Throwback Thursday: Adventures with Self Tanner

‘Tis the season, friends: summer is nearly upon us. But not quite. Our shorts beg to be worn, but our legs, in all their pasty white glory, scream, “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” (To my brown-skinned friends: just read on and laugh, mmkay?) To remedy the issue, self tanners beckon from the shelves, promising, “You, too, can DIY your way to perfectly sun(less)-kissed skin!”

I went for it last spring. And yes, I too had *ahem* astounding results.

Let us remember. #tbt #neverforget

Originally published on May 11, 2015.

Looking forward to summer fun, I bought 3 bottles of sunless tanner last week. If summer, self tanner - or funny fails - are your thing, you want to read this right now. Spoiler alert: don’t come to me for your sunless tanning tips.I have a complicated history with at-home beauty treatments. So, naturally, I decided to buy 3 bottles of sunless tanner last week. (It was buy 2, get 1 free. How could I not?)

For my first application, I’m a bit tentative. I exfoliate. I moisturize my knees, elbows, and ankles. Then, just a bit of self-tanner on the arms, a smidge on the legs. It’s clear I’ve learned my lesson about aggressive product application. (You probably want to read about that here.)

Unfortunately, my extreme caution results in… not much of anything. So, I proceed with what I deem the next appropriate step:

Re-apply With Reckless Abandon.

I use approximately half the bottle, “just to see what this stuff can really do.”

Well, “what this stuff can really do” is quite remarkable.

I admire my ravishing reflection for a few moments, quite pleased with my sun-kissed self. Waiting for the lotion to dry, I peruse the back of the bottle.

“This luxurious sunless tanning lotion is a real treasure that will give you a perfect tan…” Don’t I know it! I look amazing.

“Apply a rich moisturizer to elbows, knees, and ankles to keep these areas from getting too dark.” I TOTALLY DID THAT. Holy crap, I’m like a professional self-tanner.

“Your tan will achieve its maximum darkness in 4 hours.” This color is perf – wait, what? Maximum darkness in what? Um…

It’s already 8:30 pm, and there’s no way I’m staying awake for 4 more hours. (Who am I kidding – I’m lucky if I’m awake 30 more minutes.) Looks like somebody’s waking up a SUN GODDESSSSS.

The next morning. You guys.

I LOOK LIKE I ACTUALLY JUST GOT HOME FROM THE BEACH!

If that beach was in Florida.

And while in Florida I went to an orange grove and rubbed them all over my body.

So that I would look tan. But also kind of orange.

And.

I am shimmering.

Like. a. unicorn.

NOWHERE ON THE BOTTLE DOES IT MENTION ANY FORM OF SHIMMER.

WHERE WAS THE SHIMMER DISCLOSURE?!

So really, the moral of the story is: beauty products hate me All Things in Moderation. Also, don’t come to me for your self tanning tips.

Your turn – spill it. What are your worst (best?) beauty product fails?

What a 3-month-old baby taught me about bathroom politics.

Lately, it feels like controversy is constantly all up in my face. So. much. input. Social media, blogs, articles, posts, comments. Everyone has an opinion. I end up feeling like I ought to have a “stance” on everything. And, if I’m honest, as a Christian it feels even MORE like I should have this stuff figured out. (Whatever “this stuff” means this week.)

“Where do YOU stand on this issue?”

Ummm? Honestly, I can’t even explain the dinosaurs. Can someone help a sister out? Because whether it’s dinosaurs or bathroom policies, there must be an actual “right” answer! Right?

But how can so many people have so many different right answers?

And on top of THAT, how can two people who both love God, walk with Jesus, and even study His Word – end up on different sides of the same issue?

I’m exhausted.

My brain needs a break. My answer-finder, stance-determiner, stand-maker needs a rest. Because even if I think I understand what’s “right” or “wrong,” somehow I can still do what is right in the wrong way.

So, I’m calling a timeout.

Have we considered – or maybe we’ve just forgotten – that we aren’t supposed to have it all figured out?

Psalm 131 says, “My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful to me. [“BUT WHAT ABOUT THE DINOSAURS!?!”] But I have calmed and quieted myself. I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.”

Lately, it feels like controversy is constantly all up in my face. Between articles, posts, and comments — there is so. much. input. On EVERYTHING. And then it feels like I should have a “stance” on everything too. But what if I just DON’T KNOW. Then what? Thankfully, I got my answer from my friend’s baby. Not kidding. Maybe it will help you too.Okay, not to nitpick, but, why a weaned child? Why not just any child? Don’t you imagine any child in its mother’s arms as sweet and and at rest?

