June 2012: Picture Perfect

This entry was posted on Aug 21 2012, by Tina and is filed under Newsletter Archive

Extra! Extra! We are now accepting reservations for 2013 Summer Camps at our new campsite, Headwaters! We are so excited for you to experience this new location, designed specifically with your family in mind: family-friendly waterfront complete with slide, activity barn for indoor activities, play areas for younger children, and queen-sized bed for parents! Check out the images on Facebook, and make your reservation today.


Picture Perfect
by Tina Howard

“Okay, everybody! Look right here!”

You feel your toddler fidgeting, and you “encourage” her to be still through clenched teeth and forced smile.


Your two oldest begin to fight, and your husband turns to break them up.


You feel control of the situation slipping through your fingers, and you try to keep smiling and praying for the shutter to click before everything completely unravels.


You bounce the baby to try to get her to giggle and say “cheese!” just as you feel something wet run down your hand and catch a distinct whiff of spit up.

As a parent, I put an incredible amount of pressure on myself to appear like I have it all together as a mom and a wife. When my kids misbehave in public I am quick to correct them, sometimes more harshly than normal, as I apologize profusely for them. I can be in an intense fight with my husband in the car, and then plaster on a smile and an even tone of voice as soon as I step outside and close the car door. I readily share my parenting wisdom and advice with others, but avoid asking for help myself. I can feel discouraged, discontent, and confused, but choose to suffer through it alone, rather than let someone else in and see the mess in my head.

My pride misleads me to believe the illusion of the picture perfect family.

But no one has it all together. (That’s why we all need a Savior!) And I bet if I let you into my mess, you’ll be able to speak into my life from your own less-than-perfect experiences. Together, we will realize that we are not alone and can embrace this journey called parenting without fear of what others may think. This subtle shift is huge: our parenting focus then becomes our children’s hearts, not the perception of others and surface level obedience. And I think we’ll find our hearts will be changed too.

Years from now, you’ll look back on that family picture and treasure the moment captured. Because you’ll know that your baby with spit up trickling down her face, your toddler as just a blur, your older children picking on each other, your husband turned to break up the fight, and you with a forced smile on your face is exactly as you were as a family. And it’ll be perfect.

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