What Really Happens In-Between Facebook Posts

Erik Cooper —  July 30, 2014 — 4 Comments

I love social media. Sure, it has it’s obvious downside – the distractions, the comparisons – but like anything, the medium isn’t really the issue. It just gives us another forum to express both our beauty and our brokenness.

That said, I realize how a quick thought, a short quote, or a beautiful picture can make moments in time seem like the entirety of our existence.

“Wow, Joe and Beth must be having a blast in Paris.”

“I wish we could afford to eat out as much as the Crawfords do.”

“Mary is always doing some kind of craft with her kids. I’ve got to get better at this motherhood thing.”

“Mike sure plays a lot of golf. Must be nice to have that kind of job flexibility.”

For the most part, we post things that people will “like” to see. That’s kind of the point. But no one’s social media timeline tells their whole story. So I thought it would be fun to take 24 hours of posts from my Facebook page and fill in the blanks between the “shareable” moments. I hope it makes you smile. More than anything, I hope it helps you feel a little more normal and points you toward the only place your joy, contentment, and perfection will ever truly be found.

Friday, July 25, 2014
10:04pm

Social media has given me an outlet to make bad jokes that my family won’t laugh at. We were enjoying a back porch fire pit on an unseasonably cool July evening, and the mosquitos were having a feast on my ankles:

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 9.18.08 AM

And then…

  • I yelled at my 9 year old son for throwing things in the fire.
  • I tried to tell a couple of old stories to conjure up some family-night nostalgia. No one seemed interested.
  • My daughter got bored and went inside to watch the Disney Channel (again).
  • My other daughter yelled at her brother for continuing to throw things in the fire.
  • I yelled at them both for yelling at each other.
  • I went to bed grumpy, smelling of smoke, and wondering if I was leaving a good legacy as a dad.

Saturday, July 26, 2014
8:13am

I love being up early, before the rest of the house even thinks about stirring. But today I overslept a bit. We had a lot to do before heading out on a last-weekend-before-school-starts overnight getaway to Columbus, Ohio, so I scrambled to wake up the family. I pushed aside the guilt I was feeling for lazily laying in bed and scrolling through my Facebook feed, and reposted my weekly blog to all my social feeds:

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 9.20.26 AM

I genuinely believed everything I said in this post, but my humanity crept in right after I hit share:

  • I wonder how many people will read this today? How ironic is it to find value in the number of “likes” you get on a post about not finding your value in other people’s approval.
  • I quickly got frustrated with the lack of urgency my family was showing for getting up and out the door. I didn’t yell, I just stewed.
  • I obsessively checked the activity on my blog post again. (After all, I had time).

Saturday, July 26, 2014
10:52am

My own internal battle got me thinking about the worth and security message I’ve been preaching to so many others, and so I wrote:

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 9.23.12 AM

And so we loaded up the car and hit the road. A quick stop at some friends’ house for their daughter’s birthday party was the only pit-stop scheduled on our trek out of town. And while we were there:

  • My buddy showed me their construction plans for a housing expansion. Instead of just celebrating with him, a bit of envy pricked my heart. “I wish we had that kind of extra cash right now.”

We caught up on life, told some stories, laughed (a lot), ate some cake, and then climbed back aboard the family truckster:

  • I gave an inspired fatherly lecture about getting along in the car, a warning that was heeded for the approximate amount of time it took me to say it.
  • I yelled at my son for poking his sister.
  • I yelled at his sister for punching him in retaliation for his poke.
  • I quickly checked my blog traffic (at a stop light of course).
  • I gave my “this is the last time I’m going to say this” speech for the fourth time.
  • We settled into our three hour journey with multiple iPads, headphones, and Spotify. I wished we talked more, but I was happy for a small window of peace and quiet.

We arrived at the hotel.

  • My son skateboarded to the car on the luggage cart (after we repeatedly told him to leave it in the lobby).
  • I pushed down the swelling guilt about my apparently anemic parenting skills, certain no one else’s kid would repeatedly disobey like that.
  • We checked in and headed out for the evening. I silently wondered if this was the wisest thing to be spending a few hundred dollars on right now.
  • I snuck (another) peak at my blog traffic. It fed my ego.

Saturday, July 26, 2014
7:17pm

After a great dinner, our excitement about the unfolding weekend led us to ask a random stranger to take this “perfect” photo:

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 9.26.22 AM

This is what happens in the “in-between.” We live. We laugh. We struggle. We get angry. We succeed. We worry. We wrestle with identity, worth, and value.

All of us.

No one is as put together as you think, and you aren’t as hopeless as you feel. You’re not perfect, but there is One who is. Those “in-betweens” you want to hide from the world and the “postable” moments you want to shout (and share) from the mountaintop…

…Jesus came to redeem them all.

4 responses to What Really Happens In-Between Facebook Posts

  1. Melissa Howell Alipalo July 30, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Let me feed your ego by saying that this was the best thing I read on the Internet all day (and that’s saying a lot cause I saw that singing nun on the Italian version of THE VOICE!). I will fall asleep much better tonight knowing that I am normal. We all yell at our kids when we’re just trying to make memories. Mine aren’t rotten for not doing what they were told (very politely) to do the first time. And there is a Way to be rescued from the pileup of all the minor frustrations and humiliations of daily life.

    • “We yell at our kids when we’re just trying to make memories.” I’m holding onto that quote. Glad we can all help each other on this journey Melissa.

  2. Dwight Cooper July 31, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” Judges 6:12

  3. Melissa–completely agree–such a great read! 🙂

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