Well, if you ask a nursing mother, the answer is NOPE.

Just yesterday, I watched my friend Amy hand over her almost-3-month-old son to her husband at bedtime. “Please, you take him. He settles down better with you. He just thinks of me as the food source.”

And it’s true, right? A nursing child, when cradled near his mother’s breast, is constantly looking for an answer to his hunger. It’s difficult for him to truly rest in her arms. My own children would never rest when I cradled them near my chest because they would instantly – whether instinctively or habitually – begin rooting for milk, restlessly looking for something from me.

Is that how I spend my time with God? Constantly seeking answers, understanding, or revelation? More, more, more?

Or can I simply rest in His presence? Can I stop this perpetual rooting for answers or whatever, and be content to be held?

Can I trust He knows what I need, and will provide it at the right time?

There is so much – some old (AGAIN, DINOSAURS.), some new (BAAAAATHROOOOOOMS) – just  so much I just DON’T KNOW. Yes, I’m a Christian. And no, I don’t know the answer. I don’t know what’s best. I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know.

But here’s what I DO know.

God is good.

God loves us. (All of us.)

We’re not perfect. (None of us.)

This separates us from God. (All of us.)

But, God doesn’t want even one of us to remain separated from Him. (None of us!)

So, Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin and give us access to God. (All of us!)

But, God will not force anyone to love Him. (None. None of us.)

So, we each have the opportunity to accept and receive this gift of salvation through Jesus. We have a choice. (All. of. us.)

For me, I have chosen to accept this gift from Jesus – the gift of Jesus. I’m different because of Him. In every way that is good, I am different because of His presence in my life. And I could spend the rest of my life trying to put into words who He is and all He’s done. I probably will, actually.

And in the meantime, I’m sure I will keep asking for wisdom and clarity and understanding. That is not all bad. There will be answers to find and stances to take and stands to make.

But when I don’t understand, when I don’t know the answers, may I release the quest to know more, and rest in the invitation to know Him. And by knowing Him, I believe even the way I walk through my “not knowing” will be better, truer, holier, and more loving – more like Him.

 

Lent for the rest of us: 2016 (Free printable reading plan!)

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is on February 10 this year, and leads us to Easter on March 27. Are you familiar with Lent?

I used to get super stressed about this season. Lent. This 40-day journey leading up to Easter… a time to prepare our hearts for Jesus… all He is and all He’s done. (No pressure, right!?)

There are many ways to engage in the Lenten season – prayer, fasting, simplistic living – all with the aim of drawing closer to God. In the past, I leaned toward the Downward Spiral route into “how can I possibly prepare my heart (AND my children’s hearts!!!) to even REMOTELY grasp what Easter really means.” And, being a recovering perfectionist, I can still easily fall into the “All or Nothing” trap. (I can’t do it ALL, so I’ll do NOTHING.) (So healthy, I know.)

This is a simple, meaningful tradition to begin with your children for the season of Lent, leading up to Easter! Enjoy this free printable reading plan!But two years ago, I began a simple new tradition with my children for these weeks leading up to Easter: we read The Jesus Storybook Bible from the very beginning through the Resurrection story. One chapter a day, for each day of Lent.

(If you’re doing the math, don’t despair — the 40 days excludes Sundays — so yes, there are actually more than 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.)

And you guys – reading this together has been so powerful. (Even if you don’t have children, please get a copy and read it anyway. I promise you’ll be glad you did. I get at least as much out of it as my kids.)

“But Lent and Easter are about JESUS. Why would you start all the way back at the BEGINNING of the Bible? Doesn’t Jesus show up much later?”

I’m so glad you asked!

Did you know that the entire Bible points to Jesus? All the way back to the beginning. As The Jesus Storybook Bible says: “Every story whispers His name.” Where better to start than the beginning?

To help you stay on track with which chapter you’re on, I’ve put together a new 2016 Lent Reading Plan. (And bonus – if you fold it in half lengthwise, it makes a great bookmark!) Click here or on the image below to download the FREE printable file!

Don’t have a copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible yet? You can click here to purchase a copy on Amazon. Order quick and you’ll have plenty of time to catch up on the reading! 🙂

What do you think of this idea? What does your family do to prepare for and celebrate Easter? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

This is a simple, meaningful tradition to begin with your children for the season of Lent, leading up to Easter! Enjoy this free printable reading plan!

Click to open free printable!