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Hey girls! Lindsee here! By now you know that our dear Beth is teaching her heart out this week, taping her next Bible study in Tennessee. So, when I realized that SSMT would fall right smack dab in the middle of the taping, I told her that if she trusted me, she was welcome to release this to me and I’d try to do it as much justice as she does. She happily obliged, so here I am. What makes it easy is that I’m memorizing right alongside y’all, however, this time around I feel the pressure to make it a good verse. Of course, I’m both kidding and laughing.
Actually, my scripture memory verses don’t always come easy to me, but this week was a different story. You see, this past Sunday at church was an all hymn Sunday. Typically we’re a little more contemporary and certainly throw in a hymn every now and then, but this Sunday every last song was one you could find in a hymnal. Truth be told, I kind of loved it.
Among the selection of hymns, we sang “I’d Rather Have Jesus”. I’m not sure if you’ve listened to those lyrics lately, but what a convicting song it is and rather vulnerable if you ask me.
You tell me:
I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.
Than to be the king of a vast domain
And be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I’d rather be true to His holy name
Whoa. I’d Rather. What is your rather? What do you want so bad, but you’d rather have Jesus? I could name countless things. But really, what rubbish each of those things are compared to knowing Jesus as my personal Lord and savior. What rubbish they are compared to being known and loved perfectly by Jesus himself, who gave His life for you and didn’t expect anything in return, lest we even think we have anything to offer in return. I know it in my head, but I want to fully grasp it in my heart.
That led me to Phillipians 3:8, which is my scripture this go around:
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8 (NLT)
Isn’t is so true, that the more time we spend getting to know our Jesus, the more the things of this world grow strangely dim? I think it is true. The more I learn that Jesus is the ONE faithful and trustworthy thing, the less I worry about worldwide fame, men’s applause, riches or anything else my flesh cringes for.
Jesus is simply better.
Have I achieved it? Hardly.
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.” Philippians 3:12
But I press on. I put my focus on one solitary thing.
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” Philippians 3:13
Because after all…
“He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead.”
Jesus is better. Let’s hear yours! (And that’s three options for you, ladies! Should you choose to use one of those. Grin.)
On a not-so-different, yet different note, our sweet siesta mama did just tell me to tell y’all, “I love them so much and feel their prayers and to keep them up!”
Oh, and one more fun and important thing, be sure to hop back on tomorrow (Thursday) for the announcement of our summer Bible study! The suspense!
Y’all are priceless.
Last week after getting my wisdom teeth removed, plus one added bonus, making it a total of five teeth, I got a little frantic as suddenly I felt one of my stitches loosening up. It had only been five days since my surgery, and I had been told and read that most stitches last at least seven to ten days. Hence my anxiety. Much like this paragraph might be TMI for you, I then proceeded to call my doctor and explain in full detail what was going on in my mouth. I know y’all, it’s disturbing. I do apologize. But it could be so much worse. Relief flooded me when the nurse told me that was very normal and I was okay. Oh, and while I was at it, to eat something more than just Slim Fast. Not only was I relieved, but also I was ecstatic, because well, food. Need I say more? I was starving for something solid.
Ironically, the next morning I had a different doctors appointment where I proceeded to spill my guts and ask every question in the book about all sorts of things. I left that appointment with answers and feeling very secure for the path that lay ahead of me.
I also felt very humbled.
Other than a counselor, and maybe your spouse, who else do you feel complete freedom with to ask some of the most bizarre questions, and not only that, but share what others would label as WAY to much information, besides a doctor?
But the truth is, if you really want to get well, or fix something that is broken, you have to be 100% transparent with your doctor and do everything they tell you to get well. And last I checked, I think we’re all into the getting well business. Who likes to be sick, broken and messed up? It’s no way to live abundantly.
You see, I would be what you might consider the perfect patient.
Anyone, eh hem, my mother and best friend, could testify to this.
For instance, as I mentioned, I had my wisdom teeth removed. Upon leaving the doctors office after your surgery, they give you a sheet of paper along with your prescription medications explaining the step-by-step process on how to heal the quickest and easiest. The minute I was out of my coma to a place I could actually comprehend what I was reading, I poured over that sheet front and back, word for word.
Not only did I nearly memorize every word, I also did what it said. It was, in fact, the only way to get well.
