Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Casually Feminine--The Feminine Face

When I was about 10 years old, my oldest sister rolled her eyes at my dad. I well remember this scene as I was sitting on the couch folding clothes. Oh boy was he mad! She got grounded, which very rarely happened at our house, and I made a mental note. Self: do not roll your eyes at dad. Ever.

But the thing is, I did roll my eyes. I was just smart enough to not do it to his face. I waited until my back was turned. Or his was.

That's not really better by the way. The heart attitude behind the eye rolling was the problem, not the facial expression itself. So even though I may not be an adult who makes ugly faces at people, my heart attitude sometimes DOES roll my eyes at them. And maybe even sticks out its tongue sometimes, so to speak. That is not OK.

Sometimes it just takes acting to have the proper facial expression. Like when a child in your class is hurling all over the floor. What is required in that moment is compassion and action.....not a gagging face and wigging out. It's just not proper for a teacher to have a "gross me out!" look on their face when a child is sick. Inside you may be grossing out, but outwardly you don't want to show that.

OK that's kind of a funny example, but I do think it's important to not show exactly how we are feeling through our facial expression at all times. I don't always wake up feeling joyful, but I can still smile at my family. Sometimes there is a heart attitude that needs to be dealt with, but other times, it just takes choosing the right action in spite of our feelings.

That is true for anyone. But ladies have some other things to consider. David says something similar to the following many times in the Psalms:

Answer me speedily, O LORD;
My spirit fails!
Do not hide Your face from me,
Lest I be like those who go down into the pit.
Psalm 143:7

Do not hide Your face from me. We would not want the Lord to look away from us. Ladies, do you look away from your husband when you are upset with him? Do you avoid eye contact?

Do you remember that scene in Monsters Inc. where Boo sees Sulley scaring?

Just watch from 5:45 to 6:32 in case you don't have the movie memorized like me.

I have seen mothers out in public with their children before and the entire time the mother is griping and fussing and frowning at those children. Look, I know everyone can have a bad day, and I really try to give folks the benefit of the doubt, but honestly? I can watch you for 10 minutes or 30 minutes and not once do you have a smile or kind word for your child?

I suspect if many of us saw ourselves on TV like Sulley saw himself (the way Boo--or our children see it), we would be ashamed. It's easy for me to see these other mother's faults because I am watching them from afar. If you were following me around with a camera, some days I wouldn't look so great myself.

Wonder how our face looks when we are having a conversation with our husband? A few weeks ago at the grocery store I told the girls, "Aww. Look at that sweet little old couple up there." I just love old folks. The wife was sitting in an automatic cart and the husband was shuffling along beside her. They were by the yogurt, shopping together.

Then we got closer.

"I want the low fat kind." said the wife.
"The what?" said her husband.
"The LOW FAT YOGURT." she said, a bit too sharply.
"I can't understand you." he said, exasperated.
She looked at him like he was the biggest idiot on the earth and shook her head. "NEVER MIND!"
He shook his head back at her.

Never mind girls. DON'T look at the sweet little old couple! Come on, we don't need yogurt!

Gee whiz. It was not lovely. Last week we talked about what words come out of our mouth, but if it isn't matched with a loving facial expression, we might as well not be saying anything.

And you know moms can shoot looks that can kill. It cracks me up when I see a "mom look" being shot across the room at church. I can line up the death stare and find the kid who is receiving it in 2 seconds flat. And clearly there is a time and place for "non-verbal communication", but I think the majority the time, our family should see love and patience on our faces, don't you agree?

Join in with us this week! Share what "the face" and "casually feminine" makes you think of!


  1. Great post!! When we turn away to hide our expression, that's definitely a clue we are wrong. Thanks Brenda!!

  2. I have a crazy busy day today. Just wanted to let you know that I will participate, but I may not get to until late tonight.

  3. Ha! That "mom look!" I think my mom perfected it!!

    Yep, it's all about words and expression coming together, huh? In a lovely way, that is.

    Do you know, I had to remind myself to smile this morning? I have a lot of work to do.....

  4. Suzanne's in DA HOUSE! :) Hey, we got a lot of entries this week! :)

  5. Jumped from Suzanne (love that girl!!) I don't have a linky to add, but wanted to tell you how much I appreciate this article. I'm sure, like so many, I would be ashamed of seeing myself on video, when I'm distracted and dismissive with my children, or just downright frustrated and short-tempered. :-(
    I want them to be able to picture me in their minds, always with a smile on my face.I want them to conjure up memories of my voice, as soft and loving, not harsh and snappy. Most of all, I want them to see God's spirit in me, and desire to emulate that. This is a great reminder. "This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be GLAD in it."

  6. Aha! I'm a day late, but I got a post up. Yay for me! :)

    I'm really enjoying this series. Thank you for taking the lead on helping us become more casually feminine, Brenda!

    Oh, and if you want to see pictures of my newest "little" one, I finally have a couple up on my blog.

  7. FANTASTIC post! Thank you so very much. It really spoke to my heart today. God Bless!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)