I tend to cringe at posts on social media that only show the perfect things in life. It’s not real life.
Recently, after another cringe fest, I realized–I do the same! We all do, right? Who wants to post about when we lost our temper, cried buckets while grieving, or had a tough day where things just kept going awry. No, we save those thoughts and feelings for the Lord and for those close to us whom we can trust with vulnerability.
How are my newsletters any different? Ouch. Do I really only write about the great things happening? We know there’s pressure from some that may lead us to share numbers or specifics about what we’re doing to serve and love the locals. That is our job, after all.
But where is the line? How much should I share about all the days that stink? What if my days look pretty much the same and there’s not much to report? How do I tell people that pray and support us that sometimes I just plain don’t feel like being here anymore?
The line is fuzzy.
I tend to want to be more vulnerable in our newsletters and updates because I want others to see our real, real life. I want to show them that yes, it’s my job to love on others and share the Good News with them, but in this culture, that takes years, sometimes decades! I want to share how we’ve built deep relationships with those around us, but with 5 major moves in 9 years, it hasn’t been easy! I want them to know we know we’re called here, and there’s amazing comfort in that, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. I want them to realize this pseudo-rock star life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be some days.
I’ve tried to find a balance in sharing. This amazing God story happened, but guess what? My kids are really struggling living here right now. The Father sent this Sister to knock on my door at the perfect time and a new friendship blossomed. You know what else? We’re really struggling with some teammates right now. Could you pray for all of these things?
Not only does sharing the hard/sad/bad stuff show we’re real-life sinners running this race right next to them, it may also lower this false pedestal so many have put us on. I never wanted to be on it! The only way to knock myself off is to humble myself and share some of the tough things we experience.
We all know not everyone will understand some of the things we go through. If they haven’t lived in another culture themselves, even if they’re amazingly empathetic and supportive, it’s just not quite the same. I’m thankful to have a line of people I can turn to when I need to lament, be angry, cry, or collectively shout “WHY?” at yet another culture clash.
In that line are 5 women I met in a VA connection group nearly 5 years ago! We don’t connect as much anymore, but just the other day, one of them started a chat about how we’re all dealing with this global pandemic. It was refreshing to be able to talk with others who completely understand what it’s like to go through something like this while not living in our home country. Where the borders are closed. Where supplies were already hard to get, and now even more so. Where our local neighbors are scared to death, and we’re wondering how to reach them in a culturally appropriate way.
From social media to newsletters, we all filter what we share with whom. But maybe it’s time to reconsider if we need to let the veil down a little with some of these groups. It’s always refreshing to read raw honesty when others share, why not us?
How do you choose what to share on social media or in your newsletters? Do you feel freedom to be vulnerable?
I don’t know about you, but with the blessed children home all day, e’ry day during “quarantine,” we’re blowing through some food! I’m not a huge fan of getting up early to make breakfast, but I want them to have a filling start to the day so they’re not begging for snacks 23 minutes later. Since they’re waking up earlier than me these days, I made a “breakfast schedule” for them to follow so they’re not begging for expensive, hard-to-get, cereal every morning! My oldest is old enough to cook some simple things, so I try to keep it simple! I do try to change it up so it doesn’t get so monotonous!
I’d love to see your breakfast ideas! I’ll make a list below to get us started. I usually give them an option of milk or yogurt to go with it, and they’re always welcome to fruit.
Toad in the hole (slice of bread with a circle cut out of the middle, then an egg cooked inside the hole)
What ideas would you add to the list?