recent ponderings….

** NB: The following thoughts are still in progress…..


As some of you may know, on Saturday I had the opportunity to have a professional photo shoot done at one of Sydney’s top studios.  I was terrified, but did it anyway. (A side note – I’ve often found that the things that terrify me the most also bring the greatest joy…).  It was what the studio referred to as a “fashion photo shoot”, complete with professional hair, makeup, and styling.

My photograhper was a guy named Andy.  I know it’s part of the job, but he was lovely, genuine, and easy to talk to.
I don’t know about you, but insincerity is quite easy to spot, and I didn’t “pick up” on any insincerity on his part at all.

Over the course of the morning, I had a team of people working to make me look my best, and feel my best.  The hair & makeup artist made me look prettyful, and Andy’s job was to make me look good on camera. 

One thing that surprised me though, was how much weight I gave to comments from the photographer; things like “I love it when you smile – you have such a beautiful smile”, “wow – your eyes look incredible”…compliments from a stranger, that are now gems hidden in my heart.

Needless to say, I came away from that photo shoot on a high – and even today, 4 days later, I still smile when I think about how much fun I had.

But over the past 4 days, I’ve been asking myself why the compliments from the photographer, from a complete stranger, held so much weight.  It surprised me, and still surprises me, how those few words made me feel.

Growing up in a Christian family, and having attended Church for my whole life, we’re always told that “it’s not what’s on the outside that counts, but what’s on the inside”.  That IS true.  But to have someone, who doesn’t know you at all, compliment you on your external appearance? 

I still don’t have an answer to my ponderings. 

However, one thing that concerns me about my reaction is why don’t God’s words of affection toward me make me respond in the same way?  Where do I recieve my self-worth?
That thought unsettles me somewhat. 

Last night Ps B spoke on “Being a Lover” at our young adults program.  (if/when it’s up on iTunes, I’ll post the link here).  It further added to the ponderings in my head.  Those thoughts are still in progress….and may end up here later.  We’ll see.

So…..any thoughts?


7 thoughts on “recent ponderings….

  1. Lex

    Donald Miller wrote a great book that was recently re-released called Searching For God Knows What, that really speaks to that whole thing. It’s impossible to put Don Miller in a nutshell, but his idea is that we lost something after Eden. That people were designed to get their identity from and outside source. That source was supposed to be God, but in our separation from Him we look for it everywhere else. Really good book

  2. Paul Sims

    It’s troubling when we find ourselves being more concerned about what others think of us than what God thinks of us. Far too often that’s the case. However, there is something to be said for gaining outside perspective, because our own can be warped or skewed by abuse, neglect or downright cruelty. As with so many things, a balance must be struck so end the end, we don’t possess an unhealthy view of ourselves.

  3. Jen

    When I did "Joseph", I had a guy (gay… a sort of important fact) do my make up one night, because "he’d been dying to". Still, to this day, 13 years and one husband later, his prettiest compliment to me still makes me smile… "You have perfect lips".I have no idea why that one, out of all the ones Adam has paid me since, has settled so into my heart.I think, since I"m pondering on the thoughts you bought up about finding our worth through God, is that with God, it’s almost like our husbands, or our mother… you HAVE to think I’m pretty. You know? It’s sort of biased 😉 It’s nice to know that someone who isn’t obligated to you pays you a compliment purely because they believe it to be so, without knowing YOU… does that make sense?

  4. Paula Boardman

    Jen, I was thinking about your last point before I checked the replies here!I think compliments from strangers do tend to hold more weight because we know there’s no obligation, or strings attached. Like you said, your partner, family, friends etc., it’s almost part of their job description to compliment you.But when someone who has nothing to gain from it, pays you a compliment, you know that there is a genuineness behind it, and they don’t expect anything in return. You know they actually mean what they say – enough to actually approach you to say it.It’s amazing what thoughts go through your mind when you’re staring directly into the lens of a massive camera (especially knowing that there’s someone looking directly AT you through that camera)….I’m still pondering some of those too….who knows, they may end up as another post!!

  5. Cleo

    Are tangents allowed in comments? I don’t know that I have much to address to your primary point, but as I read your post it occurred to me how important it is to connect with those around us. Engaging or paying a compliment to a stranger at th fuel pump, waiting for the bus, passing in the super market, waiting in line behind at the coffee shop, on and on. We can make a difference in the lives of others so easily.

  6. Paula Boardman

    Hi Cleo – this tangent is most definitely welcome! I’m not a big one for talking to people I don’t know. Sometimes I can do it, othertimes, absolutely not. However, I always love smiling at strangers – especially ones that look like they need cheering up. Smiling makes your day better – and brightens the day of ther other person too 🙂


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