I think that Instagram is a beautiful place.

I like to post pictures of my kids on Instagram because afterward they all get sent to an online photo keeper called Chatbooks.  Every 60 images, like clockwork, it will automatically create a little book with physical and beautiful documentation of my children growing up.  I have come to cherish these little books and now use them as an alternative to baby books. Because if I’m being honest with you, I started out strong there, but it started going downhill after baby #1. 

One day I was taking a look at Instagram and realized I hadn’t added any photos of sweet little family moments for a long time.  I browsed through my phone pictures and there was also nothing.  Nothing noted.  Nothing beautiful, cute, or sweet grabbing my attention to be documented.  What happened to us during these photo-less weeks?

Life.

Life is not always photo-worthy is it?  The weeks without photos I realized were full of vomiting children, disciplining hearts, mundane book learning, greasy ponytail hair, and nights of kiddo bad dreams that left us all with bags under our eyes the next day.  And then the whisper hit me.  These moments were beautiful too.  Beautiful in not an Instagram way, but beautiful in a way where God showed up and directed my parenting, my children, my relationships, and my heart.  Just because life may not look Instagram-worthy does not mean that it’s not worthy.  

Maybe we need to rethink what a worthy day looks like.  I think that if we used a different mental filter, we might find that loving our child back to sleep at night (even if it takes 5 cups of coffee the next day to get over it) is beautiful.  I think that if we saw correcting our children’s behavior as a future reward instead of an exhausting daily chore, we would find it more fulfilling.   I believe that if we redefined what moments count as worthy and not photo-worthy, we would find ourselves more content and joyful in the daily mundane and see that it’s actually not so mundane at all.

I still love posting cute memories on social media.   And you can count on me getting excited about my next Chatbook!  But, I am also finding that loving the fleeting moments which are hard and ugly are undoubtedly creating lasting impressions for me and those around me. They are defining who I am as a person, mom, wife, and follower of Jesus.   These moments will never be on social media, and they are certainly not photo-worthy.  But, they are significant.  They are moments that teach me how to trust God more and embrace the free life that only He offers.    HLLF – 

Melissa Cheatham

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