Saturday, August 3, 2013

Being OK with an Imperfect, Messy and Chaotic Life

I can hardly believe that summer break is almost over and in 2 ½ weeks the kids will be back in school.  Part of me is very sad to see the lazy days of summer come to an end but then there is a degree of excitement at settling back into a routine and having some moments to myself in the house to finally get my organizing projects done.  I wanted to try to catch up with some blogging by doing a few back posts from last year but in doing so I have found myself dwelling in a state of conviction with regards to social media/blogging and its purpose in my life.  It all began a few weeks ago when I posted something on Facebook and my 16 year old saw it and asked why I posted about “being thrilled with my new blinds”.  I had to admit that I really didn’t have reason other than I really loved finally having some privacy in our family room.  But why did I feel the need to tell people on Facebook, I didn’t know.  Then a couple of days later our pastor challenged us to strongly consider our motives for Facebook/Twitter posts as well as the reasoning for blogging.  I took some time to read through my posts and considered what was behind some of what I was saying:
  • Did I somehow feel the need to vent a hurt, frustration or that someone had just made me mad?
  • Was I feeling insecure about myself or my family and felt the need to bolster my ego by exaggerating an event through words or pictures.
  •  Did I feel the need to broadcast every event of my day so as to let everyone know just how full, exciting and perfect I wanted my life to seem.
  • Or could I have been trying to fill a void caused by loneliness by posting so as to draw attention to myself, receiving comments and/or “likes” hoping to make myself feel significant in some way.

All of which I am ashamed to say were true. For me and many others social media has become a platform to satisfy a need to feel important and has given us all yet another mask to hide behind.  A venue to create a persona that we live perfect lives with perfect husbands and perfect kids.  We are incredibly spiritual, have homes that look like they are right out of a Southern Living and cook meals that would rival anything on Food Network.  And so, we now don’t have to look next door to try  “keeping up with the Jones’s” we merely just log onto the computer.    I have witnessed what a seemingly innocent post can do to a fragile teenagers self-esteem causing him or her to feel that their life could never measure up to the grandiose lives that others profess to have but it is not just teenagers who are caught in this web of emotional destruction.  Grown men and women (myself included) walk through life feeling devastated by the thought that everyone around us is living a better life than we could hope for.  Dissatisfaction overwhelms us and why are we surprised that anti-depressants are the most prescribed medication in United States.

What was I to do with this conviction?  Should disconnect from Facebook and close my blog.  I seriously considered doing both but then I was reminded of Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen.”  Considering this scripture not only in my verbal conversations but in those written online conversations can be helpful in keeping myself in check with Facebook and Blogging.  Does that mean that I can’t post something funny that our Joshua says, write a blog about how proud I am of my kids or post pictures of my home decorated for Christmas?  I don’t think so because personally I love all those things.   In fact there is a great joy logging onto Facebook and seeing photos of my friends and family or reading something hilarious that a friend did.  Being so far away from many of them it helps me stay connected….it is edifying for me.  But I do think that prior to posting something I  need to consider if it is wholesome and building someone else up and complaining about my plumber is not exactly edifying.  So, it is my hope to strive for wholesome posts both here on my blog as well as on Facebook that will create a balance between documenting the journey of our family in our very imperfect life and building up a reader through encouragement, laughter and joy.  And so in honor of making posts real here is a photo of what my kitchen looks like this morning.  This is our life….imperfect, chaotic and messy and I am OK with that so whatever your life looks like today, I hope you feel OK.

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