Last week I bought a new swimsuit. I was super excited that it was modest, slimming AND only $16. I couldn’t wait to go to the pool to try it out.
I’m not a supermodel or even an average sized girl. After a childhood of being overweight and an adulthood with 5 pregnancies, I have a lot of experience with insecurity regarding my body. Even though I’m not skinny, slender or fit, I still choose to put on a swimsuit and go to the pool with my kids. And, feeling a boost of confidence in my new polka dot suit, I even took off my swim shorts and let my pasty white thighs soak up some sun!
I don’t have a spotless house. I grew up on a farm during my early years and as I got older, both my parents worked, so having a spotless house was never a high priority. Now that I have my own home, I do keep it picked up and clean for my own sanity but on any given day there is dust on the furniture, stains on the carpet, dirt in the corners and dishes in the sink. With 5 kids and 2 in-laws sharing a home with my husband and I (that’s 9 people!), it’s hard to keep up with all the traffic related messes. Does that mean I never have friends over? Absolutely not! If I only have friends over when my house is spotless, they will think, “I can never have her over to my house, it’s a mess compared to hers!”. If I never invite my neighbor past the threshold of my door because of the clutter, I’ll never get to know them in a meaningful way.
I go out in public with no makeup on. Sure, I fancy up my face on Sunday’s or on date nights, but most days I have too many other faces to worry about so I don’t stress about mine. When I see a friend that’s usually all made up with a clean face I think, wow, so that’s what they really look like, they’re beautiful! I go out of my way to thank them for trusting me enough to show me their true face. It’s a big deal!
What do all these things have in common? It’s all about being real and being duplicatable. If I don’t look perfect, then the women I mentor won’t feel the need to look perfect. If I don’t skip the pool because of my imperfect body, my kids won’t feel like they need to hide their imperfections. If I let my neighbor see my mess, maybe she’ll let me in on her mess and I can share the love of Jesus with her.
Let’s not pretend to be perfect Christians, because people can’t relate to that. Let’s be real so that the people in our lives feel comfortable being real with us too. And that’s when true relationship and influence happens.