas with. Her dad was still alive, but basically wanted nothing to do with her. There was a heartbreaking scene where she decided to try one more time to connect with him and have a real family. He still rejected her, even though she was a success and wasn't there to ask him for anything. She went on a mission to find and create her own new family.
It reminded me again that all families aren't like ours. You have heard me mention the book For The Love, by Jen Hatmaker. I still totally recommend you go and get your own copy. (I will tell you in a later post how sweet my friends are.)
(this image will take you to my affiliate link at Amazon).
In our class today, we talked about her chapter on Sweet and Spicy families.
It sparked an interesting conversation about what we all thought the other families were. I think all of us thought our own families were Spicy, despite the fact that others may have thought we were the Sweet families spending our free time knitting and singing hymns.
We all seem to dwell on the stuff we are sure we are screwing up and judging ourselves against what others are doing great.
The whole point of this specific chapter on sweet and spicy families was that we are all probably doing a better job than we think at this whole parenting thing. Condemnation and shame are just tricky tools the Devil tries to use to sideline us and make us feel like crap.
Don't let him do it.
If you have Jesus...and Joy in your heart....let your resting face....and your permanent wrinkles look more like this....
....and not so much like this...