FakeBooking: Living Real in a Social Media World

img_0392 Mom, Aunt Donna and I all went to get pedicures last week. It was a special occasion. Actually, after pulling off my socks it appeared one could conclude it as a rare occasion! The only attention I had given my toes since October was a trimming. The French pedicure had nearly grown off—off, off and away! What remained on the quarter top portion on my great toe was chipped, somewhat discolored and left a residual white color even after the polish had been removed. Talk about embarrassing—when the pedicurist is filing the top of the toe in efforts to buff out that funky look.

I would certainly have never snapped a “before” pic of my little piggies to share with my social media friends and family. I do imagine the image along with the typical getting-a-pedicure caption would have acquired some comments. Like, “it’s about time,” or “how long has it been?” or “should you see a doctor for that?

Oh, honestly, it may not have received the comments, because my social media people aren’t social media trolls, but it would have at the least, created some similar thoughts. I know it seems unheard of, especially after the political social media funnels of the last couple weeks. Actually, I’ve been tempted to chime in a time or two, even wrote a blog post, but had to trash it. I call it a “funnel” because it appears to take social media’s intention of connecting people in one direction. Down. And down really, really fast. People unfollow or defriend or step away from participating altogether. I’m not sure some “friends” would even acknowledge one another if they saw each other in the store after some of the exchanges I’ve read. But moving on….

Overall, people really do know how to keep negativity to themselves. We haven’t forgotten Disney’s classic film, Bambi and that sweet little rabbit who was working on keeping thoughts to himself. Yes, God bless Thumper! We all know the feeling, “if ya can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”

Nevertheless, we tend to only share what we think would be well-received. Or what we’re proud of. Those not-so-stellar realities in our life don’t need to be showcased. I mean, how many times have we cropped dirty dishes out of the pic or tried to eliminate our kitchen’s cracked grout from making the photo? I could go on. The pile of laundry, the busted fence pickets and falling braces—I know, sounds crazy but it happens around here. Ya know what else happens around here? Shattered light fixtures from soccer balls and basketballs. From the patio to the playroom we’ve got a few that have bit the dust. Then there’s the challenge of avoiding the ongoing sheetrock repair! At the moment, and I figure it may not be a very extended one, but at the moment we have every area of sheetrock repaired and painted! Did you hear the angels sing?! It’s a glorious thing!

Life is just life. And sharing it with others doesn’t require perfection. I mean, you’re probably gonna notice when The Meadows need to mow under the trampoline in a few of our backyard pool pictures. We just don’t like moving that thing every time we mow. So it gets to looking a bit shabby. Or creepy. Like potential snake-home creepy. Now I’ve gone too far. Shared too much. Let me get back on track.

My approach to sharing socially is to follow Thumper’s approach—only share, or say, what is nice. If I don’t have anything nice, I just don’t share. Which explains why there are occasional periods of no participation.

Even here on this blog, we’ve shared some un-pleasantries, but not until we have something to offer from it. A difficult season isn’t for our misery, it’s for our development. Seeking the Lord and gaining insight through the season creates a gift in us to share with others in the right time. Please Note: in the right time.

It’s my heartbeat every reader who visits our online home will receive a little dose of inspiration, strength, joy and encouragement. Personally, some of life’s moments drain those qualities from me. Like the challenging season with our daughter or the unexpected job loss with my husband. I couldn’t write about those when they were unfolding. I had nothing good to give from it. But in time, the Lord turned those into trophies for His Kingdom and tokens of encouragement for us on earth. *check out Living in a Layoff or The Other Side of Failing

When we’re scrolling Facebook, or Twitter or Instagram, or hanging out on LinkedIn, or browsing Pinterest, and any other social media site (cause I just can’t account for or even know them all), let’s remember that those are the highlight reels. We aren’t sharing the behind-the-scenes. Not because someone is faking it, but because they may be in the waiting period—waiting for something good to come from it.

In honor of this post, I’m sharing my toes. Recently pedicured! I chose to go bare. No polish. First of all, I’m so grateful I have my feet, but I’m not a fan of the look. My yucky bone sticks out on my right ankle and my toes curl under. But nevertheless, here is something I wouldn’t typically share—my little piggies. Overgrown-grass-under-the-trampoline pics coming soon (summer will be here before we know it)!

Ephesians 4:29 ESV Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

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Keep It Real

Caden had a friend over today; a friend who has been to our home many times over; a friend who knows the ins and outs of where to find kitchen essentials- locations of cups, silverware, and plates. However, this friend went to another drawer today expecting to see what was inside, but it wouldn’t open. It was a false front, solely there for aesthetic appeal; no function whatsoever, just for show. We see it in our homes. Words like fascia, which exist to merely cover up what’s unappealing to the eye; and faux, as noticed in painting walls, cabinets and furniture. They’re all delicate ways of saying something is fake. It’s okay though because it meets the purpose of looking the way we desire something to look. Many carry this position when purchasing jewelry or handbags. Doesn’t matter if it’s a knockoff. People will say, “you can’t even tell.” Forget if it’s authentic, as long as it looks authentic the goal is met.

I completely understand. Obviously. Remember, I have the trickster fake false front cabinet drawer. Most often it doesn’t matter if something is fake, that is, unless it’s us.

I’d like to believe no one intends to be phony. So why are so many? Maybe it has something to do with a lack of garbage, or as I Peter 1:7 refers to it as trials.

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. -NLT

This past year we have sifted through a lot of garbage in our home. Quite honestly, it has smelled to high heaven. You know what I’m talking about. Trials. In the beginning we were like dogs licking our wounds, beaten and whipped by the unexpected. There were lots and lots of emotions. As you’ve come to know a little about me, I’m sure there is no surprise to imagine the intensity of those emotions. They are emotions familiar to trials: fear, failure, shame, disappointment, pain, hurt, betrayal, discouragement and despair. Yes, Heather Meadows, your inspirational blog writer knows the emotion of despair.

In the trials, we can experience such brokenness. I love how Dr. James Bradford views brokenness, “There’s no multiplication without the brokenness. Sometimes we want to go from blessed to favored without the brokenness.”

I’d love to report that the garbage has been gathered, bagged and taken to the dump. But honestly, we’re still cleaning. However, let me report something to you that is tremendously encouraging. The same trial we are experiencing, others have experienced and they have come out as pure gold.

Initially, we built a wall around the trash thrown on us, scared others may see it and make hurtful assumptions. As the Lord opened doors for us to share our trial, we have been ministered to by others who have been through similar. And there is where you find what is authentic and genuine.

Going through trials. Being tested in the fire. God produces a faith that is not only pure, but one that is effective.

The Message translates I Peter 1:7 as this: “Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of His victory.

I’d rather go through garbage than to live phony forever. It’s not enough to appear as one with strong faith. It’s not enough to have a faux finish, to merely look like a woman of God. I desire authentic, genuine, pure. I desire a faith that is evidence of God’s victory in my life.  A faith that He can use to minister to someone else in their life.

Whatever momentary brokenness, trial or trash you may encounter, remember it is just that, momentary. He will bless it and multiply it. Even better, He will use it to bring hope and healing to others as they encounter similar trials.

"Our culture is filled with people who abandoned the church not because of the Gospel, but because of the poor example of ‘religious people.’" -Dr. James Bradford

Live genuine. Live authentic. Live real. Others are desperate to see it.

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[Dr. James Bradford quotes from Coweta Assembly podcasts: "Believe for Greater Things" on 1.3.16 & "Second Chronicles 7:14" on 2.7.16]

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