We have several options of how to utilize and respond to social media. This post is not going to tell you what you should be doing or posting. Rather, I want to encourage a perspective shift you may need--like me--as you scroll. I promise, I have no agenda here. I’m not on a soap box trying to get you to change any habits. I’m hoping to offer freedom if you also struggle with envy at times.
One night as I looked at my Facebook feed, I noticed how discouraged I felt about the trials my family was going through. It seemed like we were the only ones being hit by the storms of life. Abruptly, I opened up my camera roll and, instead of focusing on everyone else’s highlights, I looked at my own. Pictures of my baby girl, surrounded by three adoring brothers. No one even looks like they are sick. A kitchen that is gorgeous and just how I wanted it--and you can’t even tell it’s still not finished. A baby sitting atop her sweet pink play kitchen (given to us by a dear friend)… and I didn’t think about how much attention it takes to keep her safe right now. Boys that destroy playrooms because a desire for construction overtakes them… and all I saw was their precious, joyful smiles. A selfie with my boys was delightful if I didn’t focus on the fact that their dad was too exhausted to join in on the family adventure day. A children’s author we got to go see for free because our local library sponsored the event… and you can’t even tell my son’s stomach was upset due to food allergies. Three boys teaching their sister how to sing “Jesus Loves Me” while sitting in a box. A box someone (we still can’t find out who!!!) sent us with a giant, stuffed golden retriever. And it doesn’t matter that my son is severely allergic to dogs because someone made it happen with this gift. Three mighty men walking through a nature preserve and pretending it is Narnia and Aslan is on the move. No one would know we didn’t get through as much homeschool as I wanted that day, and I spent way more time than I wanted removing the mud from their shoes when we arrived home. Boys surrounded by blankets and couch cushions and a destroyed living room that led to us hopping on lily pads to 100. Amazing Lego displays at the library. No evidence we had to rush out because a screaming little girl had had it. Eggs yolks that naturally formed a smile. The whole family in coordinating costumes. PIctures of my little girl finding the dark chocolate stash… and then her daddy’s coffee pot! A half-finished boys bedroom that will be exactly what I was hoping for when it’s finished. Boys covered in mud because they can make anything fun… and this picture holds no evidence of my needing to scrub the four rooms they tracked the mud in through the house. A video of my kids singing worship at the top of their lungs through a locked bathroom door.
Life is a gift.
When I slow down to look at my life through these snapshots, I am overtaken by gratitude. The moments of my day strung together are breathtaking. Forget the pain. Forget the sorrow. I am abundantly blessed. No more “Her life looks great.” My life looks great.
So I took a break from social media. Instead of taking a few minutes to scroll, I started looking through my own photos at night. Praise filled my thoughts as I meditated on God’s goodness toward my family. Honestly I was hooked. Meditating on the good moments refreshed me. Study after study confirms what God’s Word has told us--thankfulness is key. Gratitude produces joy in us.
So, my Sweet Sister, do you struggle with envy at times? Do you need to look at your own blessings and stand in awe of how God is working in your own life? I pray you find the joy and strength there to do well another day....Or to start fresh another day. As Betsy reminds us, “Every day counts”, and you have what you need to do it joyfully dear Mama.