Tag Archive | social media

Get Real!

ImageReluctantly entering the shower, Magic Eraser in one hand, bleach spray in the other, soap scum stared me in the face. After my friend Kathy from my hometown of Carteret, NJ asked if she could come to stay with me in NC for a few days, I suddenly found the motivation to tackle a task I’d cast aside for far too long—cleaning the shower! I couldn’t let her see the shower the way it was. I’d die! I quickly and maniacally started spraying and scrubbing the embarrassingly-neglected tub and tiles.

As I degunked the bathroom, I started thinking about how awful it is that I had let the shower go. You see, I want people to see me in a “Pamela Perfect” light. (That was my nickname as a goody-goody grammar school girl—true story!) I’m far from perfect—I now it and the people who know me know it. Why do we feel the need to make everything look shiny and clean to others? We all have our weaknesses, but we also have been given special strengths to balance it out. We should not be embarrassed.

Alas, in this Facebook-Twitter-Instagram world, we can very easily make ourselves look very good—no, better than that—amazing! On any given day, I see friends’ selfies, often in the same pose every time. You’re gorgeous, girls, even on the self-perceived “bad” side! Sometimes, I see pics of beautiful expensive cars, freshly waxed. Let’s see a picture of your car after the pollen covers the hood! Then, there are people who post pictures only if they are in them. Please, let us see a picture of your sweet child by him-/herself on that special occasion. Workout statuses and health club check-ins can also flood the newsfeed. We know. You’re just trying to motivate us lazy people! Also, statuses (or is it “stati”?) about meal plans occur daily. Doesn’t anybody ever just have a bowl of ramen noodles instead of rack of lamb and lobster tails? Finally, there’s the “karma” memes. Have so many people been burned by others so many times? Sheesh!

People, it’s time to get real. Show us who you really are. Let’s see you in sweatpants and no makeup, awkwardly positioned next to your dirty clunker of a car, with your kids in mismatched playclothes, with a check-in at the fast food joint in front of the Planet Fitness you joined for only $10/month (but never go to), while posting a meme about forgiveness instead of karma! Now that’s real. That’s how God sees us. He doesn’t see what we want Him to see or read what we want Him to know about us. He sees it all, and He loves us just as we are.

Let’s show our true selves to one another. Let’s build genuine bonds with each other. Let’s keep the Magic Eraser and the bleach spray in the shower and out of our Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and Instagram photos. Let’s not erase who we really are.

 “…for in the image of God has God made mankind.” (Genesis 9:6, NIV)

 

Precious

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It was a busy day.  Homeschool the kids, then leave for a special dance rehearsal down in Charlotte with my daughter.  We arrived home at 8:30 PM tonight and I literally grabbed my friend’s newly-published book and high-tailed it down a few towns to catch a minute with her at a book signing that was ending at 9!!!  Whew!  I made it!  I did not want to miss her big moment.  She is one of my favorite people in the world!  She taught me so much about Jesus as leader of our small group.  We’ve exchanged coffee and laughs…too long ago.  She quickly embraced me as a friend when we met.  Then, when I went back to homeschooling, I couldn’t do coffee dates during school, and didn’t see her in person for a long time—but I saw her tonight!

I also saw more friends from my small group tonight.  These are awesome girls.  I’m talking about the kind of women you want to be like:  beautiful inside and out, generous, loving, intelligent, and real “God’s Girls”.  I love them, but haven’t seen them much either—but I saw them tonight!

I should be happy!  So many of my girlfriends in one place!  How convenient!  I got into my car and read what my author-buddy had written in my book:

Pamela,
You know you are precious to me.  Love you!

I cried!  I cried because I felt so undeserving of that comment.  Precious?  I feel like I have been a terrible friend—to her, to my other small group friends, to my Jersey BFF who I don’t keep in touch with enough, but has always been there for me in my toughest times, to my local BFF with a heart the size of Texas who braved the snow to bring a nebulizer for my daughter, to my former co-worker friends who I’m always going to “get together with real soon,” and so on.

Let me make this clear.   I love all of my friends dearly.  I think of them often.  I pray for them.  In the busyness of life, I can replay good memories in my mind and be happy for a while; however, those moments have, unfortunately, been fewer and fewer.  I do so long for the personal connections of true friendship.  That’s when the insecurities creep in.  It’s all Satan-speak:  “I can’t invite her over—my house is a mess!  I don’t want to bug her—she’s a busy woman!  She has so many other friends and I don’t think she’s auditioning potential BFFs right now.”

What’s ironic is I do Facebook friendships a lot better!  I care about those friends, too.  It’s so nice and easy to just check in with them for a line or two of chat at my own convenience (and they can’t see my messy kitchen either!).  I’m not as insecure online.  I love to write.  I love to joke.  I love to offer a virtual shoulder to cry on.  In the same way, I appreciate those friends who “like” what I have to “say”.  It’s also a wonderful feeling when someone thinks of you when they read something and posts it to your wall.  So, online friendships fill the in-person friendship void, right?  Wrong!

Facebook, Twitter, chat rooms, and bulletin boards cannot measure up to a face-to-face conversation with a good friend.  Emotions, conveyed through downward glances, furrowed brows, or toothy grins cannot be precisely detected through words or even emoticons on a screen.  <<Hug>> feels nice to read, but isn’t as good as the real thing.  I try to express my emotions as clearly and accurately as possible on social media, but I never really thought that a surprise phone call might be a refreshing change and just what somebody needed.  I need to stop typing daily birthday greetings and start sending some Hallmark cards through the mail.  Next time I want to post a picture of my delicious and beautiful meal, perhaps I should actually invite someone over to enjoy it with me.

Good intentions, I have aplenty!  Now, it’s time to put them into action and stop being a friend of inaction.  I think I’ll start by becoming better friends with Jesus!  With Him by my side, I should be able to shoo away the doubt and insecurity the enemy loves to give me.  You know, I can’t help wondering if my author-friend was conveying a message from Jesus through hers:  “You know you are precious to me.”

If you are reading this and you consider yourself a friend of mine, I am sorry for not giving it my all in our friendship.  Know that I love you and care for you and think of you often—and I really will see or talk to you soon! ♥

 

Some quotes about friends and friendship: 

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”  (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) 

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”  (Albert Camus

“Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call, Lord, I’ll be there, yeah, yeah,
you’ve got a friend. “  (James Taylor, “You’ve Got a Friend”)