The Messy Truth

Sometimes I just want to know the hard-core, hot-fast truth behind all these picture-perfect, hang-worthy pictures that paper social media and line the walls of our homes.  

I just want to know.

I want to know if the events surrounding the taking of that Pinterest-looking picture actually looked and felt like the picture I see on the screen and view on the wall.

I want to know if the smiles were real, coerced, or flat-out bribed.

I want to know if the poser was happy and willing, or if they were angry and wailing.

I want to know what happened before, after, and during.

I want to know if the mom behind the camera was singing a melody as she snapped that strawberry-patch picture, or if she was contemplating chucking her children in a bunch of thistles to her right.

I just want to know.

Why?

Well, if I’m being honest…

It’s probably because I want to know that I’m not alone–to know that the stories behind all the beautiful and lovely pictures I see are maybe a little more like mine.

I guess I want to know if YOU, like me, have a bunch of MESSY MEMORIES.

Ya know?

The memories that are cropped in imperfection and smudged with sin. 

I want to know.

And today, when I was tempted to post these strawberry-sweet pictures to social media (conveniently leaving out the jankety jank surrounding the photos), I was reminded (yet again) that only EVER posting the picture-perfect never really helps anyone.

So, let me air my MESSY MEMORY…in entirety…because though it wasn’t perfect, it was still our memory. 

And perfect isn’t what I want to remember because perfect wasn’t the truth of our memory; it just wasn’t.

So let me tell you that prior to snapping this picture…

I had to discipline one child (TWICE) before we even got in the car;

I forgot my wallet and realized (10 minutes into the drive) that I had to turn around and drive back home;

the kids hadn’t eaten breakfast (still at 9:45 AM), so they were sitting in the backseat with chocolate granola bar all over their hands;

I got lost…even with my GPS;

the kids were fighting in the backseat about the placement of water bottles;

we forgot to bring our own buckets, so we had to pay extra to use theirs;

it was hot, and the kids were whining about being thirsty;

one child dropped a fruit snack in the field and proceeded to wail and throw herself on the ground;

one child insisted they needed to pee and peed all over my arm;

there was a battle over who was going to pull the wagon;

there was a battle over who was going to hold the bucket;

one child was crying about the thistles;

another child was crying because she couldn’t eat the strawberries in the bucket;

both children were crying about the blessed bees; and

I was sweating and swearing inside my head…

ALL before I said, “Okay, kids…let’s take a picture.” 

And THAT, my fellow readers, is ALL the truth about ALL of our memory–a snapshot smudged with sin and cropped with imperfection.

Be real;

live deep;

speak truth;

embrace mess;

and download grace as you upload those memories!

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3 thoughts on “The Messy Truth

  1. LOL! So true! I say next time take pictures of all those “imperfect” memories and post them. Nothing like a great conversation starter 🙂

  2. A situation this evening reminded me of something I can share! You may have seen pics of my kids happily swimming in pools last summer, looking like they are having the time of their lives. Well, because of their autism, they are not yet potty trained. Water makes them relaxed, so at least in the past they have decided to poop in pools. I jump right to it when I see it happening, try to cover up that it’s happening, and then hide that I’m changing a diaper – which is difficult to do when the kid is screaming and fighting me – mad because she doesn’t understand why I’m taking her out of the pool. I love watching their happy pool smiles, laughs and joyful splashes – I dread the accidents. It’s mortifying and anxiety producing for me!! 😫 This is my messy truth!! Ughhhhh. Thank you for your blog! It is encouraging to me ❤️

  3. One of my favorite pictures of my 3 year old is of him wearing a sweatshirt with a crab on it, screaming at the top of his lungs (face as red as that crab)…thankful to be making memories with my family (both messy and clean!)

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