Blog from Women Journey of Faith
It was last April. I had made a quick stop at the health food store. “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Jennifer Garner?” The young employee looked at me politely from across the till. She leaned back to her co-worker, fishing for agreement. I think I might have nodded and smiled. I collected my purchase, went home and hopped on Google. I’ll admit I couldn’t remember what Jennifer Garner looked like.
I don’t know what the girls at the health food store were seeing but I know what I saw. (Am I the only one who finds it slightly odd that people post instant photos of other people so people like me can see what they were doing only hours before…like smiling?) She was smiling. Smiling as she took her daughter out of her car, smiling as she looked her in the eyes, smiling as she walked back to the vehicle. Smiling radiantly.
I was challenged. For a moment I pictured what my ‘paparazzi moments’ would look like on any given day as I coach my kids out the door and pack them into the vehicle. Let’s see… rush off to school… wrestle with the car seats… quiet sibling disputes during rush hour and – Say “cheese!” More importantly what ‘photos’ of my facial expressions did my own children have etched in their minds? Smiles? Acceptance? Trust? Or is it frustration, impatience and displeasure?
I was foolish enough to ask one of them. “Honey, what does mommy’s face look like when we’re getting ready to go?” She scrunched up her eyebrows. Hmmm. Really? Then they all had a crack at it. Kids are so honest.
I hope it was therapeutic for them. But I knew something had to change. And that something was me.
I needed a facelift. I wanted my countenance to reflect the glory of God and radiate the love I have in my heart for my children.
I know a God who’s in the business of transformation.
And…note to self…don’t be disheartened! Get used to needing such help. Jesus, who set the pattern for our lives, petitioned and applied for the good things that were purposed for Him and promised to Him.
And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his COUNTENANCE was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. (Luke 9:28-29 )
Jesus prayed, and his countenance was changed.
Research tells us that facial expressions, gestures and touch all contribute to the overall sense of developmental well-being in children. Frequent displays of affection and shared smiles are all ways to increase the bond between our children and us
A shining face helps our children grow.
And prayer helps the face to shine. Matthew Henry’ commentary says it beautifully: “By prayer we fetch in the wisdom, grace, and joy, which make the face to shine.”
Such good news! Prayer transforms our hearts as we behold the glory of the Lord, and it transfigures us as well.
So…I got my first ‘facelift’ at 38. Last April I realized I needed to fetch more wisdom, grace and joy that would make my face shine.
As a mother this makes all the difference. My new countenance is from the inside out. It may not be wrinkle-free, but if I’m going to collect a lifetime of wrinkles, I’ve decided I want them to be smile lines…
I’m so thankful.
I’m thankful the Holy Spirit uses daily encounters such as this one to draw me back to the Word. I’m not so sure I look like Jennifer Garner, but I think my new facelift is quite becoming. Some days are better than others, and some days I may even be caught smiling as I wrestle with seatbelts. Don’t ask me, though… the proof is in the pudding. You can ask my children!
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 – New King James Version (NKJV)
To learn more about Women’s Journey of Faith, our upcoming sharing the Journey seminar on April 4-6 2014 and other recommended speakers click here: WJOF/STJ