When I got off the phone with the doctor the other day I kind of chuckled to myself as I thought about all doctors and nurses have to go through. They see the good, the bad and the very, very ugly. I realize I’m no nurse, but I happen to have a nurse as a roommate, and let me tell you, she and I lead very different day jobs.
Because my mind never sits in one place, I immediately thought of how this affects our relationship with God. The degree to which we’ll be honest with Him about our deep messes, our brokenness and intense struggles (as if He isn’t already intimately acquainted with every detail), is the degree to which we’ll be healed.
And the degree to which we’ll do what He tells us to do to trash the trash in our lives, also holds some weight. Sometimes we know exactly what to do to get well, but we’re just stubborn enough not to do it. Yet, He says He’s given us everything we need for life and godliness. Not that we would get caught up in just following the rules, but that we would get caught up in the grace offered to us.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 2 Peter 1:3-4
Mercy, what messes we are all in. Not one of us is immune and not one of us is perfect. This is both good news and bad news! Because none of us is immune to any pit of sin means we need Jesus in the worst way, but because none of us will attain perfection here on earth means we can cut one another a little slack. It also means for those of us perfectionists, to take a chill pill. Or, for those of us holding someone to a perfect standard, to take them off the high horse we’ve put them on.
I’m far from being any type of scholar, but naturally I thought of the healing at the pool that Jesus performed.
“After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.” John 5:1-9 (ESV)
I’m not going to pretend I know all the history of all that went on here, but can we all agree that thirty-eight years is a long time? I realize that some of us are bound up for much longer than that, but isn’t it exhausting?
I may have grown up in church, but I can assure you I didn’t even begin to think about grabbing onto some healing until I was 18 and a senior in high school. And it wasn’t for the lack of people encouraging me, pointing me towards truth and loving on me. It was because of my own pride, and the fact that I liked my sin. It felt good. I can’t imagine an invalid feeling good, but I can imagine getting too lazy in our sin that we never want to get up and move on, because if any of us have tried, we can testify that it is h-a-r-d.
Notice that after Jesus asked him if he wanted healing, he didn’t even say yes! He gave an excuse as to why he was still laying there.
Is that not so true of us? We can think of every excuse in the book as to why our healing has yet to come to us. As to why we’re still drowning in sin. Or why that stronghold still holds all the power in the world over us.
“I have no one to help me…” who are we waiting for? Who are you waiting for? What is that one thing you think can heal you? Sister, stop waiting. His name is Jesus.
That brokenness, that shame, that addiction, the mindset, that sin cycle, that stronghold, that lie, that greed, that lust, that past, that hate. He came for that. Our excuses, though they may seem legitimate at the time, are illegitimate.
“Get up, take up your bed and walk!” Today is the day.
If it seems impossible, it might be, but the Lord knows your fears. Knows how painful it might be. But He’s still telling you to get up and walk! Walk free! Walk confidently! Maybe it’s time to stop asking God for some healing and believe He’s granted us the freedom. The freedom He gave us on the cross.
Or maybe you have yet to even ask the Lord for some freedom, but you’re dying for some! Today is the day to ask! Tell Him every single detail. What may seem insignificant to you, is not to Him.
Some of us need to let God simply demonstrate His power through us.
He is trustworthy. He cares. He sees. He loves.
And ultimately, He heals.
Walk on, Sister.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 (ESV)
I’m curious how many of you are singing the next lines to the song posted above, “wish it was Sunday…”. Makes me laugh!
Truth be told, Sunday is easily one of my favorite days of the week, and Monday one of the hardest. I have the great honor and privilege of getting to sing on our worship team at church, and since we added an evening service a few months ago, that means that the weeks I’m serving, I’m liable to be at church all day. Listen, this isn’t me complaining in the least, I am so delighted and happy to do it, and consider it a great honor, but it certainly zaps me of some energy come Monday morning.
Hence the manic Monday. I’ve been known to leave my house on a Monday morning headed to work only to realize I left my computer sitting on my coffee table. And well, that’s kind of a necessity. I may or may not have done that this morning. Sigh.
Anyway, as I often do, I was scrolling through my phone last night deleting the masses of unnecessary pictures I have stored on there, when I decided an iPhone dump for this Monday was in order.
For the record, our sweet Siesta Mama has a very full plate right now, you wouldn’t waste a prayer on her at all, so I’ll do the best I can to hold down the fort while she works to serve you all in a different capacity. So, I do apologize in advance if you get tired of hearing from me! But rest assured, she will hop on when she can.
