Facebook: A False Reality?

 

Facebook definitely has huge benefits.  It’s a great way to communicate with old friends or family that we don’t get to see that much.  It’s great advertising for an up and coming business.  It’s also a great memoir to look back on, with all the pictures we upload.

Facebook also causes a false reality. Facebook is a chance to show others how “perfect” your life is. Subconsciously, I think we want to show others that we are better than them in some way. Facebook shows our life is filled with friends, family and experiences. It causes envy and unrealistic expectations in our life. I am sure you have heard of the saying, “Keeping up with the Jones.” Facebook is a modern representation of this concept. We always become envious just because someone else may have something we don’t have.

I have been envious of “friends” on facebook before. Look what that couple is doing, they just went to Europe, New York and Hawaii all within a couple months.  Look at that family-a stay at home mom, a dad with a great paying job and three gorgeous kids.  Look at that woman-she looks amazing after her baby, I am 5 months post partum and still haven’t lost any weight.  Facebook makes everyone look like they have it all together and their life is perfect.

I have been just as guilty as everyone else as making Facebook my own painting for people to admire. Don’t get me wrong I am extremely blessed with an amazing husband, baby girl, wonderful family and friends. But that doesn’t mean my life is perfect and I don’t struggle with problems. That picture I post might look decent, but it took me about 20 selfies and filters before I actually posted it. This Facebook portrayal is not just a fake painting we portray to others, it creeps into our own personal sense of reality. We start masking our own hurts and struggles under the false expectation our society brings.

I have been reflecting on the false reality Facebook brings to the world. I am a Christian and want to portray what a Christian really looks like. In recent decades our churches have portrayed Christians as being “perfect.” This “perfection” has caused others to believe that Christians are fake and not genuine. Christians are so far from being perfect. That is why we need Jesus. We have enormous faults and struggles just like everyone else-sometimes more than a non-believer. The only difference between us and someone who doesn’t believe in Jesus is that we place our faults and sins on Jesus. He is our comforter and our strength when we screw up. We have someone eternal to take our struggles. We have the freedom of forgiveness that only Jesus can provide.

I am trying to work on portraying to others my entire and true self. I don’t want anyone to ever think I have it all together because I don’t.

Psalm 42

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”-Psalm 42

As I look through my notes throughout the past year, I came across a sermon on Psalm 42. The preacher ask us to take out a section of the verse and replace it with something we place above God.

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for____.”

What do I place above God in my current stage of life?

The list is currently pretty long at the moment.  I seem to place pretty much everything before God.  I place my time, energy, people, experiences, career, baking, laundry, eating….the list could go on.  All these things have a common denominator.  They all cause me to be busy.  I am a sucker for busyness.  I hate having downtime.  I plan my days, weeks and months away.  I don’t factor in precious time with my Lord and Savior.  My busyness covers up other sins that I apparently don’t feel like dealing with.

I try to be busy and cover up my pride.  My pride has gotten worse since I have had a child.  I don’t want to ask for help from family.  I don’t want to be one of those parents that pawn their children off on family all the time.  I want to prove to my family I am capable.  I want to prove to them I don’t have to be co-dependant on them.  I don’t want to look like a failure.  I don’t want anyone to have the power and the reason to boast to others that they helped me.  I can be so foolish.  God placed a community of people to help me out when I need it.  I should take this to my advantage.

I try to be busy and cover up my anxiety and fear.  My fear has gotten worse since I had a child.  I work for the court system, so I hear terrifying things everyday.  I fear that something bad will happen.  I fear that I won’t be a good enough wife and mother.  I fear that I will place to much expectation on my child.  I get anxious about finances and career choices.  Why do I fear anything?  God has always came through and always will.  I easily forget his promises and His answered prayers.

I try to be busy and cover up my resentment.  I have a lot of family issues that I need to deal with.  I have had bad experiences happen to me as a child that I essentially blame my family for.  I don’t feel like dealing with it and honestly don’t know how to.

I try to be busy and cover up my hurt.  I don’t speak my true feelings sometimes.  I bottle my feelings up, which causes more anxiety and resentment.  I think my hurt is no big deal and it will eventually blow over.  I don’t recognize that I am allowed to have feelings and am allowed to express them.

It seems to be a never ending cycle of sin.

The crazy thing is that when I was on maternity leave a couple months ago, I had a lot of time to sit and think.  Pride, anxiety, fear and hurt were all brought up.  Past wombs from childhood and beyond came to the surface.  I didn’t have a 5 page checklist to check off.  I didn’t have tons of events to attend.  My job was to take care of my child.  I would sit at home while taking care of my baby, obsessing over these sins.  I need to start dealing with them.  I need to start repenting to God.  I place so many things before God it is embarrassing.  God deserves my entire life.  He deserves to be my first priority.  My goal is to let God start taking away these sins and start removing them from my life.

