A Life Stirred


on September 24, 2013

It seems like everywhere I turn someone is talking about being real. Be authentic. Be real. Let other people see your messiness. It’s on blogs. It’s in church. It’s at small group. And I absolutely agree that we should be real/authentic/messy.

BUT we have a social media world where the realness is very easily angled out of the picture. Take this picture, for example.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

It’s a seemingly benign picture of my daughter coloring on our kitchen floor.  It’d be super easy to post this picture on my facebook wall, and tell all my friends how Joanna spent 45 minutes entertaining herself like this while I made a delicious, home cooked dinner.

It would be a true post, but it wouldn’t be a real post.  It would only show you part of that moment.

Yes, Joanna colored on the floor for 45 minutes, and yes, I made dinner.  But that’s not the whole story.

Let’s change the angle a little.

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

As you can see, she dumped out all her toys and all the paper recycling before I resorted to crayons.  The scene behind her looks more like a tornado hit our kitchen than a peaceful, artistic moment.  Meanwhile, that delicious, homemade dinner?  Sandwiches.  Delicious, sure.  Homemade, yeah.  Difficult and impressive, not really.

Let’s change the angle a little more.  Let’s capture what a camera can’t.

After a crummy night of sleep (Jo decided it’d be fun to be awake from 3 to 7), we are all a little crabby and edgy.  I was tired and grumpy.  We had to miss the first MOPS of the year so we could try to get a little more sleep.  A doctor’s appointment revealed that Joanna had an ear infection.  She took a late, late nap and woke up so crabby that only a little TV, juice, and a giant snack could appease her.  This sweet moment that I photographed was one bright spot in a relatively frustrating day.

So, my challenge to you?  It’s two-fold.  First, if you want to be real, let your angles be real.  Show that mess in the background.  Don’t deliberately push out the ugliness of our lives.  [I’m not saying every post and status update needs to show your mess, but let’s not worry if it does.]  Second, remember that those moments that fill your newsfeed are just that: moments.  They are small glimpses into someone else’s day.  And generally, we have no idea what we’d see if we widened the angle a little.

One response to “Angles

  1. rmfowler90 says:

    So glad you decided to do this blog.

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