“Facebook is Not Real Life”

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” –Steve Furtick

I recently made this quote my Facebook status followed with “FACEBOOK IS NOT REAL LIFE.” Which we know. We do. We all know that because we, to a certain degree, monitor what we put on Facebook. Some people only post the highlights, SOME people only post the lows. CNN had an article called “The 12 Most Annoying Types of Facebookers”. How sad is that? CNN. A legitimate news outlet. Even they are annoyed and realize that social media is not reality. Facebook is BIGGER than we realize and unfortunately perception is reality. But it’s not REALLY reality. I realize I am just as guilty of putting my best foot forward (notice I never post pictures where I look fat), so I have decided to share some pictures and dispel some “lies” about life.

This is my husband and me.


Lie: David & Kristin laugh all the time. They are BEST friends and they love each other SO much. They are perfect. Truth: We do love each other – a lot – but we also fight like cats and dogs. I promise you, it is the bane of our family. We hardly ever agree on anything. And although we laugh as much as we fight, I don’t put those pictures up. Because seriously, who has time to grab the camera when you are picking up your husband’s dirty laundry off the floor AGAIN and throwing it at him?

Lie: Kristin makes gourmet food every night. Kristin is a Stepford wife. Truth: The night after I made this, we ate hot dogs.

Lie: Kristin takes her kids awesome places, and they are going to be President of the United States because she is such a hands-on mom. Truth: I rarely take my kids anywhere, and if I do, I am sure to document it in pictures so my husband can verify we are not really a family of vampires.

Lie: My kids are perfect.

Truth: See next picture.

Yep. That’s peanut butter.

Lie: We are the FUNEST people you will ever know. We are always talking, loving, and supporting each other. We have sleepovers all the time. We are at each others’ houses EVERY day. Truth: Well, I do have amazing friends, but we do not have sleepovers or see each other daily. To get to the place we are at took YEARS of HARD, HARD work . . . of being painfully real, and being selfless and overlooking flaws, and not allowing hurts to fester. I am proud of my friendships, but I am only proud because, like a tree, they took a while to grow and took a long time to mature, and even longer to bloom into what they are today.

Lie: I’m super crafty, and my house is awesome and always clean. Truth: This house was my own personal hell. NO air conditioning, NO dishwasher, and only a kitchenette. And as for my alleged craftiness, check out the stripes. They are all different sizes and shapes . . . I decided after the paint dried that it was intentional.

This is what the girls’ room looks like normally:

Lie: We are rich and awesome and go to Disneyland every year because we LOVE our kids.

Truth: This is Disneyland.

And we are not rich (BAHAHA); we have very generous family.  And we mostly go to Disneyland because my husband and I love it. The kids could really care less. Our son recently told us it was his THIRD favorite place to vacation.

Rachel Nararmore posted a great article on comparison recently and I honestly think it’s a must-read for everyone. Recently a speaker at our church said something about women deleting their Facebook and Pintrest accounts if they caused comparison issues. Deleting Facebook would be an awfully brave thing to do, and I commend the women who have the courage to do it.

All I can say is what was said before. Don’t compare your every day with someone else’s highlight reel.

Be you. The good, bad, and the ugly. I promise people will flock to that before they flock to perfection.

Posted in Being a Woman, Culture & Media, Relationships, Self Esteem | 4 Comments

Some Spider!

“[W]e have received a sign, Edith — a mysterious sign. A miracle has happened on this farm. There is a large spider’s web in the doorway of the barn cellar, right over the pigpen, and when Lurvy went to feed the pig this morning, he noticed the web because it was foggy, and you know how a spider’s web looks very distinct in a fog. And right sprang in the middle of the web there were the words ‘Some Pig.’ The words were woven right into the web. They were actually part of the web, Edith. . . . There can be no mistake about it. A miracle has happened and a sign has occurred here on earth, right on our farm, and we have no ordinary pig.”

“Well,” said Mrs. Zuckerman, “it seems to me you’re a little off. It seems to me we have no ordinary spider.”

-from Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

What with three children under the age of five, reading has become something of a luxury during this season of my life. I just counted a stack of four books waiting to be read on my night table, and I am consistently at least one month behind on both our New Yorker subscription and our weekly local paper. This may place me squarely within the norm, but it’s unusual for me. However, there is some very regular reading happening in my life right now: all day long I am immersed in children’s books, which is how I recently happened to be re-reading Charlotte’s Web with my oldest daughter.