Churches and Christianity

This Fall, we attended some family members churches out of obligation and love for our families.  They wanted to show off our sweet baby girl to their friends. To be perfectly honest with you, my husband and I attended one of the churches for over a year when we were church hunting.  After attending our current church for a couple years, I was blown away at the differences.  I have to say how GRATEFUL I am for my church.  They absolutely preach the Bible and cut out the fake Christian facade that other churches embody.

First off, I was blown away at how little of the Bible they actually preached.  The sermon barely touched the surface.  They were throwing out Bible verses most Christians and non-Christians know.  By the way, I totally get that preaching a sermon is a huge endeavor.  I was disappointed that they didn’t get very deep into scripture.  I had higher expectations for of a church of this caliber.

Another issue that bothered me (this also bothered me while we attended the church and it was one of reasons why we left) is that the sense of perfectionism that manifests throughout the church.  It is like everyone is perfect and has it all together.  The preacher never uses real life examples of struggles in his life.  One of the qualities that I appreciate about our church is that the preaching staff uses real like examples of sin, struggle and hurt in their life during sermons.  Preachers are REAL people.  They have struggles.  They deal with sins on a daily basis, just like we do.  They are not perfect individuals that we should admire because of their perfectionism.  Actually, I admire them because they are not perfect.  They have courage to put their real life on display for the congregation to relate to.

I will be the first person to admit that I struggle with the embodiment of perfectionism and “looking” like I have it all together.  But the thing is, I could go talk to anyone in my church about a sin in my life and they would be willing to talk about it with open arms.  They would graciously help me work through my sin and help me turn to the Lord, without judging me.  In other churches, you have to hide your sins and struggles.  You are looked down upon if you have something deep you are dealing with in your life.  There is not a sense of openness in other churches that I receive from my church.  It saddens me that Christians cannot feel comfortable about talking with their struggles to another church member for fear of embarrassment.  Our church family is where we should turn to in times of hardship.

Just to be clear, I am not saying that everyone is like this in every church that embodies perfectionism.  I know several people in these churches that I could turn to.  In my opinion, there are Christian churches that do not welcome being open about sin and struggle.  They are hiding under this idea that Christians have to be perefect and without flaw.  There is this fakeness about the members that people can’t relate to.  Everything seems to be sugar coated.  Everyone is “good” and “doing great.”  I know this is not the case ALL the time.  Not many people seem to want a deeper relationship with other believers.  They are just there on Sundays or just there to volunteer for a program at the church.

In my opinion, these churches are filled with believers who love God wholeheartedly.  I just don’t think they are truly living up to the potential God has for them.  They are limiting God.  They will never experience deep Christian relationships with others.

The Bible is filled with believers who dealt with sins and were flawed.  That is literally the whole point of the Bible.  God is here to take away our sins.  We can’t do anything works base to save us.

Maybe these churches don’t know they are giving off this wall of judgment.  I pray that this would change and everyone gets to experience Christianity in its truest form.  We are all broken and that is why we come to God and attend church.

I’m Pregnant!

I woke up on Thanksgiving Day and realized I was a couple days late, but never suspected I would be pregnant.  Since October was such a stressful month, I thought that “being late” was related to my stress levels.  After I bombed my LSAT, we decided it was finally time to start trying to have children.  We had been ready for awhile, but didn’t want to start “trying” until I figured out what I wanted to do with law school.

I didn’t believe the pregnancy test at first.  I showed up husband and he was like, “yep, you are definitely pregnant!” I think I was in shock.  I didn’t cry or freak out.  I was stunned. I thought I would have a emotional meltdown, since having a child is a very big change in your life.  When my husband and I had talked about having children before, I would get very overwhelmed and decided I wasn’t ready.  I am not sure why I would have this reaction because I absolutely love kids.  They are adorable and funny little creatures!  I think the fact that we would be responsible for a child freaked me out, even though most people have children and are very successful at it.  I was always scared to become pregnant.  I hate needles, hospitals and doctors.  I knew when I got pregnant I had to embrace all of those things.  Labor and delivery terrified me, even though most woman experience pregnancy at some point in their lives.  Remember, I am a control freak so being scared to be pregnant is a control issue.

Anyway, we felt very blessed that we were pregnant and kept it to ourselves until week 11.  In my opinion, it was a special time for my husband and I to keep it a secret.  It was a time for the news to sink in and resonate.  It was a time to reflect and set out plans for our future without other opinions getting in the way.

