Tuesday, December 26, 2017

instagram doesn't show everything

The year of 2017 has been a crazy year for me. My brother Zach got married, I finished my first year of college, some of my family members moved away, I went on my first solo roadtrip, and my dear grandfather passed away. I've been blessed and humbled, but most of all, struck completely in awe by the grace and beauty of God. And even though some hard things have happened this year, my life has been full of adventures, from road tripping and camping, to climbing mountains and hugging giant trees. So much beauty has been presented to me this year and I feel so very blessed.

One of my dear friends, after stalking me for awhile on instagram, said "Liz, your instagram makes it seem like your life is just so much fun and like you're always getting to explore new places." And it really struck me just how easy it is to create this persona of having everything put together, even when you're not trying to.

I have this journal that now has three years of entries (I really suck at keeping a journal). I picked it up a couple of days to let out some frustration, and saw that the last time I'd wrote in it was exactly a year ago, Dec 23, 2016. And the one before then was Dec. 22, 2015. It surprised me just how similar they all were.

Dec. 22, 2015.

Today I am here to vent all my feelings. It's probably healthier than bottling them all up and exploding. My biggest issue right now is how spiritually dry I feel right now. I haven't been focusing on God the way I should be. I've been letting the stress of school, work, and boys go before my bible study and prayer life. I know this needs to change, but I feel this distance. 
Lord, help me to set my heart and soul in focus to you. Give me back your joy so that I can better serve you in my daily life. 

Dec. 23, 2016

Lately I've been going through a lot of ups and downs. One day my relationship with God seems great, but then a couple days later, I feel like He's not even there. 
I feel like a screwup.
I'm constantly messing up. I'm constantly giving into sin and going after what I desire, not what God desires. It's not something I like, and it's never worth it, so how come I keep falling into this trap?I feel like I keep digging this huge hole for myself and I try to climb back up, but then I slip and it gets deeper and deeper. 
Is it possible to keep forgiving someone who continuously makes the same mistakes? 

Dec 23. 2017

Today is the day before Christmas Eve and wow, I honestly can't believe another Christmas season has come and gone. 
Life lately has been crazy. I feel so discontent, like I'm doing nothing with my life. Yes, I'm working my butt off, and I'm getting good grades in school, and future adventurous plans may be coming my way, but those plans seem so far away, my job continues to drain the life out of me, and school just adds to the tiredness. I'm busy, but I don't like the busy I'm busy with. 
I know God has an ultimate plan for my life, and that He'll guide my steps, but sometimes He too seems so far away and so very quiet. 
But all the same, I continue to remind myself that this won't be forever. I work because I need money to save for the future. I go to school because an education is important to my dream of teaching English.  I won't be rooted in this spot forever. 
This restlessness won't haunt me forever. My Savior is indeed good, so so good. There are greater things in store for the future. Sometimes it just takes awhile.  
Oh Lord, please give me strength to climb mountains. 

This is the season where people present their best selves. Their pictures are full of fun in the snow and smiling faces decorating a Christmas tree. We get greeting cards in the mail full of happy looking families and we sing carols full of holly jolliness. But instagram doesn't show everything guys. Those happy family Christmas cards don't mean they have everything put together. My caption about how beautiful God's creation is and how he just humbles me every time I step outside, doesn't mean my relationship with God is perfect.

And that's why I share these journal entries. To show you that despite what I and everyone else may present to the public, it isn't everything. I still have struggles, doubts, sadness, and restlessness. My relationship with Christ is constantly being stretched and strengthened. There's a backstory to where I am and how I got there and what I'm feeling. Today, I want to be honest and show you that messiness and struggles and bumps are always present, yet God gives us strength to climb mountains and touch waterfalls and sing at the top of our lungs. Sometimes though, we just don't show what got us there. So let's make 2018 the year where we present more honesty and embrace authenticity.

Do you present yourself differently online than in real life? How do you feel about hiding the "less desirable" part of yourself? Trials and fears and doubts are a part of what makes who we are. Don't ever be ashamed of reaching out to the Lord and the people who love you. Let God assist you in your journey to climb mountains <3

Have a wonderful week,



  1. Thank you for being so willing to share your heart and the "real" side of life. It is true, social media often only captures the good/fun times, while the moments of sadness or trouble is something we keep inside.
    I am striving towards disclosing honest and heartfelt information with people in real life and over social media. It can be difficult at first, but not impossible.
    Insightful post!


  2. Elizabeth, that was beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your struggles so honestly.
    Sharing can be so hard sometimes. I try to hide my personal stuggles with failure. I don't mind sharing about how hard things are, but actually telling people that I've failed hurts.
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. I like this post a lot; your beautiful reflections on the year. It's hard to keep things real online - I also find it hard to have a balance between honest admitting of struggles and still focusing on the positive and not dragging others down. Thanks for this again, Elizabeth. All the best for everything you have planned for 2018! xx

  4. You have always been one of my favorite bloggers because the things you post about are so meaningful. I'm glad that you have shared this. <3 It's a very meaningful and down to earth post for you to share. I think that if we all posted a little more about our struggles then others would have an easier time seeing realizing everyone goes through difficult times. Your journal entries are so raw and real. There is so much beauty in that!

  5. Elizabeth, I think you are actually a vrry honestly and open blogger. I've never been yo your Instagram, so I guess it may be slightly different... but even for me, who doesn't use Instagram, I feel like it's visual appeal calls for the happy and cozy, so I think that would be natural... but here, where you share your deep heart thoughts, it's one of my favorite things about you that you don't hold back the hard and messy. I do want to be one of those bloggers! I don't know whether I am or not... and that bothers me whenever I think about it. I just hope God gets the glory from my blog!
    And I can't imagine journaling so little, haha... It's been less than three weeks since I did and I'm definitely planning on sitting and writing sometime in the next 24 hours before I go to my aunt's, haha :).
    Bri from forget-not-his-benefits.blogspot.com

  6. WOW this is good and so true! I was JUST considering social media this morning and how it often doesn't shine a true light on what we are inside. Thank you for taking the time to share your deep thoughts and be so honest.
    My goal for 2018 is to find a way to use social media as a place for authenticity. <3 <3 <3

  7. THIS <3

    I guess that's difficult to answer - whether I show a certain side of myself on social media. With Instagram, it is definitely difficult to show much more than pretty pictures since that is what's for. But I do have trouble finding the line between sharing too much and pretending like I have everything together. I don't doing the latter, but I get this feeling that most people look for blogs that are self-help blogs or 'these 10 things will make you better at such and such'. I don't know how many people look for real and honest and raw blogs?

  8. Ugh, thank you so much for being real and vulnerable. More people need to do this because we all for some reason believe that the perfect lives of our friends on social media are how it actually is. Even though we know this isn't true at all. It's just so easy to portray all of the positive things of life onm my instagram, but I'm learning that I would rather be honest with the way my life is than for everyone to think I was living a perfect life.


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