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Hand on my heart, this much is true, there's no life apart from You...

I'm just going to have to go ahead and say it.

I'm tired of everyone saying or round-a-bout implying how evil Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and the like are (and then still continuing to use them).  I've seen and read things recently about how users of these are more depressed and how social networks, such as Facebook, are the root of this evil.  I must disagree.  The root of comparison and the joy-stealer it is, is just downright personal discontentment and envy within our own hearts.  It has always been there.  That desire to want more, to know more, to be more.  And when we see something we're not, something we wish we were, wish we had... hello, little green monster.

Not to sound like a mean-girl, but it's no one's responsibility but your own to keep that wrapped up.

I don't say that to be snarky or heartless or unfeeling or any of those things.  I am the first one who would open my door and offer a cup of coffee and sit and listen for as long as you needed.  But all this hate and disdain and projected envy has got to stop.  And it has to end with you and within your own heart.  Because that's the only place you have control.  I am not trying to "make you stumble" when I post statuses about how sweet my husband is or when I write blogs about my little family.  I am seeking to tell stories, because we, as God's, were all created to tell, tell, tell.

The truth is: people go on vacations.  And typically those are great, fun, memory-making times.  And they'll probably have pictures of sunsets and breaking waves and cuckoo birds.  And maybe someone flew across the world and landed at an iconic spot like Buckingham Palace or the Louvre.  Maybe they posted a status update of how amazing it was, how breathtaking.  And the food!  Oh, the glory!

And if you take those words, that moment, cynically or selfishly - you are the one who is guilty of breaking community, of not sharing in another's joy.  Plus, you're cheating yourself of the very real opportunity to see, through the eyes of someone you claim you care about (!), a world all new.  Just with every area of you life, you have the choice of either holding a blessing or a curse in your hand, in your heart.

People get married.  People have babies.  People announce retirements and how far they ran on their last trek.  They are all giving you (and we them) snapshots of life... not because we're putting our best foot forward and want you to love and adore us, but because we want to count those moments as special.  As more important than a rant on getting stuck in traffic or a water leak or how creepy the pizza delivery dude looked.  For those of us who choose to post happy, hopeful, bright and beautiful things... maybe we do that because we are truly training ourselves to look on that side of things.  To not take moments for granted.  To be crazy thankful in the mundane and daily.

If you can't look at people's pictures of coordinating outfits for Dad and junior on Easter morning without rolling your eyes or critiquing how skinny (or not) Mom looks after baby #5, then maybe you need to get off-line.  Don't condemn those who are positive and enjoying the life God gave them by speculating that they can't really be that happy and that they must surely be hiding something.  I think this sounds every ounce of the work of someone who doesn't want Light to abound.

What better way than to make your heart bitter on a daily, moment-to-moment basis with every scroll and click?  To start your day feeling unworthy, unloveable, unexciting?  Those are the lies of the Devil, my friend.  But they are not the words or intentions of your family, classmates, coworkers and church community.  If you take someone's joy and assume it's false, then not only do you discredit their integrity, but you throw your own chance out the window of taking in the brightness.

Could we all stand to put down the iPhone and the tablet and close up shop on the laptop for awhile?  Of course.  That's why we take vacations, take a boatload of pictures and then come back and flood the newsfeed!  Because we're saying, oh my gosh, this was amazing and you wouldn't believe how the air smelled.  And we ate here this one night and you just have to try it, if you ever can make the trip, too!  It's not intent on condemning you or shaming you for what you've done or what you don't have... and if you feel that, you might need to disconnect and go log on with God for awhile.

We have always been comparing.  There has always been insecurity and scared vulnerability.  There have always been bullies and unhappiness and new houses and puppies and engagement rings.  That's life.  That's what we do.  It's the ups and the downs and sometimes you take the time to put on makeup and put on the good shoes and have someone snap a picture.  Because you want to remember, to put down for yourself and everyone, that this was beautiful and special and you lived it.

When my kids say or do something precious, I note it publicly many times.  Not because I want you to see how awesome they are, but because I want to show, to shine a spotlight on this person that God created and say hey, look at what they are capable of!  Look at the hope they have and that they give!  Look at how precious this day was ... look at how thankful we are to God.  And look how amazing we all are - because just like these little sweet peas... we were created with just as much attention to detail and love.  We have wild potential, too.

If you want to know my stories and scars, ask me.  Come have a chat.  I can do real and I welcome it.  And for that matter, I do real online, too.  I'm not faking things.  I'm not editing.  I might not post negative things, but that is a choice I have made... it doesn't mean negative things don't exist in my life.

Do my boys drive me crazy and exhaust me and force me to linger long at choir practice because maybe if I wait five minutes more they'll be asleep when I roll in?  Yes.  I'm human and I'm a wife and a Mom and I get tired and overwhelmed and bored with laundry and couponing.  I love my husband and he loves me, but we're human and we push each other's buttons sometimes and drive each other up the wall.  But that's what love is for.  That's what home is for.  To flesh all of that out, together.

Our social-networking has the opportunity to be every bit of a blessing to us and others.  But it's based off of the intention in your own heart to either be the good or the bad.  You need to choose better.  Either recognize the soul-holes you have and why or log off when it's just too much.  You have everything you need to balance things.  If Facebook is making you crazy, or Pinterest is overwhelming your creative mental bank, then shut-it all down.  It's just a program.  You don't have to be involved if you don't want to, or if it provokes you to stress or unfairly judge.

But, please stop telling others to stop posting and sharing joy.  We should never, ever say that.


"Offer right sacrifices, and put 
your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say, 
'Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face
upon us, O Lord!'
You have put more joy
in my heart than they have
when their grain and wine abound..."
~  P s a l m   4 : 5 - 7


Comments

  1. Fantastic post! All of the negativity (in general) on social media makes me sad. I've started limiting my time on FB for that very reason.

    Some users choose to post (almost) nothing but negative things. I almost want to block or delete them. Surely, there must be something positive in your life or you're seeking out only the negative!

    Pam Pahnke

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Pam! <3 Negativity, like anything, is a habit - and an addictive one.... and it's EVERYWHERE. I'm just simply tired of so few taking responsibility for their own lives and actions and blaming everything on someone else. You have to own something sometime! *smile*

      THanks for reading and for not being part of the problem! :D

      Delete
  2. I don't know how I missed this one! Truth !!! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!! As usual, beautifully written.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much!! <3 You're always so sweet!!!

      Delete

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