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Making Memories That Can't Be Cropped or Filtered

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On Saturday morning she had an epic meltdown because her pants felt weird and I made her wear shoes and her sock hurt her pinky toe and the puppy was annoying and a bunch of other things that I can’t seem to remember. And all the people cringed and said, “Fix it, Jesus. Please fix it.”

On Saturday afternoon she went fishing with her daddy. He cast the line and then handed the pole to her, coaching her on when to reel in a little and when to let it be. And then that girl of ours caught 7 fish in less than 2 hours. She caught so many that she got to be picky about which ones to keep and which to release. She cheesed it up for the camera, helped her daddy clean the fish, beamed with pride as she told me all about it, and later that evening we cooked her fish over the campfire. And it was good and we were good and all the things were good. And all the people said, “Thank you, Jesus.”

We’re all guilty of cropping the perfectly filtered families and cheery children, crafting a caption, and calling it genuine documentation of our lives. And I hope you believe it. I hope when you scroll through your feed or your friend’s feed or a stranger’s feed, that you genuinely believe that moments can be that good. Because, dang it, sometimes they really are that good. But then I hope you remember that they are just moments and the flip side of shiny and happy might look like tears and frustration. Not just for some of us, but for all of us. Even the super shiny and happy ones.

Are these the highlights and low points of life? Maybe. Or maybe they are the book ends. Bookends flanking a life well-lived.

The space in the middle is where you find the moments that are so wonderfully normal it doesn’t occur to you to take a photo. The middle is the meat and potatoes. The middle is what fills you up and sustains you.

Anybody can cry out in frustration or tout blessings in times of joy. But somewhere between “Fix it, Jesus” and “Thank you, Jesus” is where you love your God, love your people, and make memories that can’t be cropped or filtered.

So believe the good stuff. Please do. The good stuff is precious, but so is the difficult. As is every little moment that fills the space in between. Precious and precarious, together. And you simply will not find the entirety of that in your feed. You’re going to have to get out there and live it.


Follow Mandy McCarty Harris, Writer for more stories of standing happily in the awkward middle of live, love, and parenting.

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