I follow quite a few lifestyle, health and fashion bloggers on social media. I do that because I love to be inspired and see what they come up with in terms of their content. I like to learn from those who are running their online businesses well and providing value to those who follow them. As a woman with two online businesses, it is important for me to constantly be learning how I can provide the best value and the greatest content to those who choose to be a part of my online community and share with them what I have to offer.
But, if I can be honest with you, sometimes, I feel that sting of comparison.
I don’t have an extravagant budget to work with in terms of my closet, my photos, my travels. My home isn’t the most beautiful and it isn’t often photographed to show off it’s amazing décor.
We don’t travel to all of these amazing places, like these influencers do. I am a homebody. I love being at home. I love relaxing at home with my family and watching a movie. If we do go anywhere, it is usually for family events/holidays/annual vacations or I am attending an annual work conference.
Or our weekly outing at church.
When I get down on myself about how I don’t have a big enough audience, or my photos aren’t glamorous enough, or I don’t attract enough likes, or I don’t travel to amazing places….it is then I need to be reminded by God why He has me doing what I am doing. What my most important role right now is.
“Please hear me, Girl: The world has enough who know how to do their hair. It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things.” Ann Voskamp
Hard and holy things. And perhaps, even a little ordinary.
It is hard to raise two human beings to love the Lord, and to serve Him and to follow Him all the days of their lives. Because as we know as parents, they will grow up with wings and minds of their own, and they may choose a way that breaks your mama heart. I look at those two faces in that picture above and my heart aches. I long so much for them to avoid the mistakes I made as a girl, but while I can guide and direct, someday I will have to let them make their choices.
The ordinary work of being a wife to my husband. To support him, no matter how frustrated I may be with him. Whether in good times or hard times, being his partner and helpmate is vital and important and hard and holy. Our world glamorizes romance, the wedding and lust. It does not value marriage and the hard and holy work that it is.
The ordinary is good. I remember smiling on a late Thursday night, after my son’s final baseball game of the Fall season. He was devastated because they lost and therefore they were eliminated from the tournament. So my husband wanted to cheer him up with a dude hangout and grab some baseball cards. We didn’t have hundreds of dollars to spend, but we had $30. We didn’t travel to the World Series or even to Los Angeles to somewhere glamorous in order make our son smile.
It was at an ordinary Target in our hometown. Then we went back to our ordinary home, on our ordinary couch, in our ordinary living room (that will never be featured in a magazine) and just spent time together.
I smiled because it was one of the best evenings. It was simple. My son was happy and he was now excited for baseball again in the Spring.
While I love reading my favorite blogs and seeing all those beautiful photos on social media, and as much as they inspire me to better myself as a business woman, I have to keep it in perspective that my ordinary life is good. It is good because God made it good.
He gave me a wonderful husband. An amazing little home to take care of. Two awesome children who keep us busy and entertained and who love us and want to hang out with us.
I don’t need thousands of likes on a post to show I have influence. I use the words God gives me and the lessons He teaches me to share with all of you, in hopes that my humble attempts lead you closer to Him.
God is teaching me that there is nothing wrong with having a beautifully crafted Instagram page. But, we must be willing to share the hard and the holy, and even the ordinary, because that is where most of us lie.
Most of us are not living these glamorous lives that we see plastered all over the blogospheres. We are deep down in the dirt of the every day. We are traveling to and from work or school, trying to get dinner on the table or make it to a practice or recital on time.
We are changing diapers or kissing our children goodbye as they head off to college.
We go to grocery stores that offer us the most bang for our buck so that we can feed our families well, and if it is organic and healthy, heck, it feels like a win. We do our best with what we have.
We don’t always get to dress up. Most of us live in active wear or leggings.
We read books on how we can be better mothers. Less angry wives. Better listeners. Better leaders. Be less busy and more present. On how to choose joy. How to share the gospel with a friend. All ordinary things, but good.
So Sister Friend, if you are looking at your Instagram page and feeling like you are too ordinary to make a difference, can I tell you that you are? That there is a fellow gal looking at your feed right now and thankful that your ordinary heart shared something extraordinary in her and encouraged her in some way.
As much as I would love to have a beautiful insta page, I am thankful for the ordinary photos, because they are evidence of God’s work in my life.