Something that is often discussed is comparing our lives to other people's groomed, social media lives. I know you may read this and immediately think it's a TOTAL LIE.. but that just isn't something I've struggled with. It's an aspect of interaction with social media that my heart just hasn't responded to. But I know for so many people, looking at a photo of someone's family/husband/house/job/clothes/anything can bring a heart of longing. The way that I struggle with social media is feeling too connected and wasting time on something that can very easily mean nothing. If I'm seeing every single post that anyone ever publishes, something about it leaves me feeling lonely and empty. It's yuck. It's gunk.
Especially since Making Things Happen last year, I've tried to be more intentional about who I follow on social media. What am I filling my mind with when I do click on that seductive instacamera icon on my phone? I want it to be truth and joy and inspiration and a look into the perspective of people I admire or care about. I have lots of thoughts about how I need to be taking more time off social media (our Europe trip is going to bless my heart in so many ways!) and about who I should put on my feed... but recently it occurred to me that we are often going into our social media viewing with the wrong perspective.
The reason I mentioned comparison above is because I think it really is easy for us to look at someone's photo and see a glossy look at their life. I have decided that I think there are two options when looking at photos, I can develop a heart of jealousy and discontentment, or I can try and pinpoint something that I can truly learn from this person. How can I look at an Instagram post that appeals to me and let it become a meaningful (and let's just be honest.. fun) thing in my life? I want all aspects of my life to be about love and strength and creativity and the light that Jesus brings.
Our world has been invaded by social media and I refuse to believe that God can't use it. He can. I believe that our time can be fruitful when thought about intentionally. (Although I 100% believe time of fasting from media is extremely beneficial and probably more fruitful!) Even if it's something silly like seeing someone's meal and deciding to make something similar to add some fun to the week... When thought about through the lens of the Lord's power and of thanksgiving and of joy I believe that the time we seem to find ourselves spending online can be an encouragement.
I thought that the best way to communicate this new way of thinking would be to talk about a few of my favorite instagram accounts!
I could be jealous of the balance that Nancy seems to have in her life or of how quickly her and her husband paid off their house. I could think about how I wish I could read as many books as her or be as pretty as she is. I could think about how she appears to have so many more friends than I do and how that must be nice.
OR I could think about WHY Nancy must appear so balanced.. and like she does, start my day with scripture, prayer, and 15 minutes of a good book. I could follow her example and be overwhelming with thanksgiving at the life God has given me. I could take some time to speak life into and encourage friend and build those relationships. I could spend a few minutes tidying up my office space because I noticed that hers always looks very peaceful and would create a wonderful work environment. I could take my sweet puppy for a walk to love on her after seeing photos of Nancy with her dog. I could simplify my life and be content with what I have because of her inspiration. I can stick carefully to the envelope system and work towards financial goals because I'm encouraged by seeing Nancy and her husband a few steps ahead.
I can think that my house will never be as pretty as hers and that I'm not talented at arrangements. I can think that my outfits will never be as put together as hers or that my words will never be so put together. I can think that my top knot always falls out and looks weird. I can think that her bathroom has double sinks and oh hallelujah how much would we love a legitimate master bathroom with double sinks and no blue tile!!
OR I can notice that Rhi's beautiful come always appears well kept and decide to hop away from the phone and dust a few surfaces and vacuum our floors in order to let our home be welcoming to others. I can notice that through her lens, ordinary things become beautiful and be encouraged to look through that same lens at my own life each day. I can look at her gorgeous ;) tablescapes and pray for the Lord to lead me to who we need to invite into our home to gather around our very own table for nourishment of the belly and the heart. I can look at her account and see bold, glorious creativity flourishing and think of a few action steps of working towards how I can thrive with the talents God has given me.
This one is kind of different, because it is the account of a real life friend. Chelsea's fitness account (and blog coming soon) is a complete game changer, ya'll. You need to be checking it out and having your life blessed by reading her perspectives! She is eloquent and encouraging and joyful. I adore her!
I could look at Chelsea's photos and become jealous that she's making progress in her fitness journey and gaining strength. I could think that I'll never be like her and that her healthy lifestyle is something I'll never have.
OR I could read her sweet words and encouragements about the body that God has given me. I can be inspired by her food posts to work on healthy meals for Ben and I. I can see her post about a workout and be reminded to get my sweat on. I can read the scripture she posts and think about how it applies to my life and how I should respond to it with action. I can see the changes that she has made in her life and make a conscious decision to work towards positive change in my own life.
Y'all. Just typing through that transformed my heart. I truly believe that if you grab a journal the next time you look at your news feed, and write through things like I just did.. there will be a shift. And I want to hear about it. Our world has been invaded by social media and I refuse to believe that God can't use it. He can. I believe that our time can be fruitful when thought about intentionally. (Although I 100% believe time of fasting from media is extremely beneficial and probably more fruitful!) Even if it's something silly like seeing someone's meal and deciding to make something similar to add some fun to the week... When thought about through the lens of the Lord's power and of thanksgiving and of joy I believe that the time we seem to find ourselves spending online can be an encouragement.