Without further do, a little Monday randomness for you.
Every other Thursday night I’m taking a small group of girls through “Believing God”. I’m so proud of them for coming because that study is hard! Especially as a high school girl. But what makes me happiest is when they say their five statement pledge of faith at the beginning of each week. I wanted to capture this so I’d remember it! Oh, if they just got those five truths at that age. Such liberating truth!
Remember that time I confessed to y’all that I unintentionally rub my feet together when I’m really tired? And then I confessed I remind myself of a cricket. Well, KMac, my beloved coworker found this pillow at a little shop right after that. You guessed it. This pillow now sits on my bed. I love it.
We’ve had our fair share of interesting visitors here at LPM, but most recently, we’ve welcomed a crane. It’s slightly bizarre, but we are all very intrigued. I’m not quite sure what he thinks about us, though.
My friend recently texted me this picture. For the sake of all embarrassment, yes, this is my hysterical, typical laugh. I’d label myself an unattractive laugher. But seriously, life is good when you’re laughing this hard!
My sweet mom and I at a wedding recently. This was the photo booth! How fun is that? I’d just like to give a shout out and say that moms are the best nurses. Remember how I told y’all recently I needed to have my wisdom teeth removed? Well, I did it a little over a week ago and I survived! Praise the Lord! This was all largely because she took such good care of me afterwards. I’m thankful.
Speaking of wisdom teeth, you know you’ve arrived when you get snail mail from a four-year old. My favorite get well card of all time.
One of my favorite things about my church is all the young families. I love getting to spend time with them and their precious kiddos. Truly, not much brings me as much joy as getting to do just that. Anyway, this was my placemat for dinner one night. It made me so unbelievably happy!
I recently had to make a little drive to the country. Apparently, that’s where road signs don’t matter. “No Motor Vehicles”. Funny.
One fun thing about roommates is that it means you can take random midnight trips to the grocery store. This particular evening was one for the books. Oh, and in case you were curious, I’m kind of obsessed with apples. Hence the delight in this picture. My roommates just go along with it.
LPM is in it to end it! For more information on what that means click here.
Since I don’t have babies of my own to brag about, I choose to brag about my BFF’s baby. For my recent trip to Austin for a wedding, Ellie was my car buddy. Tell me, is this not the best three hour view? She’s scrumptious.
That wedding I keep referring to was a for a dear friend I’ve known since birth. It was a beautiful wedding! And one of the most unique weddings I’ve attended for sure. Everything was so Brittany. Anyway, ten years ago this year the brides daddy passed away. The most bittersweet thing was watching her older brother give her away at her wedding. Not a dry eye!
Oh, and speaking of Ellie, I had her all to myself Friday night while her parents had a date night. She makes me so deliriously happy. We played and played before bed time. This is us. She was more interested in eating my phone. But what nine month old isn’t? This is pre-bed time.
After an hour of off and on giggling, talking and fussing in bed, she decided play time was more fun. So played we did. Needless to say, contrary to “Goodnight Gorilla” that girl was not ready for goodnight. Not that I minded. Party time with Aunt Lou! We were both happy.
Houston has had amazing, yet unique weather for the month of May. I keep imagining I live in California, because that’s what our weather has been like. Perfection, if you ask me. Because of the weather, I’ve gone on as many walks as possible at a trail near me. Normally, I might go for a run, but seriously, who would ruin this weather with a run! I convinced my roommate to go with me one Friday evening. Clearly, we both enjoyed it.
Sometimes you go for a walk and you stumble upon a treasure.
You have to cherish every minute of these Houston weather days. Also, I’m apparently into bridges. Awesome.
Yesterday I had a different viewpoint at church than I typically do. I took this shot during our last worship song. Honestly, words can’t describe how grateful I am for my church. I’m glad the Lord has planted me there for such a time as this. It blesses my soul.
Y’all have a happy Monday!
For those of you who feared we might not post the LPL Eugene recap, no worries! We’re just doing a little shake up here on the blog this week. Grin.
Beth did a wonderful job of summing up the weekend in the previous post, so I’ll just let the video speak for itself.
We hope y’all have a wonderful weekend! Shockingly, on May 3rd, it’s a chilly 58 degrees here today in Houston. I’m not completely sure, but we might be breaking a record low for Houston this late in the spring. But lest you think we’re complaining, we’ll take it! Scorching temps are just around the corner.
