Have you ever been in one of those conversations on Instagram about how not realistic everyone’s lives are on there? That sounds so critical as I type that.
Or watched a “messy home” tour and thought, “Holy cow, that’s nothing! I’ll show you messy, how about four kids with a bunch of farm animals in the middle of a remodel?!”
I used to be one of those cynics.
Admittedly, there are still days that blogs and social media are exhausting to me in their relentless flow of completed projects and spotless spaces.
I remember when I first published photos of our home online and my husband jokingly commented that our house didn’t look like that and that he would never trust magazines again.
Here’s the deal, my house is just a house until I begin to intentionally tweak things to tame the chaos and bring in the layers of beauty.
My home is my canvas, as I know many of my readers understand. As I photograph and edit everything, I feel like I am translating, speaking a language to people, one the shows what my eyes see when I look at a space.
Does that makes sense? Photography gives me a way to show you how a place makes me feel. There are things that stand out to me, details that move me, light that catches my eye, all these can be captured and communicated through the lens of a camera.
Is that lying about what is really there?
I don’t think so, see these very imperfect apples . .
They are not from the store, they are from my orchard.
The one we designed, saved for and planted one tree at a time. My husband loves apple cider, so there are trees specifically for cider, the orchard is divided into three sets of trees- the early harvest, regular harvest and late harvest- so we maximize the full apple season.
This picture shows how I feel about our bounty each year.
Cultivating our sense of beauty and gratefulness is key to survival in this world. Yesterday, our beautiful farm was robbed by people on drugs. Everything about it offended me to the core, the injustice ate at me all day. Every time I would I try to make a meal or get the kids back on schedule there would be a new development and I would have talk to the police or another neighbor.
In the background, person after person was commenting on Instagram all day long about not letting the ugly side of life shut me down.
They don’t know how much they encouraged me.
It is true that we are surrounded by struggles, brokenness and injustice, but as we continue to make things more beautiful and highlight them we are performing a needed ministry to the world and to ourselves really. We are insisting that we are also surrounded by blessings and reasons to praise God. The seasons are celebrated, the daily routines create comfort for those around us. We refuse to sink into despair.
Don’t stop in your push back against the problems we are all facing, don’t stop trying to communicate life and hope in your homes and neighborhoods, even when it feels crazy.
God is still reaching out to us with His great love in so many ways, if we only have eyes to see it.
Sharing at these parties!