Saturday, April 12, 2014

Keepin' it real.

Last night and this morning, I posted several pictures to Instagram and Facebook, celebrating sweet, everyday moments in our lives.
We got to take our kids out on Friday night dates.
Dan did the grocery shopping for me, and then left me a sweet love note.
My heart was truly to share and celebrate the moments of joy in our lives,
to realize that each moment is a grace, and to share that.

However, there's this:

I believe that sometimes, in our efforts to genuinely express gratitude for the small things in our lives, we can err on the side of making our lives look #instaperfect.

Comparison is the thief of joy said Theodore Roosevelt,
and boy don't we all know how true that is.

You can be walking along, feeling perfectly happy with yourself, your husband, your meal, your children, your life, your singleness, your job, your weight, your hair color, your home.....and then.

you log onto a blog or facebook or instagram or twitter or what-the-heck-ever,
and suddenly, it's not enough.

not good enough
not romantic enough
not adventurous enough
not thin enough
not smart enough
not talented enough
not wealthy enough
not healthy enough
not nice enough
not interesting enough

I'm not sure about the men, but I can tell you every girl and woman knows this feeling well.

and while I am completely enamored with instagram and their filters,
and while I adore looking at others lives through the grace of social media,
and while I cannot resist sharing the utter and complete joy I take in this life I've been given

sometimes I just think it's healthy to say this out loud to each other:
it's not what it seems.

Yes, my life is all grace, every bit of it
but it's not perfect by any stretch
and the brokenness is kind of what makes it so beautiful,
even though I'm often too scared to show you the broken parts.

So in the spirit of keeping it real,
in the aftermath of those adorable pictures I posted last night, and this morning,
I'll tell you these things:

the wonderful man who left me a love note on the bananas...
well, last week he & I were so angry at each other that we didn't speak for 2 days
and when we did finally speak, it was not pretty.
we angered quickly and listened slowly and considered ourselves first, and only.
repentance came slow, and somewhat grudgingly.
it was not the picture of the gospel that we want our marriage to be.

that beautiful daughter I delighted in last night....
she's sometimes a bit afraid of me, I think,
because my reactions to (anything) are often loud and overwhelming
and knowing this is maybe the saddest thing of my life.
she clams up instead of opening up to me, far more often than I'd like,
and that is completely my fault.
I don't know that there is anything I regret more,
and sometimes I hear a voice in my head that assures me
she deserves far more than me for a mother.

I will tell you our life is far more hurried than I'd like
and our words more rushed than is wise.
Our family Bible reading is rich and good for our souls....
when we remember to do it,
or someone isn't sent straight to bed for a bad attitude.
Dan & I haven't been on a date in ages,
and although we know it is so good for our relationship
hiring a sitter is tough on our budget,
so we don't go and our marriage suffers.
I have to apologize to our children daily, sometimes hourly,
and I struggle often with exercising patience and self-control
when I am tired and hungry selfish.
I tend toward being critical,
and I'm overly protective of my family....and my self.
I'm the heaviest I've ever been,
and even though I'm running nearly 10 miles a week,
nothing's happening.
probably because I like to eat.
I tried on bathing suits the other day and left the store crying.

Life is tragic....and magic....
as one of my favorite bloggers says, Life is beautiful and brutal.  It's brutiful.

and there's so much grace for all of us,
and I just thought, today, that on the heels of my facebragging yesterday,
that I'd share a bit of real life today,
to perhaps remind us all that behind the instagram,
there's a real life that is so good and so hard and
really should not ever be compared.

"So come on, my broken, beautiful sister, and let’s walk side-by-side, not checking to see who is ahead or behind, or who seems to have it together, or who seems to really not have it together at all.  Let’s stop looking around and look up, and walk forward, and trust the One who does the molding in us all." - Ann Voskamp


  1. True. And a good reminder! Not comparing ourselves to each other is a Biblical concept. And it can be hard to keep a balance in what we share online. I want to be known for being a thankful person, someone who relies on God in all things. More often than not, my thoughts are filled with negativity over positive things, so posting my joys seems like a good way to train myself to focus on joy. I don't mean to project an image of being perfect, but social media isn't really the best place to air complaints and failures. (I mean, who really *wants* to hear about my lost temper, constant headaches and botched attempt to discipline my kid?) I have no desire to add to the trash pile of negativity that's already so prevalent on the internet. So what's left is all the good stuff, I guess. Not an intended false image, just a natural result. My friends know me better. :)
    For what it's worth, I love to see all the wonderful moments of my friend's lives. :)

  2. You are amazing! This is why I'm taking a FB break! I'm still doing IG because it isn't so harsh BUT I'm trying to be more real as far as posts go!

  3. You are so right on with this post that I just want to hug you!