On Talking about Hard Stuff

Foster Parenting

It’s been occurring to me a lot lately how raw a large majority of my Instagram pictures and blog posts have been. There seems to be something insanely hard about every one of them. They seem grueling whether I’m talking about small parts of our day or grand ideas of what Foster Care looks like.  And they all seem sad. So sad.

While I’m so grateful for everyone’s kind words, I kind of feel like I’m only showing the hard parts of our life. A little sliver that doesn’t quite embody all of us. It’s just a crappy part of social media.

You see, while things are hard, they are also so good.

Beautifully good.

Earlier today, I posted a picture (the picture above) of one of the kids drawings. We talked about anger and sadness and joy and disgust and anticipation using our new emotion cards. What I shared was that we had a rough time with it. We had a few items thrown after a fight over the pictures and a whole lot of tears about a pen. What I didn’t share was that we also laughed hysterically trying to recreate some of the pictures. We talked about big, huge, feelings and it was AWESOME.

Today we had pretzels and marshmallows and chocolate chips for snack. We made story boards and glued creations made out of paper and way too much glue. We made an indoor hopscotch board and played the recorder while jumping around like crazies. We played at the park and walked through a snow covered rose garden.

It was a good day.

But I ended up sharing only the crappy part.

Maybe it’s impossible to truly show all of it through the filter of the screen and keyboard. Maybe it can never honestly be real because it isn’t real. Because it’s a digital form of a physical life.

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This year has been one of the best we’ve had in our nine years of marriage. It’s been one of my favorite years of homeschooling. It’s been by far our best year working with the county. We’ve had kids come and go, we’ve grown to love a whole new family and we’ve made amazing friendships and community this year.

It’s been a beautiful year.

The past few months I’ve found myself waking up *most* mornings with more joy than I know what to do with.

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But it’s also been a hard year. A ridiculously hard year.

I think that an easy assumption to make is that hardness is a bad thing. That we should avoid things that are hard or they are something to just push through until the good stuff happens. The easier stuff.

That it’s a season.

But what if, when we are living our life the way it’s intended, when we are using our gifts and following our passions, when we are taking care of the widows and orphans that live right down the street, what if that will always be a hard thing. A daily hard thing. What if following God’s heart means constant meltdowns and fights in the car and a giving up of any sense of normalcy. What if it mean that crazy town is our normal? Then what? Does that negate the goodness of it?

What if life is itself the season?

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I do have a challenge for myself this year- to do a better job of showing both our good days and our bad days. To continue to write. To take risks. To spend more time developing in-person relationships even though my introvert self wants to run the other way.

To show both the tough and the beautiful.  To have my images embody the goodness that exists in the hard.

Maybe that’s an impossible task. But I think it’s worth a try. I won’t shy away from posting the hard and the sad but I also won’t shy away from the good and the beautiful. Deal?

I do hope you’ll keep following us along in this journey.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year.

-Lauren

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