Oh, and for your viewing, or rather, laughing pleasure, you all need to know I’ve reached a new low. Our sweet Beth brought some leftover cake to the office on Wednesday, so I decided to serve myself a piece yesterday afternoon for a little snack. However, I didn’t realize until I got back to my office that I had served it on my upside-down plate. No wonder the plate felt so unstable! I was beyond tickled. THAT’S how easily entertained I am. I hope you are, too! Bless my heart.
Happy weekend, y’all!
I’m so happy to spend these next few minutes with you. I like to remind you in a writing season like this that I am thinking about you constantly even when it appears from your side of the screen as if we’re less in touch. As I study and write workday in and workday out, you are the first group that comes to my mind. Teacher’s pets if I’ve ever had any. I’m chatting to you constantly right now as I peck away at the keyboard. You just can’t hear me. I’m smiling thinking about how those tables may turn in a little over a year for any of you that end up doing the Bible study. You’ll be talking back to me as we discuss various passages in your homework but I won’t be able to hear you either. What a weird and beautiful dynamic.
I had the biggest blast getting to see a whole bunch of you Siestas at our Eugene, Oregon Living Proof Live. I was shocked when I walked in that room right after the event and David Lowe (our good friend who subs for Rich when he’s out) already had you split into two groups for our picture-taking. It would be hard to over-blow how much I loved being in Oregon for our event. God brought together one of the most wonderful, enthusiastic, Jesus-seeking, gonna-get-a-word-or-else groups ever. One of my top ten favorite groups in all fifteen LPL years. I could have cried when it was over.
(I just happened to remember that I have a few pictures on my iPhone of various shots from this trip so I’ll pitch a few in here for those of you like me who love visuals.)
(In the above picture, we took that State-famous “O” for Oregon and made it into a few divine adjectives for an “Omnipotent,” and “Overflowing,” “Overcoming” and “Out-breaking” God.)
Try to wrap your mind around the fact that God incited 7300 women by His Spirit to attend that event. That was nearly twice what we would have expected in that part of the United States for a gathering of this kind. Travis, the praise team, and I knew within about 2 minutes that Jesus was planning to be there whether we came or not. We felt completely incidental to the whole thing. He has something huge stirring in the Northwest. I can’t quit thinking about it. I got a DM from my good friend, Louie Giglio, last Friday saying that he and Chris Tomlin and their team had just been to that part of the country and were blown away by what God was doing. We left feeling the same astonishment.
I got to spend a little more time in the area than I usually do because I couldn’t get a flight out on Saturday night. That meant several walks in several different parks.
This scene was walking distance from the Holiday Express where we stayed in Eugene. Your blog mama is in there but it’s kind of like “Where’s Waldo?”
Most of our team went to Mount Pisgah Arboretum on Saturday afternoon and, honestly, it was like we were caught in the hobbits’ glen in Lord of the Rings. If Frodo Baggins had stepped out from behind a tree with his short legs and long hairy feet, the whole scene would have been complete. The trees looked just like the ones that talked in the trilogy and they groaned and creaked in the wind like old men trying to get out of a low chair. It was crazy. I didn’t even bother taking pictures with my iPhone because it would have been a travesty but our friend David got some great ones with his grown-up camera. This one doesn’t even give a hint of the gorgeousness that was surrounding us in that park but I think it is especially gorgeous because I love this group of women so much. These are some of the hardest working girls you’ll ever find on earth. They are part of the LifeWay women’s event team that actually puts on Living Proof Live events. (As well as Priscilla Shirer Live and many others.) They don’t often come to the platform but trust me when I tell you that no one would serve on that platform if not for these women doing all the front work, sight inspections, training, praying, and city coordinating. Then, once the weekend arrives, they are busy behind every scene, down every hall, and all over the arena. I am nuts about them. There are at least a dozen others who weren’t assigned to our Oregon event over the weekend. I wish you could see them, too. They are all stellar women.
I could have stayed a solid week in Oregon. Or, if all my people had been there, a month. But Bibby gets cranky for the grandbabies after too many days away. I saw them right before I left for Oregon and the day after I got back. Thank you, thank you, thank you to my beloved Amanda and Curtis, who always make room for the grandparents in their hyper-busy pastoring lives. I happen to be typing this post about five feet away from this picture right here. Now, I ask you, who could stand to be far from those two for very long?? My point exactly.
