More Than Pretty Photos | Grace in an Age of Curated Perfection

A blog full of pretty photos doesn’t mean that someone has it all together; a perfectly curated Instagram feed doesn’t mean that darkness doesn’t linger. Sharing some thoughts today about social media, perfectionism, and living in grace.

More Than Pretty Photos | Grace in an Age of Curated Perfection at LionAndLantern.com | Christian mom, anxiety, struggles, encouragement, Scripture, darkness

Hey sweet friends! Thanks for stopping by today. If you saw my post about our coastal inspired summer living room last week, you know that I mentioned my absence from the blog and social media over the last several months. While composing that post I got distracted writing the words below. They didn’t fit the content of what I was trying to share that day, but I felt compelled to post them separately here. My prayer is that these thoughts encourage at least one person who, like me, struggles with perfectionism and anxiety.

I mentioned that the last several months have been challenging. Honestly, I have struggled with anxiety and some depression during this pregnancy, perhaps triggered by our miscarriage of Noah last May. Although we have an overwhelming peace and confidence knowing that Noah is healthy and rejoicing with Jesus in heaven, miscarriage/multiple pregnancies/motherhood/life in general are still hard. Coupled with hormones and my sensitive nature, it is no surprise that it has been a challenging year (something I am able to see in retrospect!). I’m so thankful for the love and encouragement of my family, friends, church, and a Christian counselor who truly got me through the end of last year. (Please, if you are struggling, seek help from a professional. Talking with someone who has been trained makes a big difference! I truly feel that everyone would benefit from therapy 🙂 )

I share this because I want Lion & Lantern to be more than pretty photos and neatly composed stories all tied up with happy, perfectly styled bows. This past week especially I have thought of Kate Spade and so many other beautiful, successful people who seemingly “had it all,” but secretly battled darkness. Stories like these always remind me that we never know the battles that people face–people of influence, or even people within our own spheres. We need to give more grace to the grumpy person working the check out line at the store, to the harried and impatient mom at the park, and especially to ourselves.

I think if we are honest, darkness and fear nip at most of us during quiet moments. In college I first heard the Blaise Pascal quote “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” How relevant for our generation, as most of us–myself included–are unable to sit for a few minutes without scrolling on our devices to fill the void.

Creating a warm and inviting home is one of my passions, and I believe it is a reflection of the beauty and nurturing nature of God. I love connecting with others who share my passions through the avenue of social media. At the same time, I want to be transparent about my many struggles and not fall prey to the desire to construct a perfect image for the world. Satan wants us to feel isolated, lonely, and like everyone else “has it all together,” but God is a God of grace and light.

Since I began this blog late last summer, I have wrestled in my heart with all of this. God, please, can’t this blog just be about decorating? Can’t I just share the bright, happy parts of my life? I do not mean to make a comparison with anyone else’s personal decisions about blogging or social media; rather, I’m making the comparison between what my heart wants, and what I know God desires from me individually. He has given me a love for creating and organizing and beauty, but He has also given me a sensitive heart that longs to encourage others. For better or for worse, I cannot help sharing the real, messy side of myself too! 😉

If you have battled self-criticism, comparison, or anxiety, please know that you are not alone. Not only are you surrounded by others with their own myriad struggles, but you have a Heavenly Father who both knows you perfectly and loves you perfectly! I am always helped by the reminder that Jesus himself experienced sorrow, darkness and fear during his time on earth. He also tells to expect trials (!!), but concludes with a promise, saying,

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b NIV)

Some days all we can do is cling to Him, but we know that He is faithful.

More Than Pretty Photos | Grace in an Age of Curated Perfection at LionAndLantern.com | Christian mom, anxiety, struggles, encouragement, Scripture, darkness

Thank you so much for stopping, friend! I would love to hear from you below in the comments section, or you can use the “Contact” form at the top of the page. Praying that this post encourages someone today!

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