Tuesday, March 26, 2013


"It's not authentic to only post 
from your Highlight Reel."
Kristen Howerton - Killer Tribes Conference 2013

If only life could be as perfect as a lot of us are making it seem in our social media feeds.  Seriously.

Because (let's be honest, here) a lot of us are posting from the Highlight Reel.  The good stuff.

Oh, I'll let you see the lunch note I packed for my son, the Pinterest-inspired flax seed blueberry muffins I made for my kiddos, the flowers my husband brought me, and the special craft I'm making with my daughter.  I'll post the pic from that passage in my Bible.  These, I'll gladly show you.

But what you won't see is a shot of the Little Caesars drive-thru where I'll pick up a $5 hot-and-ready pizza for the second time this week because I didn't exactly get a homemade meal ready.  Again And you can forget ever catching a glimpse of my cluttered car or my make-up free face because, well, ain't nobody want to see all of this without some mascara!  But that's the beauty of the Instagram feed: I can show you what I want, and nothing that I don't feel like having you see.

And this putting forth a certain persona is nothing new.  "Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food" (Proverbs 12:9).  Maybe if Instagram existed back in Biblical days, people would have envied each other's pictures of Manna-Crusted Quail, or the cute new pair of sandals Sarai was wearing.  Maybe the idea of "pretending to be somebody" has endured the ages, and lives on in our posts and pictures.  

I'm not pretending to have a beautiful family whom I adore.  That's real.  But I can control certain elements of how that comes across, for sure.  I can edit and censor until everything looks prettier than the messiness and craziness of our everyday life.  

I've been chewing on this a lot the past few days.  I'm sure I'll keep sharing highlights from our life--but I want to be more mindful of WHY I am posting what I post.  If it's to try to create an illusion of a perfect house filled with homemade delicacies, time perfectly spent, and a flawlessly-fed family, then I need to check my own heart in that. Because that's not always our reality.

People aren't posting the shot of the carton of ice cream they finished off or the couch-fest that took the place of the workout that should've happened.    

Nobody posts pictures of their disappointed children who wish mom or dad would get the heck off their phones.   

We post the pleasant and leave the rest on the cutting room floor.  

But it's true.  It really isn't authentic to only post from our Highlight Reels.   

* Have you struggled with the tendency to tell a certain story through your posts/pictures that is prettier than the real thing? 

Father, give us grace today for the many ways in which we'll come up short.  When we try to appear to have it all together, that only keeps us from really getting the fact that we are in desperate need of You...daily.  Your power is made perfect in our weakness, and we can have hope in our failings because You do not fail.  


Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Anyone else remember this guy?

I have fond memories of watching Bob Ross paint "Happy Trees" with my dad.
And with every painting he painted, I'd always end up yelling at the screen:

"What are you doing, Bob??? No more--it looks great just the way it is!" or "Oh NO, Bob! Now you've gone and done it.  You messed it all up!"  

But, of course, he would take what I was sure was a mistake and make it even more beautiful than before. 

Come on, now.  The jump to things of faith is painfully obvious here.  I'm only saying it as a reminder if we're in the midst of what appears to be a mess.  We doubt God, we question why He has allowed certain details to be a part of the story.  We don't get it.  

But if we wait for a bit, we'll see the redemption of it.  For the life of me, I don't know WHY we doubt the 1,000th time when God has made a way for redemption in the previous 999 of our doubts.  I can't understand the patience of a God who loves me through the questions and fears.  

Does it seem like God messed something up by allowing something to be included in your story? Here--I'll go first.  YES, it does seem that way.  Honestly, I really don't get why certain things are part of the picture.

But in my doubts I am choosing to cling to the One I've seen make things right.  Again and again and again.



My weeks.  They're not usually like this.  But this one? I barely felt like I could fit it all in.  And the funny thing was, I kind of liked how it felt.  Almost like I was part of an elite club of those who are really, excessively busy. 

But here's what's interesting: It's not like I liked how it felt based on how much I nurtured important relationships, or invested in what will last.  It was more about feeling more....worthy, maybe.  

Seems sometimes people talk about their BUSY almost with a sense of pride. Almost as though a full schedule indicates importance and being in high demand.

But I don't know.

I kind of think it can be little more than foolishness. 

It makes me want to ask: We're getting a lot done.  But are we doing ANYTHING well? Are we doing work well?  Marriage well? Parenting well? Worship well?

Is it counting for what will outlast this life?  Are the people most important to us seeing little more than a blur when they look at us?

Sometimes I feel sheepish about an unscheduled block of time in my day, while I look in awe at those who juggle a hundred different things.  I'm easily wowed by all of the BUSY.  

And yet there is great wisdom in these words:

You must ruthlessly 
eliminate hurry 
from your life.

Wow.  Just take that in.  When John Ortberg asked his mentor how to live wisely, that's what his reply was.  Ortberg, ready to hurry on to the next thing said, "That's great.  What else?" His wise friend replied, "There is nothing else.  You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life."

BUSY and HURRY go hand in hand.  Your BUSY and my BUSY look different.  And the Holy Spirit will give each one of us discernment about what kind of BUSY and what kind of HURRY needs to go from my life and from yours.

Maybe there's something to this.  Even the wise Solomon looked at the toil and the amassing of fortune and the works of his hands and summed it up as Meaningless. A chasing after the wind.  

4I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harema as well—the delights of the heart of man. 9I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.
11Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 2
So what does life look like less hurried?  What stays? What goes? What changes?

And who benefits?