E. B. White’s 1952 book, Charlotte’s Web, is, as we all know, a classic. Its appeal seems to be timeless. Children love it, adults love it. It may not be a children’s book so much as a universal book. It’s been discussed and dissected and written about to death. Probably what I’m about to say is completely unoriginal; I’m sure somebody’s written the same thing in a 1989 freshman English paper. But I didn’t do any research to verify my originality, because this is something I want to say. (Kind of hard these days to feel like you have an original voice about anything, between all the brilliant minds of the past centuries PLUS the current information overload of the internet.) So, here you go; this made a big impact on me, even if it’s old news to everyone else.

In case you need a refresher, Charlotte’s Web is about a pig named Wilbur who is destined to become bacon, and Charlotte, the compassionate and talented spider who saves his life by weaving his praises into her web. And, spoiler alert: Charlotte dies of spider old age at the end. It’s about friendship and writing, as summed up in the much-quoted but still moving final lines: “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”

I love Charlotte’s Web as much as the next person, but I usually think of it in fairly simple terms: a heartwarming tale about friendship and love, with a bittersweet introduction to mortality at the end. But while re-reading it, the exchange between Mr. and Mrs. Zuckerman, Wilbur’s owners (which I’ve quoted above), grabbed me in a way that it hasn’t before.

Here’s Mr. Zuckerman, understandably gobsmacked at just having seen the words “Some Pig” woven into a spiderweb above his pigpen. He jumps to the most obvious conclusion: “We have no ordinary pig.” It’s Mrs. Zuckerman (the wife, of course — but no more on that!) who quite correctly notes that the really extraordinary animal is the spider who’s woven the words into her web.

It’s a clever little exchange, but the more I thought about it (and I was folding laundry at the time, so I may have been overthinking just a tad), I realized that this is the only time in the entire book that Charlotte gets the recognition she deserves. Shortly after this scene, people begin coming from far and wide to see “ZUCKERMAN’S FAMOUS PIG,” and Wilbur goes on to win the blue ribbon at the county fair. Apart from Mrs. Zuckerman’s astute observation, not one person — not even Fern, the enlightened little girl who’s Wilbur’s first champion — directs attention away from the pig and toward the spider who continues to weave words of praise into her web. Charlotte has the affection and admiration of all the other barn animals, but nobody ever suggests that she should be in the limelight instead of Wilbur.

This is pretty remarkable, because the truth is: Wilbur really is just an ordinary pig! Charlotte knew that all she had to do was change the way that others looked at Wilbur: a few suggestive words in her web (“Some Pig,” “Terrific,” and “Radiant!”) completely transformed how people viewed this ordinary pig. And reality followed; once Zuckerman was convinced that Wilbur was special, he started treating him better and Wilbur became a prize-winning pig. In short, Wilbur became extraordinary simply because Charlotte said he was.

There are a couple of ways to interpret the message of Charlotte’s Web. One is of the cynical, “The Emperor Has No Clothes” variety: you can fool people through good advertising. Perhaps Charlotte’s Web is really about the value of hiring a good publicist.

But I don’t do cynical very well these days, so here’s what I think: I think that E. B. White was getting at something deeply true. I think that if more of us acted like spiders, we could change the world.

Let’s move from the barn to the human realm: I’m certain that Charlotte’s trick works with people, too. In fact, if we apply it to children we call it “good parenting.” When we love our children and weave webs of affirmation for them, we change their lives. I don’t mean that we should tell our children that they’re the most beautiful, intelligent, and talented people in the world — that’s just setting them up for disillusionment. But when we recognize and praise their strengths, their best qualities, their unique gifts, we change the way our children see themselves, which will change how they behave out in the world, which might just change how others see them.

Of course, this doesn’t apply only to children. Many of us — perhaps most of us — feel like we’re headed for the bacon shelf. So what would happen if more of us wove invisible webs of praise and affirmation for the people we interact with every day? And here’s the real challenge: what if we wove these webs without expecting any gratitude or recognition in return? Because that’s what Charlotte had to do in order to save Wilbur’s life; if people had looked past the pig to admire the spider, Wilbur would’ve been shrink-wrapped at the end of the book.

I know the answers to those questions; I’ve had my own personal and spiritual Charlottes, and they’ve changed my life. After all, isn’t Jesus basically the ultimate Charlotte, weaving the word “GRACE” above each of us?

I’d like to try to be more of a spider.  Maybe we should start an underground movement of web-weavers and change the world, one good word at a time.

Just a few laundry-folding thoughts . . .

