Monday, January 3, 2011

Reframe the Shot


"There is always another perspective."

"What are you hoping to accomplish this year?" he asked.  For once, when Hero Husband asks me questions like this, I had an answer I didn't have to ponder long.

"I need to get my physical well-being in order," I said, stating the obvious.

The weight I have to lose feels to me like I wear my weakness and failure all over myself.  I can't get away from it, can't hide it, can't deny it, can't defend it.

Strangely enough, at every weight I've ever been, from high school until right now, I've felt exactly like this--okay, maybe to a lesser degree at lower weights, but the same thoughts were in there, critiquing, fault-finding, guilt-heaping.  I look at pictures of myself from many pounds ago thinking, "Sheesh, I'd love to be THAT size again!"  Then I recall looking at those same pictures when they were new, feeling just as crummy about my weight and my shape and my lack of discipline as I do this moment at the heaviest I've ever been.

No.

I'm not going to post THEN and NOW pictures to illustrate my dilemma--aren't you glad? =)

I'd rather show you . . . and remind myself . . . of the power of reframing the shot.

Look at these two pictures, taken from exactly the same spot, pointed in the same direction, one zoomed in, the second pulled out a bit.



What a difference!  The first picture, while I find it interesting and pretty in its own wintry way, is bleak and pale, and makes me feel a little dreary and cold.  The second picture, with its flaming liquid amber tree against the backdrop of the barren weeping birch, shows me the beauty of contrast, and highlights the reality that there can be warm colors even on a cold day.

What changed?

My position? No.
My subject? No.
The weather? No.

I simply reframed the shot.

I changed perspective on the scene in front of me.  I didn't move, I just changed how I viewed where I was.

So what does that mean for me and the thing I refuse to make another failed "New Year's Resolution?"  What does it mean to the battle I've been fighting over what I consider to be a "thorn in my flesh" that makes me prone to wearing too much weight on the body I live in?

How do I change the view of where I am?
How do I reframe the self-portrait I take every day?

I'm not entirely sure . . . but I do know something--this is how Paul came to understand his "thorn in the flesh":

   "My grace is enough; it's all you need.
   My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size . . . And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. (2 Corinthians 12:9The Message)

My weakness is obvious. It's hard for me to see it as anything but a curse, but . . . how has that been working for me? Um . . . not working well AT ALL! So what do I do?

Reframe it!!

"I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift."

Okay Lord, this is surely a different perspective than the one I've been seeing all my life.  Help me focus on YOUR gift of YOUR strength in MY weakness . . . not just as a concept, not as a truth that applies to other people, but a
living,
    active,
          effective truth that applies to ME.
Help me to be appropriately "cut down to size" in the humility of knowing I can't do this by myself, and to be built up by an ever-expanding view of the power of Christ in me.  I want my weakness to be a place where people see the strength of God in my life.  I want my personal battleground to be the location of my Savior's next victory!

Do you have any perspectives that need reframing?

P.S. I have to tell you--I didn't want to write about this.  I'd rather you think I'm stronger than this.  I'd rather write from a position of victory, from a position of strength and spiritual maturity.  I am also terrified that I won't live up to this post, that I won't live consistently like I know what I just wrote.  It would have been easier to be less transparent, less vulnerable.  My prayer is that someone who reads this will be encouraged to reframe their own self-portrait--that would make it worthwhile.
__________________________________________

I'm joining Ann Voskamp in her counting of the multitude of gifts God bestows everyday!
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!



#206-220

206. Dark chocolate oranges . . . once a year!
207. Giving in to being sleepy
208. Clean, clear, cold water to drink
209. The quiet of the library
210. Built in time to study
211. That my S-I-L wants my help with the big event she is planning
212. Family pictures that turn out
213. Finding jeans that fit
214. Stores where your money goes farther
215. Medicine that works
216. That She-So-Sweet and Drummer Boy want to do our traditional "New Year's Eve Thing" on New Year's night since they're spending New Year's Eve at Grandma's house
217. That the old year ends to make way for a new one
218. Being missed . . . a lot :)
219. A day spent making all homemade appetizers for our New Year's Eve on New Year's Night
220. That we all laughed and agreed it was a dumb movie, then had a great time playing Trivial Pursuit together

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