This was the first summer I worked exclusively from home, and let’s just say that my love for a good morning news program has no end. Good Morning America, Live with Kelly & Michael, the Today Show – give me a cup of coffee and a mix of world news, local news, and celebrity news and I’m off to a good start. With all of that “news” coming into my head, though, I found myself noticing an interesting trend somewhere around the beginning of July.
For several weeks there seemed to be a reoccurring theme with the summer pop culture news: a HuffPo story about how incredible it is that women are posting photos of themselves in their swimsuits online – mamas and women who would normally shy away from it, bravely posting publicly. But in the next breath the same news anchors shared stories complaining about teens who take selfies and post photos online of themselves in inappropriate attire.
I just can’t help but get fired up that one message tells us that to be a “good” mama or feel beautiful we’re required to wear a swimsuit – not only in public but post it online – because it’s the latest, viral “proof” that we are with our kids, and the other tells those same kids to “do as I say, not as I do.”
So, what’s a mama to do? This summer, after considerable prayer, I learned that I would rather be known as a mama who made memories – who was in the pool so often with my daughter that I never had time to get my phone out for a photo. I would rather my little girl see me – even dressed comfortably or modestly – as a mama who paid attention to her so that when she’s old enough to decide what photos she puts online, maybe she’ll be more interested in being present in the moment. She’ll have a background of modesty and a solid foundation of who she is in Christ and where her beauty comes from and we won’t have to worry about what she might choose to share.
Listen to me. I need you to know you are doing a great job in all the unseen, unphotographed, un-viral moments because you are PRESENT with your family. You are teaching, loving, disciplining, praying, feeding, comforting, and pouring into lives that will be forever changed – not because of what you wear or what anyone sees online.
Today, let’s say bravery will look like choosing to make the memories that will last a lifetime but never be seen on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.