Taking off my fancy Facebook self

by Lesley on May 13, 2012 · 9 comments

in motherhood

Last night as I lay in bed reading, Jonathan crawled in with me and said, “I want tomorrow to be wonderful for you but I don’t know if it can be. I’m just not sure how I’m going to watch Anna to give you time away. I know you’d love time away.”

I did want time away. But I understood. Things are different this year.

So when Anna woke up at 6:00 am this morning, this Mother’s Day, I got up and we journeyed out to buy pastries, leaving Jonathan asleep in bed. When she eventually went down for her nap, I ate alone and perused Facebook. Like most days, I couldn’t help but notice all the perfection to be found in my feed. Pictures of perfectly cute kids and perfectly cooked breakfasts in bed, and perfect Tiffany blue jewelry boxes.

I had a moment where I felt a little sorry for myself, eating breakfast alone on Mother’s Day.

When Jonathan woke up he surprised me. He did some conspiring, and with Shane’s help, I would get an afternoon away with Anna Q. We spent the afternoon laying out with a magazine, getting a pedicure, perusing Thriftown, and grabbing a burger and adult beverage.

It was everything I needed…sunshine, time to relax, and time to be listened to by a good friend.

And really that would have been the end of my day except that I came home and listened to Shauna’s Mother’s Day sermon at Willow Creek this morning, and now I have things to say about it.

By now you’ve probably figured out that I really like Shauna’s books. It’s starting to feel a little stalkerish so I hesitate to even admit this all…but…Shauna often says what I’m thinking but in a much clearer and tidier way. Today’s sermon was no exception. She spoke about Romans 12:15– “Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn.” She talked about how important it is for women to have community with each other no matter if you’re going through a season of joy or a season of pain. Here are a few snippets of what she said:

“It’s better together…the experience of mothering is so much richer and deeper if you’re doing it with a little tribe who tells you the truth, helps you, prays for you, bails you out, gives you grace.”

“It’s important to tell the truth to other moms…it’s easy to pretend to have it all together…to only give people your fancy Facebook self.”

“Some of the relationships I have, the deep kind, didn’t get there because we had play dates together. They got there because one of us needed serious help.”

“I believe that telling my story will make someone feel less alone.”

I suppose that last quote is why I’m staying up late and writing a post that may or may not make any sense. I’m trying to tell an honest story right now on this blog, today and everyday. I’m trying to tell people when things are good, and when things are messy, and when I hurt, and when I rejoice. I’m trying to be honest about my expectations, and my guilt, and all the good and bad that comes when life is a bittersweet season. I don’t want to put on my fancy Facebook self everyday–only showing the pretty parts of life and none of the tough stuff. When we are honest with each other, when we share our pain, our experience as mothers, as women, life is so much deeper. It’s true! Shauna is so right!

Today Jonathan gave me time away for a little bit to be with a friend who let me talk about where I’m at right now. This really is one of the greatest gifts a husband can give his wife. After listening to Shauna’s sermon, I am even more grateful for his incredibly appropriate and necessary gift.

In the sermon, Shauna interviews a few women about their mothering experiences. One of them, referring to a hard time in her life, said, “God was my rock, but he brought people.”

I am grateful for you, my people, for letting me be honest in this place. And I hope that my stories make you feel less alone–whether you’re a mom or just someone who needs to feel understood. We’re in this together.

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8 comments
Jennifer
Jennifer

Lesley, I am guided to think of you at the times I need it the most. I know I am awful at keeping in touch, but you are/were always someone that I aspired to be like and I am thankful for you and your blog. I know life is busy and tough and often unfair, but your strength and grace through it all are admirable. :) Thanks for allowing me to be small piece in your world.

Kelly
Kelly

I'm up for a 3 am feeding and I think the Lord led me right to this. Thank you for sharing, Lesley. I needed to hear it. I just love you to pieces.

Christina
Christina

Someone once told me: "When you look in a photo album all you see are happy memories and smiles. But it's all those moments in between; good, bad, sad or indifferent, that got you from one happy photo to another." I can completely identify with your feelings, because I think on a bad day we've all felt some of that. I think you do a great job on your blog about telling the happy stories but the hard ones too. It what makes you such a wonderful story-teller and someone that so many others can identify with. It sounds like you had a wonderful Mother's Day and it was just what you needed. I'm so glad! :)

Dianna
Dianna

Lesley.....You have met me once before. I have been dear friends with Pat Ward, Melissa Hansen's mother. We met at Jason and Melissa's wedding many years ago. I made their wedding cake and all the decorations.....oh such fun!!! My very young daughter, Kristen, was the extremely tall bridesmaid. She was 15 at the time. She recently got married after meeting a great fella at San Diego Christian College. No, I do not blog but I faithfully read yours and other inspirational blogs. I've really enjoyed getting to know you through your writings. I do realize how tough life is for you, Lesley, but I want to make sure you understand your talent and that it is a gift God gave you......you use it so wisely and have made my journey easier. Ohhhhh how precious that sweet little girl is.....she is so blessed to have you as her mommie.

Lesley
Lesley

@Malisa- I agree that people don't mean for the picture perfect posts to be discouraging. I know I am guilty of posting them as well! Thank you for the encouragement and for reading. Dianna- thank you for leaving a comment. Wow, I am floored by your comment and so humbled that God has used me in your life. I wish I knew more about you. Do you blog? PC- no prob, Bob.

PC
PC

Great post (of course), but more importantly, great truth expressed. I'm no mother, but I KNOW these realities you speak of, and the necessity of them is not lost on me for my own wife. Thank you for the reminder.

Dianna
Dianna

Dearest Lesley.....Although I am an older(61)wife and mother I want to share openly how much your writings inspire me. Our very solid and happy life has been attacked on more then one front lately with events we do not understand and sometimes feel a bit gritchy about. Your faith is strong and I truely want you to know how many times I have come to this desk and remembered a sweet young wife and mother who has much faith and is so willing to share it. You have saved my sanity many times. Yes.......God is in control and I have a huge faith but I also have lived long enough to know that the Lord uses people to do his work and you, dear Lesley have made many hearts beat gentler with your ways. Thank you, dear lady.

Malisa
Malisa

Lovely post, Lesley. The picture perfect posts and stories are sometimes discouraging. I think people don't mean for them to come across that way, but I've felt I don't measure up based on them! I don't know how you continue to remain positive and keep going with all you and Jonathan have had been through in the last year. Your posts encourage me and I am so grateful you share your "non-fancy" self here.

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  1. […] life is as good as they make it appear on Facebook.” And then my friend and writer, Lesley Miller wrote her reflections to that talk and what it means as a new mom and wife of cancer survivor.  […]