Sometimes, you don’t feel like smiling

There’s been a lot of contempt poured out in the blogosphere recently about people presenting the world with overly positive representations of their lives via social media. Photos of smiling, happy children, clean homes, and perfect meals, loving status updates about the romantic gestures of a spouse, proud parents showing off the latest work of their genius children, etc. etc.

I get it: nobody likes hypocrisy. I just want to say that on my news feed, it’s a pretty rare thing to spot someone who is so overtly positive all the time that I never see their truth coming through. Maybe I’m just lucky to have honest friends.

In any case, on the off chance¬†you ever think my life is all about sunshine and roses, let me be real for you: life is hard, every day. I struggle with back and knee pain, both related to obesity; I have been fighting against depression and anxiety since pre-school. It’s a bone-weary battle that I have to get up every morning and fight one more day, and never give up. My house is a constant disaster¬†(how could it not be with 12 humans (and a giant puppy) trashing the place every day?) – I was thrilled when that one paper towel advertisement came out with what instantly became my motto: “Life is messy – clean it up!” And every single person I live with has their own battles to fight, and no, everyone isn’t always smiling and the counters don’t always shine, and sometimes we have popcorn for dinner because I haven’t figured out how to menu plan like all the perfect moms out there.

But in spite of all that, there is love, and there is joy, and in the chaos that God has given me, there is peace. My messy life is absolutely “more than I can handle.” But I was never meant to handle it on my own, and God is more than big enough to handle it when I’m knocked flat.

So when you see me celebrating the joy and the love on Facebook, know that it’s coming from a grateful heart, and a messy life that God is somehow bringing into order, one moment at a time.

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