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Faith and Facebook

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Every time I get or send a friend request on Facebook, I look at my profile. True story. I take a minute to read and scroll through it to see what kind of picture a person is going to get about me when they look for the first time. I don’t know if this is good or just crazy, but now you know this about me. I think its also good to do this to ourselves on occasion to see what kind of message we are putting out to the world to see. Instagram and Twitter, too. (Or whatever you use.)

Here is the thing that struck me today: I don’t put my faith out there nearly as much as I think I do.

I’m not saying that this is a good or a bad thing, and I know I can’t control others’ opinions no matter how I try. I’m sure I seem zealous to some and not active to others, simply because the way I choose to spend my time and energy is different from theirs. If you were to look at me at first glance, you’d see that I love coffee, my kids, and self-depreciation. I have some private outlets where I share my faith so while my personal feed is saturated; what I put out into the feed is diminished.

The truth is, my life is becoming increasingly consumed with who I am in light of what Jesus Christ has done for me. I spent a lot of years not knowing how to speak about my faith anymore, because I wasn’t sure how to explain the wrestling I have done in my soul.

This is who I am: I am first and foremost not a mistake. I am a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe he died on the cross for my sins — not just the little things I do, but the core of who I am that is empty without him. I am a wife, but my identity is not in my husband, although I want him by my side until my dying breath. I am a mother, but my children are not my identity. They are my current occupation, they are the light of my heart and my days, but my hope is not in them. I am growing in him. I do not fit a typical church mold at this stage in my life. I understand those who doubt God’s existence and those who struggle with believing God’s truth far better than those who know how to live the Christian life well. A church does not hold my identity. I am quiet about my faith more than I used to be because I know how Christian rhetoric has often pierced people deeply, and I don’t a word of what I say to become rote.

I am learning that I am exactly who God made me to be, and as I grow in him, I become more of who I am. This comforts me as I encounter moments and people where I may not feel as though I fit a mold. There are many, many, many wonderful places, churches, people, and organizations out there…I’m just not obligated to force myself to fit into all of them anymore. What’s great for you may not be the best for me. And that’s okay. (I just have to remind myself of this on an hourly basis.)

I’m not saying I’m about to post daily bible verses, although I may feel a little more convicted to share to my regular feed some of what I share privately. I think that our faith is our own and I want to treat it with the preciousness I feel towards it, but I do want to be more mindful of what I’m not saying.

Do you look at your own social media feeds? Do you ever feel like you say too much? Or not enough? 

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encourage

This isn’t going to be a long post today, but I wanted to write this down while I was thinking about it.

Yesterday, I wrote my post to Bluebelle about being six. (One of the reasons why I don’t post as much anymore is because I want to get away from writing kid-centric posts. They are getting older, and I want them to be able to own their own online lives and protect their identity as they grow. Trust me, I would love to post the million photos I have of their perfect faces, but I try to do that very sparingly and often you’ll notice I’ll use a side or back profile for that reason.)

Last night I was re-reading the post as we were laying down for the evening, and I felt it was important to tell her that I wrote about her and read the post to her. Partially because I desired for her to know that I wrote about her. She’s young, but she knows what it feels like to be embarrassed or be talked about and I don’t want her to feel that if she talks to me about something I’m going to go and tell everyone. More than that, however, I wanted her to hear the words I wrote about her.

It was hard for me to read it to her, but I did.

Why was it so hard? I tell her that I love her and that she’s awesome every day, but how often do we really say the words we feel about a person? Simple words of affirmation are easy for me. They are the “thank yous” and the “I appreciate yous” we say every day. It’s the deep down, “I see this about you and I celebrate it” that is so difficult.

After I read it to her, she was silent for a moment. Then I heard, “You said that about me?,” with a smile in her little voice. “You meant that?”

“I meant every word.”

These are the moments that build a person up, and I don’t think we do it nearly enough.  I know the struggle of learning who I am in Christ yet doubting it because of what the world tells me. When the people who are close to us speak to us the deep, encouraging words we need to hear, it helps reinforce within us the truth.

I can’t make anyone speak the words to me that I want to hear, but I can speak them to others. I can make speaking deep words of affirmation more comfortable. I would like to challenge you, dear friend, to do the same today. It’s a little hard and weird at first, but it will get better. You’ll never know how much you’ll impact someone with your kindness.

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Now she is six.

now you are six red dirt mama (1 of 1)

Now We Are Six

by A.A. Milne

When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.
When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six
now and forever.

Now she is six.

Every day she is a testament to how my heart is walking around outside my body. She delights me as well as drives me crazy, because I see myself in her. Yet, I see so much better in her. She is honest, spunky, energetic, bright, creative, artistic, expressive, and tenderhearted. She smacks every other word when she’s trying to tell a story. She makes everyone laugh. I hope she never stops being true to who she is.

Right now she plans to live next door to me when she grows up, and I’m planning to hold her to it. As much as I would love that, I know she will become independent and not need me in the same ways she does today. My prayer is that she will always know I am her biggest cheerleader, and I hope she will indulge me by letting us talk on the phone every week!

I love how everything is magical to her.

now you are six red dirt mama (1 of 2)

Bluebelle,

I love how you dress yourself. I love your passion for glitter and wild patterns. I love how you deem something as “fancy.” I’m impressed by your honesty and the way you reconcile after a tense moment. You’re getting this whole adulthood thing already, and you’re only six. I love how you love the water and flowers and how you are the best big sister. I love that you love Jesus, and you’re learning more about how to love others. You’re reading now, although you don’t trust yourself as much as you should, and I can’t wait for you to realize that reading also tells a story. Once you unlock that world, you will be unstoppable. Never stop imagining. I can’t wait for this summer when I get to have you all to myself again!

I love you.

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Never stop making me laugh.

now you are six red dirt mama (2 of 2)

You make us so proud. Stay six forever and ever, okay?

Love,
Mom

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