This first 11 weeks ended up being through Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It became a bit hard to keep it a secret around Christmas when all our families would talk about is us having children.  It also became hard to keep a secret when two of my friends ended up pregnant too (we are all within a month of each other).

I originally wanted to wait to tell people until I was 12 weeks, since that it the time frame where your miscarriage chances decrease.  My husband didn’t want to wait any longer, especially when we had just heard the baby’s heat beat at the doctor’s office earlier that day.  Hearing the baby’s heartbeat felt very real.  It finally sunk in that I was pregnant and we would have a little one here in about 6 months.  We told our families that night.  They were all extremely excited and shocked that we were finally having a baby.  You don’t know how many times we had heard comments regarding us having children.  We heard people say, “they have been married for over nine years, aren’t they ready to have kids” or “they seem to caught up with their careers to have kids, I will never be a grandparent.”

I am 15 weeks today and am in my 2nd trimester.  It was been an amazing experience.  I only was subject to morning sickness a handful of times.  I was extremely fatigued the first trimester and I am happy to say that is getting better each day.  Despite a couple of not so good mornings, I have enjoyed being pregnant.  It hasn’t been as bad as I thought it was going to be.  It is pretty amazing to think you have a little one growing inside you.  I have truly embraced pregnancy and am very excited to start showing off my baby bump.  I have a small bump now, but it might be because I have been eating a lot.

My husband has also been really excited about having a little one.  He decided he wanted to get healthy and start working out.  I think he is excited to teach the little nugget new things.  He loves to learn and I know he will teach our child so many wonderful things.

So far being pregnant, hasn’t really caused me much anxiety.  Seems very ironic that a person who suffers from anxiety, wouldn’t be anxious about having a baby.  I guess I realized God is in control of the situation.  I literally cannot control the pregnancy, labor or delivery.  It is all in God’s hands and that is very comforting to know.  I don’t have to worry about those things because God has it handled.  It’s a nice feeling to actually be able to enjoy something without worrying about it 24/7.  I feel calm and at peace.  I know that is God working in my heart.

School and the LSAT

Like I mentioned in my last post, I am almost done completing my bachelor’s degree.  I am so excited to be done with school, at least for awhile.  Fall Semester kicked my butt!  I had so much going on, I honestly don’t know how I successfully finished it and getting all A’s (sorry to boast).  The only reason why I got though it was with all the support I received.  God truly helped me focus on the things that needed to get done.  He provided me with time and energy to finish the semester strong.  My husband was a huge help to me during Fall Semester.  He went to the grocery (reluctantly by me at first-I am a bit of a control freak with grocery shopping), cooked meals, did laundry, kept up with the house (inside and out) and gave me alone time to get things done.  He did all this while he was also working full time and starting up a MBA program at school.    I am so thankful for his love and support!

During this time, I was trying to study for the LSAT to get into Law School in Fall of 2016.  This was a complete struggle for me.  I felt so overwhelmed with school and work, I felt like I couldn’t concentrate on studying.  It felt like it was something else “I had to do.”  It was like a chore I didn’t want to get done.  My brain felt overloaded when I sat down to study.  I planned out study times and did study for about two months.  It was not as much studying time that I felt like I needed, but at least I was studying.  I took several practice test and did received an average score.  My practice test scores were enough to get me into one of the schools I planned on applying to.  It wasn’t a great score, but definitely enough to get me in with my GPA and experience.  The week leading up to the test, I felt completely overwhelmed and discombobulated.  I felt like I was studying and I was not comprehending any of it.  My practice test scores were actually dropping.  I then stopped taking practice test and started to focusing on how to answer the questions from each section.  The test does not test your knowledge of the law, it test your analytical and logic skills.  The Saturday I took the test, I didn’t feel overly confident or completely clueless.  I came into the test trying to do the best that I could.  The test was extremely intense.  I wasn’t able to finish answering all the questions from each section.  I would say I wasn’t able to answer 5-8 questions from each section.  I was very surprised by the fact I couldn’t answer all the questions.  During ALL of my practice test, I was able to answer all the questions in the time allowed.

The next couple weeks I felt completed bummed and disappointed in myself for not finishing all the questions.  I didn’t feel like I did very well on the test.  I would say by the third week, I finally decided to let my discouragment go about the test.  I realized if I am supposed to go to law school in 2016 it will happen.  I will get a good score and I will be able  to attend law school the following year.  I also finally accepted that if I bombed the test, there was a reason.  It is not the end of the world if I don’t go to law school in 2016.  I have the rest of my life to attend law school.  It also would give me more time to save up and think about the decision.  I once again had to remember, I am not in control-God is!  I did the best that I could and I could’t control the outcome of the test.

