When I was in third grade, my sister and I forgot to remind our mom about picture day. That morning, we got ourselves dressed and went on to school (I think we had forgotten it was picture day, too).

When the photos came in, Mom was mortified. My sister fared pretty well. She’s three years older, so she did a better job keeping herself looking presentable on a daily basis. My photo clearly indicated otherwise. So much so, Mom opted not to buy any school pictures that year. She even threw the proofs away, if that tells you anything! Instead, she later took me to a “studio” to have my picture made.

As a result, my third grade year was not recorded with unkempt hair, sleepy eyes and a see-through butterfly print shirt with fringes (I forgot my undershirt).  Our box of pictures holds the image of me sporting a new, fashionable haircut (Dorothy Hamill), a coordinating turtleneck and pants set (in a flattering shade of peach), and a dab of under eye make-up to hide my dark circles.

Honestly, though, I often wish I still had the original photograph.  I’ve strived to live a transparent life. If you know me, you know me (whether you like me or not J).  I think having the picture would have been a good reminder for me through the years – of how I won’t always be put together very neatly, but that’s okay. God knows my heart, and that’s what matters.

Maybe just seeing that picture in my mind, as I often do, is enough. It keeps me laughing at my imperfections, and not dwelling on them.  It keeps me striving to be true to myself, and not scrambling to be someone I’m not. Most importantly, it keeps me seeking the approval of my God, and not of others.

I do miss that butterfly shirt with the fringes, though.