I’ve only been blogging for about two years, but I feel that I’ve grown in that time. There are several ways I think it has helped me, and several ways I think it has threatened me, in a sense.
Blogging has been a chance to release my mental and emotional energy. It isn’t always possible or convenient to let loose my thoughts on those around me. Courtesy, decorum, and time all put limits on what can and can’t be said. But with blogging, those restraints are (mostly) eliminated.
At the same time blogging has been a help to me, it has also been a danger. How much do I say? How much do strangers really need to know about me? Is it prudent to share (some of) my inner struggles with the public? There is a tendency to be too open. With the computer screen as my only companion, it is easy to feel comfortable and in control.
And yet, the very fact that the computer screen is my only companion serves to indicate why I take this uncertain risk: I wish to not be isolated from the world. If there were greater possibilities for friendship within my regular, local experience, I might not feel so compelled to search further. However, as I said before, there are restraints.
It is not easy to find other women who believe in headcovering, or in a skirts-and-dresses-only lifestyle, or in leaving all family planning in God’s hands! In order to find those women, in order to get the support and encouragement I long for–need, even–it is almost essential that I venture out.
Not content to only comment on other’s blogs (though I do love to do so!), I decided to start one of my own, where I could say whatever I wanted. Almost. I believe that it is always, no matter what venue one uses for communication, important to be cautious. Blogging offers freedom to speak our thoughts out loud, in a context that encourages self-expression, but people’s feelings can still be hurt, and I don’t want to do that.
How can I say what I believe and say it clearly, without getting caught in the trap that I try to avoid in everyday life, the trap of only wanting to say what I think while not caring about what others think or if it hurts them? This one has been hard. I think this has been the biggest area of growth for me, and I’ve barely started.
As I’ve been looking back over past posts, I realize that the posts I like the least are the ones where I’m telling people what to think; the posts I like the best are the ones where I’m telling people what I think, and why, while letting them be the ones to decide what they will do with their own lives. I almost feel like deleting most of my articles, but then, there are some that I really like, so I guess I’ll just have to take the time to continue to edit them.
This has been a rewarding journey for me, and I look forward to writing more, while improving my style and technique. So, to get started right away, here are some thoughts I’ve been having recently about makeup. The following example illustrates what I consider to be faulty reasoning, and ties in nicely to the makeup issue.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been informed by certain visitors to my doorstep that we shouldn’t celebrate birthdays because it’s something that God doesn’t tell us to do, and because King Herod had a birthday party, but he was wicked, so we shouldn’t imitate him by having birthday parties. I understand the reasoning, but I don’t see the logic. God may not tell us that celebrating birthdays is something we should do, but it isn’t something He forbids us from doing, either. I see it as neutral; it’s the way we celebrate them that counts. So, getting drunk and having people killed is not the way to do it; but, having cake and ice cream can’t be so terrible, can it?
I feel similarly about makeup. Queen Jezebel may have painted her eyes, and she was wicked, but does that make all makeup bad? Same as with birthdays, I think makeup is neutral; it’s the way we put it on that counts.
In my own personal journey, I went about two straight years wearing no makeup at all. Why? I wanted to accept my body the way God made it, and I hoped that others would do the same. Why try to hide or fix myself, if God made me that way on purpose? Is it because I am ashamed of my appearance, or unhappy with it? If not (I reasoned), then I shouldn’t cover it up with makeup; I shouldn’t try to be something that I’m not. But then, my husband actually requested that I put some on.
That changed things for me. He didn’t want much, just a little eye shadow and liner, a little mascara from time to time. Was it because I wasn’t enough on my own?
Now, I don’t believe that was the case at all. When I first met my husband, I wore makeup all the time. Maybe he got used to that face, and when I stopped wearing makeup he started to miss it; it was the “me” he knew when he fell in love with me. Perhaps my eyelashes are a bit light, and my complexion a bit pale, normally. Could it hurt to “help my face out” a little? To “enhance my natural beauty,” as they say?
I’ve started to accept the idea of a little beautifying, for my husband’s sake. Because I know that he does accept me for who I am, and I feel secure in that; but, doesn’t he also deserve that I try my best to look gorgeous just for him? Not extravagantly. Just intentionally.
What about you? What’s your makeup journey been like?