The last week of October I got my score through email.  My score was way lower than I expected it to be.  It was lower than my practice test scores.  In my opinion, the score was too low to even apply law school.  Based on the charts I was given by the law schools and the average score of the student, I would have not gotten into either law school.  I decided not to apply to law school for 2016 and take the test again after I finish my bachelor’s degree.  I tend to set high goals for myself (which is good), but I sometimes forget how much time it takes to achieve certain goals.  Sometimes goals may take longer than you expect.

Surprisingly I didn’t feel completely crushed when I saw my score.  I knew there was a reason why I didn’t do well and I would soon find out why my plans didn’t turn out as I hoped for.  God really knows what He is doing when He guides your life!

Like I said, I didn’t feel completely crushed that I had bombed the test.  I felt more embarrassed because I felt like I was more intelligent than the score made me out to be.  I had to tell all the lawyers who I come into contact with everyday I got a horrible score.  They were all very encouraging and supportive.  Even though it was embarrassing, it was very humbling.  Not everything works out the way you want it to, even though you may work hard or want it so bad it hurts.  I am not made to be perfect, I am made to be human.  I mess up, I may not achieve everything I set out to do.  That is okay, as long as you try and have goals in your life.  I truly believe most things happen for a reason and I knew there was a reason why I wasn’t going to apply to law school in 2016.

On Thanksgiving day, I found out that I was pregnant and I would be due in August of 2016 (the month I would have started law school).

It’s been awhile…

Well, it has been awhile since I last posted a blog.  I have missed writing about life and the everyday emotions that we all have.  Every minute of our life shapes who we are and where we are going.  I have so much to talk about, it may take a couple blog post!

First off, I am almost done with finishing my bachelors degree.  I have two and a half months left and I am done with school (well at least for awhile).  Fall Semester kicked my butt!  I was working full time and trying to successfully complete 5 classes.  Not to mention, I was studying for the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) so I could try to get into law school the following year.  My husband got a promotion at work.  My best friend got married and that was such an amazing experience to be involved with.  My husband and I got a puppy in November.  I found out I was pregnant in November.  We started to be more involved at church, starting our own city group (essentially a small group).

It has been a crazy couple months!!  God has truly helped me grow it ways that I never expected.

 

I started school back up this past winter and have been focused on school this summer too.  I have been going to school full time and working full time, so it has been a bit overwhelming at times.  I think I get overwhelmed because people in my life do not realize how important this is to me. When you have a goal in mind, you have to start saying no to things to achieve the goal.  There are literally not enough hours in the day to make time for everything.

I am very passionate about becoming a lawyer.  I feel that God has opened my eyes wide open to this journey.  Everyday, He seems to place a person or situation in my life that reinterates this goal of mine.  I want to point out that family and friends are VERY important, but when God is leading you FOLLOW HIM!  There definitley has to be a balance in your life.  I have learned the importance of balance this summer.  I was so focused on school, I forgot about people and taking care of myself.

Well, back to my original topic.  I feel like God has placed me on this earth to help people.  People can help each other in many different ways.  My journey is going to law school and helping people through that process.  When you say lawyer, most people do not think that they help people.  In my decade of experience in the law field, the majority of lawyers truly want to help people figure out their problems.  People struggle and unfortunately lawyers are apart of that process.  I am thankful for all the lawyers that I come into contact with that look at the big picture.  They realize people need help and this is an avenue to help them.  I see people everyday that struggle and I want to help them so terribly bad.  These people need guidance and direction.

Sometimes, I get aggravated with my family because I don’t think they see the world as it really is.  There are people dying of heroin everyday.  There are people that are living on the streets.  There are masses of children who don’t have parents who care for them.  I wouldn’t say I see the worst of society, but I definitely see my fair share of negativity.  Some of my family ask, why do you want to be stressed out all the time or why would you want to help a heroin addict?  My respone to them, is why wouldn’t you want to help someone that doesn’t have the same opportunities that we have.  God has placed us on this earth to help the oppressed.  I am not saying that everyone needs to quit their jobs and go work at a food bank, but we all have a part in something bigger than us.

I guess I get aggravated when people in my life do not have the same mind set as me.   I am sick and tired of people wanting to live inside a comfort zone.  It is okay to be comfortable during seasons in your life.  Real personal growth comes with pushing out of your comfort zone and trying something new.  People have so much potential in their life, especially with the powerful hand of God but they do not utilize this.

Sorry went on a bit of a rant today.  I have been holding that in for awhile.  🙂