Oh, one more thing about the trip. On the rare occasions when much of the team gets to stay an extra night after the event, there is considerable foolishness. With God-fearing people, especially of mixed company, off-color humor is out so we have to go with just plain stupid and it works for me every time. This is Travis with his good friends Clay (who played the mandolin for us at this LPL! We loved him!) and Seth (who we always love and get to have on the team most of the time).
I bet Travis wore those glasses for 15 minutes in the drugstore. (Yep, that’s where all this stuff was.) Long enough to where I found myself talking to him normally as if he didn’t look like an idiot. Of course, it might be a tad hypocritical for me to say he looked like such a thing since…
Tragically, that’s not plastic you’re seeing there below the glasses. That’s my real nose. (I made myself laugh.)
Well, I could talk on and on but, the fact is, we have Scriptures to do today, Sisters! I love mine this time around. Remember how we talked about the importance of choosing one to memorize that really means something to us personally? This one’s really speaking to me right now. Lately I’ve been especially aware of the contrasts in the Christian public square between those who build up the Body of Christ and those who tear it down. If we’re going to be builders in a world tearing apart, we’re going to have to be deliberate. We’ll also have to accept the materials we’re working with. We’ll never have a flawless body of believers to edify. Not this side of our completed state. As my friend Carlos Whittaker says, we’re all crazier than we think we are. It’s a mess out there. Oh, for crying out loud, I’m a mess in here. But we do have a flawless Savior and we are indeed God’s chosen people, loved and planned for and accounted for in the Kingdom agenda. We’ve got to decide how we want to treat one another on this thorny journey. This verse says it well.
Beth, Houston. So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. 1 Corinthians 14:12 ESV
There He says it: don’t just take a stab at it. Strive to excel in it.
Oh, Sisters, I love you so much. I truly do. I’ll talk to you soon!
Sometimes I’m stunned by one’s ability to sum up something so profound in so little words; and not only that, a statement that holds so much weight and truth. With twitter’s 140-character limit, I’ve slowly learned and had to work at summing up simple thoughts, which has been a wonderful challenge for me personally.
Comparison, if you think about it, really is the thief of joy.
Thank you, Theodore Roosevelt.
He was tweeting before twitter ever existed.
Comparison, over the years, has changed its game. Where as we used to compare ourselves literally in person and face to face, we now compare ourselves not only in face to face situations, but on top of that, we’ve added the wide world of social media to compare literally everything.
A few weeks ago before Beth posted this profound blog about doing the thing we’re called to do, she asked me if I had anything for the blog that day cause if not, she had a word pressing and wanted to share it. (We make sure not to double up. Awkward!) Of course I told her to go ahead because I was in the middle of working on a post, but it was far from presentable.
I actually didn’t read her post until later that night, but it stopped me dead in my tracks because, although she wouldn’t have known what I was in the middle of writing about, our posts were very similar. I shot her a quick text to tell her that her post was amazing and indeed, needed, and then explained that the one I said I had been working on but wasn’t ready yet, was one about comparing our lives to everyone else’s via social media. She was gracious as she always is and was afraid that her post might have in some way ruined mine, but I assured her that wasn’t the case.
Ironically, the longer I thought about it, I decided I might as well not even post this blog, because, you guessed it, hers was way better than mine and obviously fitly spoken, but then it dawned on me, that’s exactly what I was talking about. Comparing our lives via the ever so brilliant social media. If the Lord had given me the words to type, then I would be disobedient not to post for fear that it wasn’t as well received. Or for fear that, comparatively, hers was way better. What an ugly truth I kept telling myself.
What I was about to keep from posting was the very thing I felt like sharing.
I think it’s obvious that I need this word more than anyone.
Allow me to explain.
We live in a generation that is more connected than ever, and for the record, over-stimulated, yet lonelier than ever. I know that is old news to most of us, but it is our current reality and every now and then, I think it’s appropriate to revisit.
Not only do I see it in the young girls I work with, I see it as being prevalent among all generations. Most of us, if we were being honest, have been sucked into the vortex that is social media.
Before we go any further, you need to know that I’m game for all things social media. I love it. It is, in fact, a part of job title here at LPM. I don’t just love it, I’m swimming in the deep end.
With that said, a few weeks ago as I was getting a pedicure, I picked up one of the magazines sitting on the table next to me and happened to flip right to a short article explaining that those who spend more time perusing facebook tend to be more depressed than those who don’t.
I may have gasped audibly and even said under my breath, “Well, duh!” because to me, that made perfect sense.
