Once upon a time, I was the type of little girl that could always be found where little baby’s were present and toddlers were busy at play.
I thoroughly enjoyed caring for kiddos, even when I could have been classified as one myself.
I’d dream of the days when I would have my own perfect little home with my own little toddlers in toe and how magical this life would one day be.
Today my life looks different from those dreams, and I’m still in the process of learning that different isn’t better or worse it’s just, well — different.
Our world has quickly gone through a massive change, in that there is now such an emphasis on the outward and the overall appearance of things.
It’s gone to such an extreme that even your mundane, ordinary day at home has to bear the weight and pressure of upholding a certain appearance for the simple purpose of providing a perfect backdrop to your Instagram life.
When I was little I was caught up in any average little girl’s dream of having certain things one day — today I wrestle constantly against the voices that tell me what I am supposed to have today.
As I tap, tap, tap through those Instagram stories I see picture after picture of every friends beautiful little baby, engagement announcements, dating relationships, houses newly purchased and rooms being renovated.
And how often do I catch myself thinking that this is what I am meant to have as well?
The fault doesn’t often lie on the person that shares, the fault lies in the discontented heart that I have allowed to quickly become mine.
If your baby just learned the art of rolling across the floor then by all means friend — share till your heart’s content. And that family trip you’ve been saving years to take — tell the world the joy that you’ve found, if you so desire!
But a word to the wise, beware the inner struggle you will face as you tap along through another person’s life, because if your heart isn’t in the right place you’ll be drained of every bit of joy that you so recently had acquired.
What’s the answer to this dilemma that we all face in an intricately connected world?
I’m sure I don’t know — but I do have a few habits that I will now commence to make my own.
First I must settle my heart with Jesus at the start of every single day., reminding myself of the good He has given to me and the grace that He extends to me.
I must remember that a beautiful life is cultivated there — in the quiet of the morning and the stillness of His presence, not in the accumulation of earthly joys and treasures like every other friend may seem to have.
Second, I must become a master of the art of celebration. These gifts that my friends posses, these milestones that they have reached, they are more than worthy of a celebration!
There’s something extraordinary that happens in your own heart when you chose the road of celebration rather than that of comparison. It brings a complete and total joy that you could have easily missed out on, but friend remember — it is a choice and one that takes effort. Let’s be excellent at the art of celebrating others.
My guess is that every person that reads these words will relate to them in some way. That’s the crazy thing about comparison — there’s always something higher to try to attain.
Friend I invite you, if your life is far from Insta-perfect and your world isn’t what you believe it really ought to be, let go of dream ideas of the grass being greener somewhere else, and five year plans that you were never meant to follow and find the beauty right where you are.
The pressures to have something better and the temptation to force your imperfect and messy life into some sort of world that appears picture perfect starts within our hearts at such a very young age, and I’m convinced that it’s because deep down we all crave a life of joy. And yet, if you and I go through life believing that we are always just one life season or home renovation away from acquiring our hearts greatest joy, then we’ve placed our affections and all of our hope on something that will always and forever be letting us down.
The perfection that you and I crave can only be found in a God who is unlike the ways of this world.
There are so many different ways to live a beautiful life in God’s eyes, so don’t fall for the lie that your day has to hold up next to your best friends perfect looking Instagram life. The odds are that she’s just doing her own best to try to keep up with all the rest.