Wednesday, April 9, 2014

We are not the Joneses.

Growing up, I was part of a pretty awesome family. We'd often say things like, "Who wouldn't want to be like our family?" or "We have the best family in the entire world!" To a little girl, it was dreamy! I had the best parents and sister (still do) and life was awesome!

Then one day, I grew up and got married! And eventually, we had children! I would stop and take a step outside our family looking back in and think, "Man! We have the perfect family! Who wouldn't want our family?" I felt thankful for what the Lord had blessed us with, and hoped to live up to what people wanted: to be like the Joneses (except we are the Jacksons).

Once I realized. . .
And then another day came, when we found out we were having a baby with Down syndrome. Though it was most definitely not my immediate thought, in the weeks after finding out our unborn baby would have Down syndrome, and imagining the thoughts running through people's minds, I landed on this. "Oh, so I guess people aren't going to want to "keep up with" us anymore." People aren't going to want to be us at all. I remember thinking, "people are just thankful that we are not them."

Well, praise the Lord those thoughts didn't last long! We have been incredibly blessed with our baby Way, just like we are blessed with our entire family!

But Way has changed me and so has the Lord! Though I've been a follower of Christ for decades now, it's just been in the last couple of years that my perspective on "perfect" has been altered. I truly see there is nothing perfect created by humans, this side of heaven. Only His plan is perfect! No one, not one family, has it all together. There are no Joneses out there. Only the illusion of the "perfect family."

No one is perfect!
Whoa! Debbie Downer am I? No, not at all!! In fact, I'm only hoping to encourage you! In a social media craving world, we are filled with posts and images of picture perfect lives. I know people who are leaving the social media scene because it makes them feel worse about themselves!

Stay with me here. I like social media, at least some forms. I love blogging and I love Instagram! I get great recipes and ideas from Pinterest, too! Occasionally, I'll even tweet, though usually I'm re tweeting something brilliant someone has shared! And while I believe everything should be used in moderation, I can say honestly, without feeling bad about it, I enjoy social media, and I don't think it's the enemy, BUT, I do think it's necessary for me to remember who and what is real! And, that no one is perfect! (All the English teachers out there just cringed because I started 2 sentences with "But" and 2 with "And." But, again, no one is perfect--even this former English teacher)!

So, why am I not turned off by social media? Because I know there are friends out there who are real and aren't afraid to show their less than perfect moments! Ones who don't need to post to feel better about themselves, but ones who are in the thick of parenting with me and share good laughs! I seek out those who are encouraging and who speak Truth. I play on social media as a creative outlet. I enjoy social media as an extra-bonus to relationships I already have, or to enjoy new ones. But I'm not seeking out the Joneses. I want real. Don't you?

 And because I truly desire to keep it real here in this little space . . .

 I just need you to know . . .
--I hardly ever iron. In fact, I almost wrote I never iron, but that would have been a lie, since I have once or twice before. . .(but if you know me, or my children in real life, then you probably already know this).

--I don't buy organic milk anymore and we have Cheez-Its in our pantry. I once did buy organic milk, but since our pediatrician doesn't buy into the organic way of life, I figured I'd save some money on the 8 gallons of milk our 4 boys drink a week.

--Sometimes, I choose to scroll through Instagram or blog feeds instead of reading my Bible.

--I despise crying in front of people. Yet, the Lord chose to make me a crier. If someone shows me they truly care, if I feel "safe", if I'm so beyond thankful, if I'm moved by something, if something is way too funny or way too sad or just downright joyful, Or, if there's music involved with babies, animals, families, mission work and really just about anything, I will cry. And, I will despise it. And then the moment will be over and I'll be laughing at something else. Thank goodness! ;)

--If you see a perfect picture on this blog, just know it probably took me at least 50 shots to get a post worthy one.

--Our children run in the hall at church, and often cause people to stare at us in Target, like they've just seen a circus for the first time!

--We still haven't filed our taxes.

--Just because you might see me in work-out clothes does not mean I have just worked out. Maybe I have, but it's likely they were comfy and I could be playing on the ground with my boys and I really don't care what I look like when I go to the grocery, or school pick-up, or Chick-Fil-A!

--I don't always say the right thing to my husband or children at the right time in the right tone. I mess up so often. I love them, and I try, but I don't always get it right.

--My scrapbooks for our first two children are as far as I've gotten. Our last two children don't have one. Maybe I'll make them one day, maybe I won't.

--We aren't even up to speed on the latest techy gadgets (gasp)!

I could go on for miles and miles telling you more. Maybe this isn't vulnerable enough for you, or maybe it's just right. You don't need all the nitty-gritty, but I want you to know that we are far from perfect! And so, if you feel less threatened by our "imperfectness" come hang around! We are all in this together!

We are not the Joneses.  

No one is perfect. Be encouraged by that! And realize. . .that is why we need our perfect Savior!

** Just to come around full circle. . .Though we know we do not have the perfect family, we do think we have the best little 6 person family in our house! And none of us would trade us! :) We are thankful and we are blessed!


Anonymous said...

Lindley - Oh how this post rings so true! Your family may not be perfect, but your boys are beautiful! P.S. I owe you a long e-mail, I haven't forgotten. :)

Chris said...

I smiled upon reading this entry. I once thought my family was the Joneses and am glad to say that once I realized we weren't perfect it made life a whole lot easier and enjoyable. I too love social media. Thanks for being real!

Our Volunteer Family said...

Thank you for your honesty! We do buy organic milk - but we have oatmeal pies in our pantry :)

Anonymous said...

Well, I just need to say this - yes we aren't perfect and never will be but in my eyes you are perfect because made you who you are and I love you. Matter of fact, the Jackson family is perfect with four fun filled adorable boys. You are the Jackson's. Love you all, Mimi

Lauren said...

you lindley are a breath of fresh air! another reason why i enjoy you so!!!:)))


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