What we otherwise would have known nothing about 10 years ago, we are experts on now.
Experts on what? On how other folks are living their life and what we’re missing out on.
For goodness sake, it can be even really good things that can become distorted to us.
Say for instance a string a tweets or facebook status updates that took place from a handful of members from a certain church. (Hear me loud and clear, I’m using this example because I have done it. I did it. I am doing it.) You may love your church, but reading those updates you may get a sense of discontentment from your church. All the sudden you may get the feeling that your worship isn’t good enough. The teaching is mediocre. Childcare is iffy. Your church will never measure up! What a lie! When in reality, our church could just have more tweeters than yours. (What a weird sentence to write!)
Maybe you become aware of a party or gathering that was blasted on social media that you didn’t get invited to.
Maybe you couldn’t attend a certain conference for one reason or another, so instead of enjoying your weekend, you spend countless hours on twitter reading every last tweet and throwing yourself a pity party. FOMO, the fear of missing out, has you handicapped.
Maybe you find out from facebook that your ex-boyfriend is not only dating somebody, but is now engaged and getting married in three months.
Or how about your twitter followers? How often do we compare our number of followers to our friends? Why is this person following so-and-so and not me? And boom, they unfollow me, so I unfollow them. You just got served. Or better yet, it becomes a popularity contest throwing us back to the middle school years. We start to evaluate who’s in the “in” crowd and who’s not. I don’t know about you, but I want to leave my middle school years in their rightful place, and that is in the past.
Forget followers, let’s just talk about twitter replies. Can I say something that gave me so much freedom? You and I have the right and freedom to respond to whomever on twitter. I think some of us feel an obligation to respond and converse with the millions on twitter, but can we all give each other a little slack and be free? Can we not get jealous when someone gets a reply and we don’t? Even typing that out sounds so unbelievably silly. But you and I both know it’s the sad reality and truth. If any of us have struggled with people pleasing (hand raised!), we can get stuck in trap where we now feel the obligation to people please online as well. Oh, the pressure!
Or, to throw it out there, how about “likes” on Instagram. That alone could throw us for a loop if we think we’ve posted the best or cutest picture ever and it only gets 18 likes. Or maybe we’re so in it for the attention that we spend more time instagramming and less time socializing.
Do you see how we’ve become hyper-aware of what we’re lacking, or what we think we’re lacking? We’re setting ourselves up for failure and rejection and the fact that we all know that social media isn’t going anywhere, and in fact, only growing, means that we have to learn what our personal balance is. Things we never would have known about, and nor probably even cared about ten years ago are throwing us into a pit of despair. A pit of loneliness. A pit of discontentment. Nothing will snatch our identity in Christ from us quicker than comparison.
One thing I’ve discovered, and maybe it’s just me, is that I tend to interact more on social media with those I’m not interacting with face to face. Now, in some cases that’s not true, like say for example when my BFF posts a picture of her baby, it’s everything in me not to like it 100 times and retweet it to the entire universe. And by all means, I love a good joke or word of encouragement to a friend on twitter, but most times, when I send a tweet, I am choosing to interact with a world of people I do not know personally, all the while expecting them to care and respond like we’ve been friends for 15 years.
As if rejection doesn’t take a serious toll on a human being as it is, we’ve now added another dimension. I’m almost tempted to call it imaginary rejection. Rejected by those we’ve never even met. Nor talk to on a normal, consistent basis.
With comparison comes jealousy and I’m not sure anything steals your joy quicker than feeling jealous.
I read a quote by Steven Furtick recently, the pastor of Elevation Church, that said, ““One of the reasons we struggle with insecurity is because we’re comparing our ‘behind the scenes’ with everybody else’s ‘highlight reel.’”
Although I’m an optimist and actually prefer to view the highlight reel, simply because that’s the fun of it, the problem is we start comparing everything good about their life to everything wrong with our life. Not only are we comparing our behind the scenes to their highlight reel, everything we desire is now magnified. Where 10 years ago we were doing it in person maybe at church or school, we’re now doing it among our 600 facebook friends, or 1800 twitter followers. All of the sudden, we’re the only ones and our every desire is magnified.
Facebook happened to be released my senior year of high school, so although I’m not of the generation that’s grown up on it, I’ve lived much of my adult life on it, so I think it’s safe to say that, starting with me, we have become a generation that is addicted to affirmation. We know how to manipulate the media better than anyone and it’s a serious distraction. Not only that, but it’s created us to be narcisitic monsters. It’s the cause of much despression in our culture.
