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Picture Perfect

by Joanna Pierce on June 28, 2017

Have you ever experienced family pictures? I say experience because it is in fact a major one. Aside from the occasion itself, there’s a plethora of activity that surrounds it—date scheduling, outfit coordination, hair trials, haircuts, last-minute shopping, photo tests, a flurry of phone calls/emails/texts, and so much more!

My family was so scarred by our last picture experience, we’ve avoided them altogether for 5 years. Our photographers were wonderful, but toward the end of the session we were faking smiles, my sister was worried her son was going to throw up on her, I was antsy to get away from said nephew before I got sick, our violation-of-personal-space threshold was being reached, and we were all wondering how a family of 8 needed that many pictures…

As most of you have had this experience, you know it’s a big deal if the photos don’t turn out right—especially since you’ve invested so much time, money, and effort. We must capture ourselves in a moment in time to prove to the world we can look (and are) picture perfect. Then, we spend the rest of our lives convincing ourselves that we are that way 100% of the time, all the while desperately striving for this ideal.

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these (Luke 12:27, KJV).

I bring your attention to the story of the lily. Lilies look like lilies because that’s the way God designed them. Whenever you see a lily, you’ll discover it’s nature will be the same. Lilies don’t work hard to look a certain way, and they don’t get weary in their growth or existence. They exist in their natural state, every day of their life. Lilies are an example of God’s creation: perfect just the way He created it.

The world has generated a picture perfect mentality. We’ve convinced ourselves we must reach a moment in time when we: have everything together, don’t have a single hair out of place, have perfect smiles on our faces, and have ultimately achieved perfection.

In reality, we’re striving to meet an ideal God didn’t set for His creation. When the Lord created each of us—the way we look, our personalities, and normal behaviors—that’s the way He wanted us to be all the time. This might translate to frizzy hair, coffee-stained teeth, kids with mismatched outfits, and potential life challenges which don’t always equate to a smile being on our faces 24/7. But, reality in God’s book, this equals perfection.

I realize we need to strive to achieve spiritual perfection through Him, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. God never intended us to struggle to look the way He never intended for us to look. And, He didn’t want us to capture a picture perfect moment in time—which quickly becomes the past—and then spend the rest of our lives looking backward to achieve a moment that no longer exists (or maybe shouldn’t have in the first place).

Life’s not about being picture perfect. It’s about living the life God designed for us to live and looking the part! Remember the lilies. Our goal is not to toil or strain to achieve a different look, characteristic, or personality trait God didn’t design us with. When we want to take a snapshot of our families, or our lives, it should reflect who we are, not who we want to be.

The next time your family picture experience is planned, just remember a thing or two about the lilies. I encourage you to apply the lily-mentality to that photo-shoot and capture the day-to-day perfection God blessed you and your family with. I promise the final picture will be everything God meant it to be.