Updated: Dec 21, 2018
We recently had family photos made. Probably a top fiver for me and Cam both on things we avoid like the plague. The talent pool of photographers in our life is prevalent and the theoretical desire for photos of myself and family that don't cause me to squint or cringe every time I see them is also definitely there, but good grief, it doesn't make photo day any more pleasant. For the first time ever though, everyone in our family made an effort. All five of us gave our best. And the photos turned out best-case-scenario for folks like us. Our photographer was legit. Given, one has to assume that even WE couldn't over-dress or under-makeup a photo shoot that costs more than my first prom dress, but you do get results based on the quality you pay for. Plus, thank you to the 21st century from us, add a good and couple slathers of the right filter and voila, we look naturally flawless-ish.
I'm not sure that at any point in my beauty pursuit that I would have graced any front cover of even a photo album, except maybe my mother's or Nanny's, but at certain points I felt like I was the most decently flawless version of my self, that either the insecurity of my teen years or the posh-ness of my college years obnoxiously demolished. And I'm here to come to terms with the fact that my natural flawlessness is now pretty well gone according to instagram-popularity-standards and well twenty-twenty vision and all I'm left with is a confusing and poor effort of self-diagnosed L'flawlessness Complex. Natural beauty was exciting while it lasted, all two-ish years. So far no makeup product has aided in reducing my lack-of youthful glow, and at this point, I'm not sure I can afford to keep trying. I mean, my children do expect to be able to eat every two hours and in between.
So all that to say that I do get why instagram filtering and concealor taping can be discouraging. I completely understand. I actually felt that way myself until like yesterday when I came to terms with my reality and I have decided that mediocre is ok with me.
It is what it is and I am what I am. This is the great divide of middle age, ladies. I have entered it. And today I am deciding I am proud to be here.
I must confess to you before you read further and decide what you will walk away with from this post, that I can't believe I actually am old enough to admit that I now have a piece of clothing (ok, a sweatshirt) that I got in college, that my husband just opened up to me that he is grotesquely embarrassed about. (How was college that long ago? How is something I love SO MUCH so outdated? SCARY.)
I mean if you read my last blog you understand neither he nor I make many purchases or effort in the direction of spoiling, but he legit ordered me a NEW under armor hoodie. That is a good dream turned bad, for very real reasons. I mean HE literally wears shorts with cowboy-work boots sometimes on Saturdays and HE FOUND FAULT with my super fav hoodie. I can see now why accountability is so crucial because we are blind to a fault, about our faults. I can't decide if a hug is appropriate or a slap across the face? It has been a hard season, man. Come on. I guess it was decently considerate of him to replace that which he complained about. I can get on board with that scheme of efficiency.
When I actually watched TV as a young and dewey-skinned twenty-year-old, I remember faithfully watching "What Not to Wear" and silently vowing to myself never to be THE person they are called in to fashionably rescue. Well good thing joy comes in the morning, because here we are. Now, my faith really is truly relevant because the next seventy years of my life will be spent pursuing what makes me feel really good and flawless on the inside, since the outside is just a failing pursuit. My laundry gives me enough fits that I can't possibly take accountability for non-dewey skin. I need the wine and caffeine people, for more reasons than I can mention. And my apparent lack of time cannot possibly take another hit by attempting to drink so much water in a day that I risk my bladder exploding; I'm already on high alert. I won't even MENTION why I don't eat more melons. Decency of life matters more to me than falsely looking like I slept more than the five hours that I hopefully did get, and so my skin will probably never bounce back to anywhere ever again. Thank you FOR JESUS. HALLELUJAH.
Yet here I am, looking over our family pictures and enjoying my lumbar pillow, presented with this paradigm of realms of flawlessness. Surely none of us are ever so old that there exists a word in this world that loses it's applicableness in every way, besides maybe dewey of course? Even Dewey though, a possible surprise-fifth-child-boy-name?
That brings to mind to also wonder, is it possible to be me at age twenty-flawless and me at age thirty-flawless, one in the same? Can I be flawless and truly hairy at the same time? I'm sorry for that visual. It seems a relevant thought though. Should I want to be the same as myself ten years ago, tens years later? I feel a group-association-tranisiton coming on here. It seems only the "babes" of instagram should be allowed to be apart of the "babes of instagram" (Please do not go look that hashtag up. And I do not mean babies.). I got cut from that roster a long time ago, AMEN, and I think I'm gladly bidding it goodbye.
So, that still leads me to wonder, what kind of flawless complex IS possible for a middle aged supposed brimming-ninny? What kind of honor awaits a pre-granny-panty, post-booty-short, B-minus, MAMA?
And God's blessing of course. The tequila-gold-margarita version of a life cocktail. If it can't be legit happy hour all the time, it CAN be happenin' on THIS Mama's time, whenever I get the time for time.
What if we are supposed to begin failing in small ways on the outside, because we are SUPPOSED to really begin investing those new spare dimes on the now-more-secure-investment-on-the-inside? Logic and practicality are sexy now apparently. I have a feeling that we are heading to the best versions of our mama-selves, inwardly flawless in our thirties.
What if we are now thick and wrinkly, hairy, mamas for a real reason, a lineup of Mama Bears willing to extend their new found wisdom in some dewey-skinned kids?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines happenstance online as a circumstance especially that is due to chance. The example sentence that it gives directly following the definition is, "They came together by mere happenstance."
By mere chance, a circumstance was born. What if that circumstance, that chance, that mama, that Savior, all mingled together according to The Creation Story of you and me, me and mine, them and everyone, by the hand of the Almighty, by Jesus Christ, in all that Jesus died for it to be?
I believe in our thirties, our forties, fifties, or maybe even twenties, that at the sign of our first real heartbreak due to crowsfeet or a double chin or random long facial hair, that we can begin to believe in our inner flawlessness' new beginning. I think our maturing and probably even grumpy-mothering-ability, has an even greater purpose in the world than what we were even planning.
Maybe out of what seemed to be a depressing L'flawlesness Complex full of standards who cares if the who's-who meets, what if we changed our endeavor and picked up our cape-robe or favorite (new) hoodie and we embraced our brimming, inner, HAPPENTSANCE MAMA.
Isaiah 1:17-20 English Standard Version (ESV)
17 learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.
18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Jesus changes our everything. He is our chance. We mamas, are now working with real and powerful, hell-defeating, happenstance.
Injustice is prevalent. Need is great. Childhood oppression is rising. An arising of The Equipped they all await. And we mamas hold the key on a chance if we are willing to take. Pray that prayer, 1 Isaiah 1:17-20, bear the need, Mama Bears extend your vision, the power of Jesus is in you and me, Happenstance Mama.