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Mango Salsa You’ll Love

Warm weather is here, and with it comes all those delicious summertime meals! A favorite in my house is this mango salsa, which we usually put on top of fish tacos, but we love to eat it by itself with chips or tortillas too!

I’m sure I got the original inspiration from a recipe somewhere, but it’s kind of morphed into my own thing over time, so I’ll just tell you what I do. I couldn’t find a photo online anywhere that resembled the likeness of what I make, so I just took a quick snapshot for you – clearly I’m no photographer!

1 medium mango, ripe
1/4 sweet onion (I use yellow, but a lot of people like red onion in this instead. I have an allergy to red onions, so yellow or white work just fine for me)
1 small red bell pepper
1 small cucumber
1 bunch of cilantro (I just get the little package at Trader Joe’s)
1 small jalapeno
1 lime
1 can black beans, rinsed (optional)
S&P to taste

1. Get a medium sized bowl, a large cutting board, and a good knife
2. Cut mango, onion, red bell pepper, cucumber, and jalapeno into small pieces, and mix in bowl (The jalapeno adds a tiny kick. I’m not into spicy foods – I like to actually TASTE my food – but this is easy to handle).
3. Chop up all of the cilantro and discard stems. Add to bowl.
4. Quarter your lime and squeeze all of the juices into the salsa mixture.
5. Rinse your black beans thoroughly and add to mixture. (The beans are a new addition for us, and are totally optional, but we love it.)
6. Salt and pepper to taste
7. Mix together thoroughly and enjoy!

*NOTE ABOUT HANDLING JALAPENOS* Wear gloves when handling jalapeno peppers. I use disposable latex gloves. Cut open the pepper, remove the seeds and all the junk from the inside, and then chop it up. Rinse your cutting board with soap and water, and then remove your gloves, pulling them off so they’re inside out, and discard immediately. Otherwise, your hands (and anything you touch with your hands) will feel like they are on fire. Trust me.

Nutrition Facts:
Serves 8
26 calories per serving without the black beans
95 calories per serving with black beans
High in Vitamins C & A

Posted in Food & Drink | Leave a comment

Fight for It, Die for It

If it’s not worth fighting for we wouldn’t have to fight for it.  If it’s not worth dying for we wouldn’t have to let it die first.  If it’s not worth being loyal to, our loyalty would not be challenged.  If it’s not worth it at all, it would be easy.

Our deep desires have the ability to overtake us and rob us of any sense of reasonable rationale we may have once possessed.  Desire can be both beneficial and detrimental.  It builds our faith and trust in God when fulfilled, but when unfilled, we allow ourselves to become carried away in the emotion of our desires and we devote all of our time and thoughts to a non-existent fantasy of “what if’s.”  Our minds are clever, deceitful things in and of themselves.  We don’t have to try to be evil.  We don’t have to work at being sinners.  I don’t struggle to come up with a sin to commit for the day.  It comes naturally.  How, then, do we live in a way that is hopeful yet yielded while allowing God to sanctify our desires?

Surrender is key.

When the psalmist wrote, “Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (37:4), many of us tend to cling to the promise and forget what is required of us before obtaining the promise.  That’s where it gets tricky.

Delight is far more than being glad about something.  It is not happiness.  Although happiness has a part in it, it delves deeper than that easily-shattered surface.  This kind of delight is one of surrender, patience, and holy enticement.  This word, “delight,” is a derivation of the Hebrew, anag, meaning “to live softly and delicately.”  This speaks volumes of what true delight is.  To live softly and delicately before the Lord is to live in complete humility and submission.  When we live humble and submitted while taking great joy in the Lord we will care for nothing else.  Our desires have been met to their fullest capacity.  A heart like this is irresistible to the Lord.  When He sees a surrendered heart, pure and humble that is dead to all desire besides Him, He cannot help but breathe life into the old desires that were put to death in the presence of the fullness of joy Himself.  It’s as if God is saying:

“I see your surrendered heart. I see the sacrifice you’ve made by putting to death all things that might hinder My love.  I see how consumed you are with thoughts of Me, so consumed, in fact, that you care for nothing else besides Me.  You are fully engaged with Me!  Now let me remind you of something you once desired, and let me fulfill those old desires because of your complete and utter delight in Me.  I am pleased with you.  Here, take pleasure in this forgotten promise because I know you won’t care for anything more than you do for Me.”

And do not stumble on this thought.  Our fulfilled desires will, most likely, look very different from our original ones.  God fulfills perfectly.  His ways are higher than ours, so wait on His promises with expectancy, but with an open mind of what He might do.

