I have a canvas tote bag that has space to put family pictures for all to see. The thing is, I tend to use my digital camera where I rarely print. When I do, I don't usually use special paper or any kind of paper that would work to use for this bag. So after a couple years with the tote bag, more than toting around my library books, I'm still toting around my fake family.
You know, fake family. The model pictures they use that I think they want you to replace with your own family. The fake family on the beach, in the mountains, perfect smiles, hair, they are just happy as blazes to be part of my tote bag.
Do you have a fake family? Think about it. Sometimes I have a fake family without the tote bag pictures. I get to church late because my daughter won't get her coat on, I hit every red light on the way, my son can't find his Bible and I run into someone and they ask how we are. Typically only a minute before I am yelling at them, threatening the standard things moms utter before entering a church, just basically having a meltdown and yet when asked how we are---I put out the fake smile and pat answer and say, "We're good, how are you?"
Fake, fake, fake. Real family is in tears, tired, and I'm sure thinking I'm nuts for telling people all is well. So I challenge you, get rid of that fake family. Next time someone asks you how you are, be real. You don't have to air all your dirty laundry but say "thanks for asking. This has been a rough morning. I'm near tears actually. But with the grace of God and a dose of chocolate, I'll be on my way." Those fake kids in the mountains will probably drop their jaws but your kids, I'm thinking they will be happy for being true, authentic, and right on. Maybe I won't get to posting those real pictures of my family in the totebag, but I'm working on presenting us as we really are---faithful, flawed, and a lot of fun.
Julie Arduini, http://thesurrenderedscribe.blogspot.com/, is devoted to writing for Christ in ways that encourage and inspire. A graduate of the Christian Writer's Guild, her writing resume is on her blog's sidebar. Happily married to Tom, they have two children.