I tend to maintain the illusion of having it (more or less) together. It's not always intentional... I've been counting gifts for a few years, so I try to see the good in every situation, and I don't want everything I post on social media to be a downer on someone's day (whether that be a verbal complaint or a "gee, I wish I hadn't seen that photo while I was eating my lunch!" shot of a kid-related catastrophe), so sometimes it appears I'm living out of a highlights reel.
I felt like I struck a decent balance with the toes pictured above - a sweet picture, that I posted on Instagram with an honest caption referencing the reason that the owner of those toes had to have a bath (which wasn't pretty - Adam got the "exhibits A and B" shots so he'd be prepared for possible discussion when he got home, and, to be honest, because I was feeling sorry for myself over the morning we were having and wanted some pity, but those didn't get publically posted).
But that was a rare moment - too often, I tip toward over-filtering.
from Even If Not by Kaitlyn E Bouchillon
I just like for things to be tidy. I recognize that stuff happens, but then I'd like it to stop happening so I can have a happy ending for my blog post, or better yet, a terrific spiritual application. Because there are only so many posts you can write from the valley before they all start to sound the same... and so, I filter.
But in her new book, Even If Not, Kaitlyn Bouchillon dives into life in the "ampersand" - that symbol that stands between here & there, between questions & answers, between darkness & light... really, the place where we all find ourselves most of the time.
adorable print from the book, pinned up on my prayer board, available here
Gently encouraging (and at times, painfully convicting), she shares her own story as she's living it, calling us to live and share ours, as well. And even if we haven't arrived, even if we don't understand, even if nothing goes as planned, to lean into God in trust instead of trying to yank the pen out of His hand and write our own story, thank-you-very-much.
While I could happily share whole chapters' worth of quotes ("Darkness & Light" struck me especially, as an ampersand that I'm currently inhabiting), I'd prefer that you read it for yourself! So comment with an in-between you're living in (or have lived in in the past), and I'll randomly select one commenter to send a copy of the book and a little ampersand journal. (If you're impatient, don't want to leave it to chance, or would like to get a copy for a friend, head here!)
Editing to add: congratulations to Patti!
2463. The way Tobin mimics Brooklyn's inflection when he says "hi"
2464. My identity in Christ
2465. A hot bath and the new issue of Mary Jane's Farm
2466. Brooklyn's enthusiasm over looking at houses, wanting to see all the rooms
2467. Nisolos that fit (I guessed wrong the first time)
2468. Pretty printable prayer cards