Anything that the Lord would give us is worth fighting for.  I know that it sounds opposite of living softly and delicately, but this is a different kind of fight.  It feels unnatural to our minds.  Personally, when I hear the word “fight” the first thing that comes to mind is a boxing ring.  But this fight is the fight of faith.  This fight is the war against our flesh.  This is a war where you surrender to win.  Like how a pure woman longs for a pure marriage, she unknowingly draws a godly man in by the beauty of her right way of living, her softness and delicateness toward the will of God.  She is not frantically banging on the door of heaven, demanding the things she wants (although there is a time for that).  No, she lives in graceful trust, confident that her God has her best interest at heart and that His timing is perfect.  She is at rest in Him.  Her fight is fought by Someone bigger and stronger.

A good desire with a wrong motive is not a bad desire, it’s just incomplete.  If you want to go out to dinner with a friend just so you can take part in a table of delicacies, you’ve stopped too soon in the evolution of your desire.  Yes, enjoy the meal, but shouldn’t good company and the enriching conversation be your true motive?  Isn’t the meal just a happy side note with regards to building a lasting friendship?  I look forward to a good meal as much as anyone, but my true satisfaction lies in the company versus the food; for the enriching of souls is far better than the enrichment of the body.

It is when we come to a realization of something we want that we sell ourselves short.  A new idea dawns on us and we snatch it up and tight-fistedly hold onto it before God has the chance to add more to it.  Allow God to complete your desires.  If you eat the cake before it’s frosted it’s still good, but is nothing compared to how it tastes after being iced.  Good, complete desires are from Him, and should, therefore, remain His.

So, live softly and delicately before the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Posted in Theology & Philosophy | 2 Comments

Movies You May Have Missed

If you’re like me, then the summer is a time to slow down. My husband and I are movie and TV buffs and take the summer to catch up on films that slipped past us during the previous year, or catch up on older, classic films. Since I have chosen a career in the film industry, I have found it important to go back through the history of film and fill in my holes — be they in a certain genre or from a certain director. Last summer consisted of finishing every movie that ever won the Academy Award for Best Picture followed by brushing up on my Alfred Hitchcock and Mel Brooks movies. (It was sort of an inadvertent study of directors with big cheeks.)

Today I present to you three films that I have discovered throughout my cinematic journeys. They are three films of varying degrees of fame, but are rarely thrown into the pile of suggestions for a movie night. They are all so good I can almost guarantee you will be delighted by them.

1. The Sting  (1973)

The Sting Poster

The most famous of the bunch, The Sting packs a punch in the classic gangster heist genre. It set the stage for later films such as the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy and The Italian Job. I also consider Robert Redford to be the original Brad Pitt, so if you’re a fan of Pitt, you need to check out some Redford films. This was in an era where CGI and giant special effects could not play a huge role in films. The dialogue, acting, and impeccable script make this one of the most charismatic and dynamic films I’ve ever seen.


2. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Ok, so we have another buddy/mystery/crime/comedy movie, but this has some modern flair. First of all, I will literally see any movie with Robert Downey Jr. in it. You may not share my affinity for him, but Val Kilmer is in this too, so chances are you’ll like one of them. This is an incredibly underrated film. When I ask people if they have seen it they usually answer no. I attribute its lack of acclaim with bad timing.

The best part about this film is the great script delivered by the fast talking Downey Jr., and the incredibly sarcastic Val Kilmer. Michelle Monaghan is a bit forgettable as the female lead, but the two guys more than carry it.

This film is a keeper if you’re looking for a laugh and a story.


3. Return to Me (2000)

Return to Me

This completely embodies the classic chick-flick. It also is a film people tell me they haven’t seen. The story starts tragically when he loses his wife in a car accident, but doesn’t give the audience a large time to grieve with him as it quickly jumps into the other hilarious and endearing characters. I was in 7th grade when I saw this movie, and have seen it several times since. The film, written and directed by Bonnie Hunt, isn’t afraid to look like a true comedy with some romance instead of the other way around.

This is the ultimate girls night in movie. It is always refreshing to see a romantic movie that hasn’t been recently marketed to us to death.


Wherever your summer cinematic adventures take you, I hope that it is to places you’ve never been before. Getting out of your media comfort zone can take some planning and patience, but you will probably discover genres, actors, directors, and truths that you didn’t know before.

Have you seen these films before?

What is your take?

Photo Credits:

The Sting, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Return to Me

Posted in Culture & Media, Movies | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments