I read an article online about how Instagram, Facebook and other forms of social media are causing people to feel bad about themselves. Apparently looking at someones vacation shots, family time and perfect hair tend to give us the impression that everyone else has a perfect life. According to this article, as we watch their days unfold in blissful harmony, we’re depressed and even a little jealous.
My knee-jerk reaction was ohhhhh noooo! Because I’m frequently posting on twitter, Instagram and Facebook (not to mention this blog), I was horrified at the thought that someone might think I have the perfect life! I mean, if you’ve been hanging out with me for any length of time you know I’ve been honest about the years The Husband and I struggled in our marriage, my addictive nature, my battle with a harsh tone, my family dealing with divorce, unwed pregnancy, my struggle with two autoimmune diseases, iron infusions, losing most of my eyelashes on my left eye and panicking when the doctor told me I could have another autoimmune issue that would cause my hair to fall out… I’ve written about all these things and more…
But what if someone just peeked at my photos on Instagram and felt less-than about their own life? What if someone didn’t realize that the photos only tell a part of the story…
See the picture below with sweet Finley sleeping sound on my chest? Five minutes before she’d been fussy and thrashing in my arms, fighting sleep for 20 minutes. We she finally settled down I was overcome with love for this tiny girl and spent the next 40 minutes absorbing the wonder of having her sleep in my arms. That photo will forever remind me of that moment. But that photo only tells part of the story…
And look at precious Hartley and I standing in the falling snow in Colorado…the day before she and I had been throwing up for 12 hours, both of us weak and weary but right there, in that moment, when this photo was snapped, we breathed in bliss and snow and each other. But again, it only tells part of the story.
See that photo below of my girls last month on a little day trip Stone Mountain? Such a sweet picture, all of us together…
That day was in the upper 70’s…super hot!The girls took turns having little fits! (the little girls, not my daughters!) All of us moms pushed buggies, held babies and laughed hysterically as one cried and then another joined in. The photo below, with all my precious girls (Lucy Jean trying to fling herself onto the pavement) was a grace-moment frozen in time and I’ll never forget it. But it wasn’t the whole story.
Ohhhh, and, did you catch my Instagram of Sunday Supper last week when PopPop stood in the pouring rain to cook burgers because Ellie asked for hamburgers for dinner?
What you didn’t see was after dinner, PopPop missing the rest of the evening because he had to sit on the screen porch and try to breathe. Seems the smoke from the grill, which was trapped under the umbrella, caused his sinuses to burn like they were on fire for 2 hours. (A trip to the doctor yesterday confirmed a severe sinus infection!) That photo of PopPop cooking in the rain will always remind Ellie that she is so important to him, and remind the rest of us that PopPop is a softy….but the photo wasn’t the whole story.
I could tell you a back story about almost EVERY single photo I ever put online, because life is messy and loud and often times out of control, but I choose to focus on the grace-moments.
I never, ever want you to leave here and feel less-than. I’m physically sickened by that thought…I pray every single day that anyone who visits leaves inspired in some small way.
Ann Voskamp asks the question: “What will a life magnify?”
I choose to magnify the grace moments… but my sweet friends, you can always count on me to be honest about the hard things.
Sending you love and prayers for your day to be full of grace-moments
Have you ever felt less-than when you glimpse another person’s life online?