Recently a friend told me she got off twitter because she was just feeling really left out. I think she’s wise.
Can we feel left out or rejected minus social media? Absolutely. We’re all human and in fact, it’s nearly unavoidable.
But the truth of the matter is, it’s our responsibility to take control of what we let rule over and own us.
Can we not take facbeook at face value?
Life itsn’t always what it seems, not matter how many posts suggest one thing or another.
Does it mean we quit facebook, twitter, tumblr, instagram and so on all together? No, it just means that those sites can’t be responsible for your happiness. Nor can they be your measure for reality. I think one wise thing we can all do is take a look back at our posts no matter where they are, and be sure we’re giving off a healthy balance and dose of reality. Are what we tweeting and saying true of us? How do we come across to the outside world lurking in?
The past year I’ve been thrown back into the stage of making new friends. Can we all agree that making friends is just plain hard? You inevitably face awkward conversations, and awkward dinner every now and then, and for lack of a better term, after much investment, you may just come to find out the chemistry (not romantic) just isn’t there. Also, for a sanguine girl who wants to be friends with everyone, I’ve realized that’s a far cry from reality. Because of this new season and revelation, I’ve found that reverting to the internet to bring me community and companionship is just as easy, but it lacks true intimacy and vulnerability, which to me, is no relationship at all. While making friends and creating community takes time, work, patience, vulnerability, initiation and so much more, the reality is, we were created for face-to-face friendships, not face-to-screen. We want to be known, loved and accepted, but we fear rejection, so we are more comfortable to correspond with people on twitter, as opposed to calling up a friend to meet for dinner.
Although I am guilty of it, when I’m among friends and family, I spend less time perusing social media. The “be with” factor is fairly effective. It’s times when I’m bored or lonely that I peruse and then fall into a pit because people are having fun, and do they know how boring my life is?
What a lie we’re trapped in.
Make a deal with me, will you? Let’s not let social media steal our joy. Let’s not let comparison get the best of us. Especially when we know that one day, none of those sites will even exist. Just like we knew middle school had an end, so does social media.
Instead of letting it make a fool of us, let’s be the first to reign in it. If we don’t do it, then I fear all hope is lost for those coming behind us. Let today be the day we put on a different thinking cap. Instead of comparing, let’s start affirming those around us. Speak life, not resentment to somebody.
I don’t really know how to tie this post up with a pretty bow. But I feel so strongly about it, so I’m just going to ask the Lord to prove us different. Prove me different, Lord.
After all, as my pastor always says, joy is our birthright. To that I say amen! Let’s not let something, or someone steal it.
I love y’all.
Wow, Siestas! Thank you, thank you so much for your participation in Beth’s recent post: For You in Your 20′s and You Who Will Pray For Them.
Our Siesta Mama is hunkered down in Eugene preparing for her group tonight but asked if I would put up this brief post asking for your prayer help again. We were shocked and unprepared for that many of our 20-somethings requesting prayer. We still have a sizable group left needing partners. (A good many of them beginning on page 13 to the end.) If you would be so kind, reach out to some of your prayer warrior friends that usually aren’t in our community to come alongside these 20′s with us. We are so grateful. Your prayers matter. We love you like crazy!!
Ladies! Today Beth and the Living Proof Live team head to Eugene, Oregon for Living Proof Live this weekend. Are any of you headed that way? I know they’re all looking forward to serving the ladies there this weekend.
For this coming weekend, we have 20 scholarship tickets to giveaway to those of you that would love to attend, but just cannot financially swing it at this time. We hope and pray that it will be a blessing to some of you.
If you fit this description, and have been waiting for this post to go up (grin!), please call the office and ask for Kimberly. You can call 281-257-3344 or call toll free at 888.700.1999. She will get you squared and away and good to go! If you happen to call during the lunch hour, please leave a message and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
Also, for those of you ready to get your praying on, our Siesta Mama has a request for you:
Dearest Siestas, at our last Living Proof Live two weeks ago, we had two more members of our praise team miss Saturday in Greensboro over one having to go to the emergency room. That makes two for two with our first 2013 LPL’s. If you would, please cover us a little extra in prayer this weekend because of added spiritual warfare in the Eugene area. Agree with us that all sickness and emergencies will be bound for the remainder of 2013! Now, off to Eugene I go!