This post is for those of you who, like me, tend to compare yourself with others, and get to feeling glum about yourself or your homeschool. I see a trend in the blog world that is much akin to digital photography and airbrushing. Shall we call it “digital blogtography”? You’ve seen the Dove Campaign For Real Beauty video, haven’t you? A woman walks into a set and sits down. She is not unattractive. She does look rather plain, but if she had combed out her hair and put a nice natural smile on her face, she would have been transformed. For the next several minutes, the video shows in fast motion her skin tone evened out, make-up applied, eyebrows drawn on, eyes and lips painted, and hair styled. A fan blows her hair to give her that model look. She now looks beautiful, but artificial. Next comes the real magic. Digital technicians use computer software to lengthen her neck a bit, raise the centers of her eyebrows, widen her eyes, lengthen her nose, raise her cheekbones, fill in her lips, highlight her hair, and augment the various colors of her face. The new image is then plastered to a billboard. The final image looks nothing like the woman whose face it is. The video illustrates the evolution of what we perceive as beauty, but the end is fictional. Oh, sure, there is a real woman, but the woman on the billboard does not exist. The point of the video is to show women that that by which we measure outward beauty is a false standard. Real beauty comes from within us. We compare ourselves to an impossible goal!
As I have clicked from blog to blog, visiting various friends and random posts, I can’t help feeling that what I see is similar to this video. I see an end product that is fictional. Oh, I am not accusing anyone of anything false – I myself am guilty of it. On my blog, I only want to share with you the positive things about my family, my spiritual life, and our homeschooling experience. Yesterday I posted about my wonderful husband, the finisher. I didn’t tell you about any of his faults, or the things about him that absolutely frustrate me. I have never mentioned the fact that the top of my fridge hasn’t been wiped off for a year. I don’t want anyone to know how I really reacted when one of my kids disobeyed me, or when the toilet overflowed, or when the neighbor’s loud music drove me to distraction. (I am making all these things up, of course, lol!) I don’t post those things! So then, what you see on my blog is a distortion of what my life and my home are really like. Have you ever found yourself feeling like you don’t measure up somehow, when you read my blog? Maybe not, but if you do, you are comparing yourself to a false standard.
The temptation is strong for me to envy your orderly schedule or the fact that your family gets to travel all over, or that your house is clean and beautifully decorated, or that you have it all together spiritually. But a particular verse often comes to my mind when, like Dinah of the Bible, I am out seeing the “daughters of the land” from my computer. It is 2 Corinthians 10:12, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” I don’t want to be fretful about all the things I see in you, that I have not been endowed with or worked for, such as diligence, industry, consistency, etc. I want to be wise and compare myself not to others, but to Jesus Christ. God is equipping me with what I need to teach my children and to be a good mom to them. I must to be grateful to him for the place where I am, and to be content with the circumstances in which I am teaching my kids. And so must you.
Here is the point. The next time the blog you are visiting makes you wish you were more like the image you see, remember -- It’s not real. Oh, sure. There is a family there, and they love one another, and they homeschool. But the image you see is distorted. You don't see the whole picture. The real beauty of homeschooling life is right where you are.