the Face of God?

At my church last night we had a Community Event to honor three outstanding contributors to our church

One of the honorees was my choir director, Phillip Shoultz.

He directs the youth choirs as well as the adults. We decided that our presentation to him would consist of three things:

  • a book of photos of Phillip with all of us from various trips, excursions etc and bunches of letters from all of us about what Phillip has meant to us.
  • a photoshop slide show of all the funny and serious photos
  • then we got both choirs together and sang one of his favorite hymns. Over 150 of us showed up from the adult, youth and middle school choirs. (do you have ANY idea what a tribute it is to him that so many of us showed up on BCS night to sing for him?)

He was very surprised and very very touched. Which is what we had hoped for.


So where am I going with this and what possible interest could it hold for my readers? Just stick with me.

Phillip is in his early thirties and in the four years I have known him he has battled with his weight (we’ve each gained at least 30 pounds in those four years) but right now he is winning his battle. He looks great. It really shows when you see him every week.

So is this about “Deirdre needs to lose weight and is inspired by her choir director” ??? NO.

Those photos were amazing. NOT because they showed Phillip in various stages of losing weight. I DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE his weight last night. What really came through in all those photos was his incredible face. His smile, and his eyes. In endless shots of Phillip and various members of various choirs looking at the camera (or being goofballs) what hit me very very hard was how the only thing I saw was his face. Not his weight. But the one shot of me (in the background) that happened to flash up on screen, I cringed. I was horror struck at how overweight I am (174 for the record). Here’s the kicker: I never even looked at my own face. Can’t even tell you if I was singing or screaming or what. No idea. I was too fixated on how enormous my thighs looked.

This morning on the way to work I started really examining that reaction.

Why can I see the beauty of Phillip’s eyes and face on camera even though he was just as overweight as I am, but I can’t see any beauty in me? If I had had to sit through 100 photos of me up on that huge screen in front of the whole church I would have been in tears by the end of it with humiliation about how I look.

Yes, I need to lose weight for my health, but even more, I need to lose the unhealthy attitude that says that I can’t be beautiful to the people around me in my current state.

How can I change my heart so that it shines out of my face the way God wants it to? How can I become that type of beautiful? How can I start to recognize and commend that kind of beauty in others? I want to look for the face of God.

So if you’ve read all the way to here, thanks. I know this isn’t the best written post ever. I’m still struggling through these concepts. But this blog is not supposed to be about presenting profound concepts to WOW the world, it’s about whats happening in my head and heart each day.

oh, and one other thing: WAY TO GEAUX TIGERS!!!!!!


thank you Lord for this pretty day….

“Thank you Lord for this pretty day”

That’s what my husband says at the end of every prayer. No matter if it’s cloudy, or bright, cold, warm, drizzly. He says it every time.

We ride to work together and our devotional time is during the car ride. We read our portion for the day, discuss it and then pray. And he always ends with the same thought. He always thanks God for the pretty day.

The first time he said that it was indeed a perfect day. Not a cloud in the sky, brisk air, perfect in every way. But as the days went on and he said it every day I started feeling sarcastic about it. “oh come on Martin. It’s pouring rain! What’s pretty about this?”

But as he has continued to say it I am learning more and more to identify each day as beautiful, meaningful, something to be enjoyed in all it’s glorious variety.

And you know what else? I’m incredibly thankful to have such a sensitive, wonderful hubby who has ever so gently taught me to look at each morning a little bit differently.

Thank you God for Martin.