Okay, yes. I know social media is an obsession and I know too many of us are fastened to our phones. I also get that we are presenting an overly stylized version of our lives. I don’t have to prove to anyone that our technology often outpaces our good sense. How many pictures do we need to see of your kid eating avocado? But, still…I remain unapologetically happy that millions of people are recording evidence of their existence, and their children and even their coffee.
I mean, you want to love your beautiful latte and remember how it looked next to your leather journal? Fantastic. I’m with you. Actually, I am you! I remember a day last year, right after Steve went on hospice when I, feeling broken and beaten, stumbled into my favorite little cafe and ordered a cappuccino. I actually only ever drink plain, black coffee, but I ordered a cappuccino because I knew my friend, Mekenzie, would make it look lovely and on that one day, it was the only lovely I had. It’s what I could hold and look at and hope into. Here’s what I posted on my instagram account that day:
I captioned it, “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy this.” It took its place next to the millions of other pictures of coffee cups that day, but this one is mine. It represents a breakthrough of hope on a truly hopeless day. It means nothing to anyone else, but it means about a thousand things to me and – honestly – I owe it to a social media-obsessed generation. They’ve taught me to look at small things with big love. They’ve taught me to preserve moments of life in the face of death. They’ve taught me to scan for beauty and capture it. And, yep, they’ve taught me that sometimes it’s okay to wrap sharp edges in gauzy, grace-y filters.
A couple of weeks ago I went through my instagram account, poring over pictures of Steve and grandboys and trail runs and sandwiches that made my heart sing. Some were well-liked by those who follow me, others were barely noticed, but you wannna know what? I don’t regret a single one. Each photo sang a special song to me of a really brutal and beautiful season. In fact, my only regret was that I hadn’t taken more – and the reason I didn’t was because I worried that I would annoy people. I feared showing a piece of my life that seemed unworthy of the bandwidth, but now I understand there is no such thing. Not for me and not for you. Our lives are worthy and wonderful. And they may, in fact, annoy other people, but I am here to tell you: I will be a witness to your existence. I will cheer the big moments in your life like weddings and vacations and I will love the small moments like that baby and that avocado. I will love that picture of your open Bible, even if you didn’t have time to read it.
And I can’t linger long over your photos, but I will watch and wave as they go by and wish you a meaningful journey – on your perfectly filtered family days and on the deeply dark and un-photographed ones. Because, friend, you matter. You matter much.
As for me, I am taking a photo every day which I am tagging #ProjectYestoLife. I have no plan each day for what I will snap, all I know is that it will be something I said (or am saying) yes to. I will record this year – still brutal, still beautiful, still standing, and I hope you’ll wave as my moments go by, but I won’t be sad if you don’t. Because this is my Yes and only I can say it and live it. In the end, I just want to remember that I did.
Here’s my question today: how are you recording your life? Words? Photos? Photo albums? Choreographed dance? I’d love to know!
With so much hope and so much Yes,