If A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words, What About The Story In-between?

Despite trying to be real with ya’ll and showing you the pictures I don’t always want to show, I still get asked frequently if my kids are happy all the time.

I think a big issue is that we interpret what we see from the wrong perspective. No one wants to take pictures of their kids crying or upset. It doesn’t mean those moments never happen, just that those aren’t the memories anyone wants to keep. We don’t want to hang onto tantrums or pain or rough days. We take pictures of the moments that fill our hearts with joy, bring a smile to our face or a sweet, overflowing-with-love tear to our eye.

So when we see people with happy kids or funny pictures of those kids constantly, we start to assume they have it all together. Somehow we forget that real life happens in between the precious pictures. A photo is snapped in a fraction of a second while real life goes on in the minutes, hours and days between those fractions.

Let me reassure you, that we are a totally normal family unit. We have lots of laughs and love, but we also have probably more than our fair share of tantrums, fights and tears. Remember I have three kids between 18 months and 4 years old. It gets crazy up in here, OFTEN. If you’ve ever been out to eat with us, seen us out in public or hung out with us, you know saying “you’re busy” is the understatement of the century.

I’m not kidding when I say being a mom is hard. I get it. I live it big time, every single day. We have meltdowns and dramatic events in public all the time. I don’t always get much sleep because my husband and I are regularly bouncing like pinballs between kids’ beds at night. I struggle with trying again after complete and utter failure.

If a mom ever tells you she has it all together, she’s either lying or delusional. Part of being a mom is learning as you go. No matter what you’ve read, heard or been told, you really don’t quite know what you’re up against until you face it head on. It’s a trial-by-fire type of education.

But ya’ll, there’s beauty in this fire. Just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who did not walk alone in the blazing furnace, we do not have to walk this journey alone. We do not have to be overcome by the difficulties along the way. We do not have to live defeated by constant failings. We do not have to give up along the way because we’re weak.

God already knows the path laid before us. When we are weak, He is strong. He will not be defeated. He has already overcome the world.

Don’t feel like what you’re doing is not important enough to ask God for help with or that you should be able to figure it out on your own. He tells us to cast our anxieties on Him because He cares for us, just like you care about the hurts, worries and troubles of your own child. There is beauty in asking for help. It deepens, strengthens and grows your relationship with God. And He will bring to you others that can begin to pour encouragement, understanding, and love into you. He can and will breathe fresh new life into you. He can make all things new, including you and your situation.

There is no hype you have to live up to, no picture perfect ideal that you’re failing to meet. Life is real for everyone, no matter what the pictures tell you. And there is beauty in the imperfections. The ugly moments are where God does His very best work. He turns messes into masterpieces. He takes broken pieces and makes a brand new creation. He takes hurt and pain and washes them away with His overflowing love.

I apologize if you’ve felt mislead by too many happy pictures of my family. What you see in my pictures aren’t care-free, happy-go-lucky people who have it all together. What you are really seeing is restored, renewed, refreshed and trusting people that are choosing to focus on God in the middle of the storms of this life.

2 Comments
  • Amy
    Posted at 20:19h, 28 August Reply

    I was having this conversation with a friend just the other day. I feel like my kids are getting to an age where I don’t want to post pictures of them in their struggles so most of my pictures are of happy times. I could be accused of just posting happy pictures, but I definitely don’t have it all together either. This is a great reminder that just because we don’t share the more challenging moments as a mother they are still there. I love following your family adventures!

    • Laura Wilkinson
      Posted at 21:58h, 28 August Reply

      Yes Amy! There’s a bunch of reasons we don’t post the unhappy moments, but they are still part of life and very real. That’s why it’s important we connect with people in person and not only online. A daily dose of reality is always good 🙂

      And thanks for following along our crazy adventures!

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