Life Outside the Frame

Life Outside the Frame

Sometimes it’s really easy to look at the photos and status messages and assume everyone else has it all together. There’s a quote, that I’m probably going to botch up, that goes something like this: “Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlights reel.”

We are quick to judge and condemn ourselves, because we see the dirty, everydayness of our own lives. But just because the dirty, tired mess was cropped out of someone else’s profile photo, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

I am tired. My husband got up with the boys so I could sleep in this morning and I’m still exhausted. I’ve been in my pajamas for two days. Yep. Two days. The boys have seen more episodes of The Octonauts this afternoon than I would care to count. Our potty-training preschooler was back in diapers today, not because he’s been having accidents, but because I couldn’t find him any clean underwear.

hummus on the windows | don't compare yourself to what you see in blogs and on Instagram | imagine the life outside the photo frame
Tonight my children’s dinner consisted of leftover pizza (because I didn’t cook last night), fruit/veggie “squeezies,” chips, and cashews. I have thawed chicken in the fridge. But I just don’t have the energy to cook it – and I sure don’t want to clean up the kitchen once I’m done. So once the boys are asleep, my husband and I will be ordering Chinese or making pb&j sandwiches (on tortillas, since we ran out of bread).

In a day or two the toddler will hopefully be sleeping better again and I won’t be quite so tired. But this is my reality right now. It’s not the sort of thing I typically share, because I want to share things that bring people joy or inspiration, rather than negativity.

But parenting is tough. Life is tough for that matter. And sometimes we just need to know that everyone else has to work just as hard at it as we do.

So next time you look at that perfect photo your friend posted, take a moment and think about what’s happening just outside of the frame. I’ll bet it’s not really that different from your reality. And since you know exactly what that’s like, go ahead and take a moment to pray for her.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Oh, and those notes in the photo? That’s really what was happening in my house while I was writing this. Guess I need to go clean the windows . . .

This was originally published (in 2015?) on a previous blog.

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