Monday, October 5, 2015

Mom-ing Through Faith: On Social Media


I cannot urge you enough. 

Please, stop what you're doing, and order For The Love by Jen Hatmaker. Seriously. Please do it now. This is the best book I have EVER read. It is my absolute new favorite book. It will change you and it will also make you laugh, out loud, during almost every chapter and sometimes (I'm looking at you, Chapter 4), multiple times. I'm telling you, please, order it now! If you haven't yet, consider the subtitle: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. Ummm, hello, 2015. Nice to meet you. My name is Lindsay, and I'm an over-the-top perfectionist who can't meet my own standards, much less the world's. Sheesh. I am so in. Are you? I will wait patiently for your return...

Done? Did you Amazon Prime that shiz? Great! Because I want to spend some time over the next few weeks providing commentary, and hopefully promoting discussion, on some of the topics she hits upon in this awesomely amazing book. And by the way, I have never met Jen Hatmaker but now have a life's goal to do it. If she ever speaks anywhere remotely near where I am, I am sooooo there.


First up....the friend we all love to hate and hate to love: Social Media. 

Dun, dun, duuuuuuuun. 

Okay. Come ON. I mean, can we all agree that, for the most part, Facebook and Instagram (and maybe Twitter? and maybe Snapchat? I don't know...I'm not a tweeter or a snapper) are, as I like to say, the highlight REELS. But what about the REAL? 

Here's a peek of what my new please-be-my-bff favorite author Jen Hatmaker has to say: 

Here is part of the problem, girls: ...Back in the day, women didn't run themselves ragged trying to achieve some impressively developed life in eight different categories. 

Seriously. This is a new thing. All of you (us) mommas realize that, right? It is current, as in 2015, pressure that brainwashes us mommas to think that we must be good at every.single.thing. But here's the thing, back in the day,

No one constructed fairy-tale childhoods for their spawn, developed an innate set of personal talents, fostered a stimulating and world-changing career, created stunning homes and yard-scapes, provided homemade food for every meal (locally sourced, of course), kept all marriage fires burning, sustained meaningful relationships in various environments, carved out plenty of time for "self care," served neighbors/church/world, and maintained a fulfilling, active relationship with Jesus our Lord and Savior. 

Whew. Did y'all read all that? All those roles that many of us think we should fulfill perfectly (man, I hate that word!)? As Jen Hatmaker brilliantly points out, thanks to social media, 

we have up-close access to women who excel in each individual sphere.

All because of

social media and its carefully selected messaging.

And, here's my favorite line of all:  

Then, we combine the best of everything we see, every woman we admire in every genre, and conclude: I should be all of that. 

BAM. Do you see why I love, love, love this book? 

Mommas, we can't be all things to all people. Hell, we can't be all things to ourselves. You guys: we have to STOP trying to be all things. No one is. I repeat, no one is. 

So, to one of my sister's besties, who recently asked her, "How does your sister do it all?": 

Oh, honey. I'll tell you how. The answer is quite simple and it is life-changing. Are you ready? Do you really want to know how I do it all?

I don't. 

Not even close. 

For example, I LOVE a clean and tidy house and spend a good deal of my time picking up and making sure things like laundry and dishes are done and beds are made, BUT I have a house cleaner. Who comes twice monthly. And cleans my house from top to bottom. And while this means I cut back on my spending in other areas, it also affords me the opportunity to spend more face-to-face time with my children.

Also? I do not enjoy cooking. Like, not at all. Baking? Yes. Will do it all day, err day, and then post pictures of what I create (see post on Banks' birthday; see also: highlight REEL). But cooking? Ugh. My least enjoyable moments of each day. And don't even get me started on grocery shopping.

And interior design? I have dear friends who have beautifully decorated homes, as in magazine worthy. Because they have that eye. And enjoy it. And are truly gifted at it (I'm a-lookin' at you, Ashleigh). Me? I was born without that gene. And yes, we've been in our home for over 3 years and still have only furniture in our master bedroom. :0

Further, while I am proud of the path my faith has taken the last few years, I have miles to go before I sleep. (6th grade shout out to you, Robert Frost, for your poem I was forced to memorize). 

Also, I adore, and I mean ADORE my friends. But sometimes, I suck at being as good of a friend to them as they are to me. I am bad about initiating events (I'll show up! I'll bring my kiddos! I'll come alone!) But I get all panicky when I realize the last time it was I that initiated a momma date or playdate. I suck at it.  But friends--my lifelines, my people--you know I love you like no other!

So, BFF of my sister, absolutely forget it. Do it all? Hahahaha! Ha! It just seems that way because of what is portrayed, and by that, I mean what I portray, on social media. It is my highlight REEL. 

I should also say that I don't apologize for my highlight reel. I love posting photos of the happy, shiny moments of my life, because I will treasure them, always. But hopefully, by now, everyone knows that we all have plenty of not-so-happy, rusty moments, too.

In For The Love, Jen Hatmaker urges us to figure out what we can balance during this season of life, what we want to remain on our "beam" and then drop the rest or delegate. 

She says, and this is beautiful,

Don't look sideways for the answers. 

Just because the mom on your left excels at being the Classroom mom and the mom on your right is one meal away from owning her own restaurant doesn't mean these are roles that you have to fulfill.  

You do you here. 

Further, Jen (Pretty please can I be on a first name basis with this wise momma?) encourages us to 

Frame your choices through this lens: season. 

For example, 

If your kids are under five, you cannot possibly include the things [she] can with middle and high schoolers. You are ruled by a tiny army you created yourself. This is just how it is right now. If you have bigs..., [you] can run a taxi service from 5:00 to 9:00 pm virtually every night. 

See? We are all in different seasons and things will change over time. 

Scripture instructs us to live presently and joyfully. 

I can't do it all. Neither can you. Good for us! Let's celebrate each other, what we can do, and not get caught up in the REELS. Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. And so is mommahood. 

So. I ask: What do you want to balance on your beam? What can you drop or delegate? Do you get caught up in the REEL that is social media? If so, how can you protect yourself, your heart, your relationships, your views? If not, how do you keep things in perspective? 

You do you. I'll do me. And we'll get through this faith-filled mommahood journey together. <3

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12: 6-8. 

The real. A not-so-shiny moment.

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