There’s something that’s been weighing on me for a while.
As much as I love a good 1,000-word Instagram post (that’s likely continued in the comments), I decided to ditch the micro-blog format, affectionately known as the ‘gram, and just macro-blog, old-style.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever said this, or heard it: “Oh my gosh, you’re just like your social media profile!” If I can be Captain Obvious for a hot second, shouldn’t we be one and the same?
I’m noticing a dangerous trend (and I know I’m not alone here), that some people on social media live a double life. They post one thing and live another. They share an ideal or a thought or a lifestyle and yet, in real life, they are a fair cry from it.
GIRL. Who has time for that?
But that isn’t what worries me most. To each his own, I suppose.
What concerns me is two-fold: 1) it’s getting harder and harder to distinguish between filter and reality and 2) we are believing the lie that in order to have worth we must be DOING rather than BEING.
Back when I was a baby mama, there was no social media (or even cell phones for that matter). Go ahead, call me old. But I know some of you remember those days. Amazingly, we did not die when we left our cell phones at home…because we didn’t have one. It also meant I couldn’t Google map my way around town. So, progress, I suppose. But, the joy of that social-media voidless season was that in order to compare or contrast myself to other mamas, I had to actually meet them in person. And it’s a whole lot harder to judge a mama on the playground as you’re having an actual discussion because you’re conversing, and getting to know one another.
Now, we look at 5×5 filtered squares all day and hold ourselves to a crazy standard. And not just that, but we believe that it is the only standard.
Lies. They’re all lies.
When we say someone is just like their social media profile, I always think, “Good Lord, why aren’t we all?” Why, why, WHY? Why are we trying to perpetuate a version of ourselves that doesn’t exist? Why are we more consumed with what people think than owning who we are? And, why do we believe that a list of accomplishments or accolades is more important than living out our vocations and loving our people?
Yes, I 100% believe women should have a life that celebrates talents and God-given gifts. Those were meant to be shared with the world. But if one more woman says, “You can have it all!” – small business, family, faith, marriage, workout regimen, etc., etc., etc, I think I might scream in my pillow.
When did we start believing that raising families and loving the real-life people in our lives wasn’t good enough? Who keeps telling us that just being a mom or just managing the after-school shuffle or just being a wife are just, okay? Mediocre, even?
Shouldn’t we switch that thinking? Shouldn’t we be saying, I AM a mom or I AM a woman with worth followed by, I also have a career/side hustle/creative outlet/insert your passion?
And I hear what you’re thinking. Hey, Kathryn, didn’t you just write a book and you have six kids and a graphic design business? Yes, and I’ll add that hasn’t always been my season. All of us have a unique situation and we gotta stop comparing someone’s house in Connecticut to ours in Texas.
Here’s the newsflash. Everything has a season. You don’t have to do it all RIGHT NOW. You can dream and plan and set goals. But please, if you read nothing else that I share, read this:
You are not going to miss out on some fabulous version of your life if you tell someone, or something, NO. Or, WAIT. Or, NOT YET.
We’ve forgotten about the slow work of God. We’ve forgotten that there are tremendous lessons in the waiting. Ask the Kathryn from ten years ago, hell, even three years ago, and she would tell you that the life she’s living is not at all what she envisioned or planned for or hoped for. I waited. And I cried plenty of tears asking God why it took so damn long. And He smiled and said, “What I have coming is awesome. Be patient. In the meantime, go live your life because it has inherent worth right now.”
He was right.
As Fr. Stan Fortuna is known for saying, “God gives us all a gift. The problem? We don’t like the gift God gives us.” And, if I can add, “We aren’t willing to be patient enough to hear how and when God wants us to use that gift.”
As women, when we look at our lives and wonder if now is the right time to pursue a passion, we can’t discount the importance of discernment. Real discernment. The kind that takes you to your knees, enlisting the prayers of your spouse or close friend and then seeking affirmation from those who know you best. We (read: me) sometimes go into a new opportunity, guns blazing, ready to take on the world.
We gotta breathe first.
God may very well be calling you to be the get-it-done gal, but I believe He’s first calling us to take to heart our primary vocation to love. To be fully present to the people in our life. And to be content in knowing that if we can get that right – if we can make that a priority – then the rest of our life will flow from that sacrificial love of Christ.
No filter required.