When Your View Isn’t Instagram Worthy

It’s that time of year again, and some days it’s almost enough to make me log off social media for good. Sometimes it’s just not great for my soul.

I tap open Instagram to see what’s going on, and there it is. Every day, it’s the same thing – a different person, yes, but the same thing. A picture of a deck overlooking a mountain vista, a coffee cup in the lower corner to prove, “Yes! I really am here!” (#mountaingetaway #vacation #summerfun)

An ocean sunset, feet visible in the foreground, with a joyous caption about the fabulous vacation someone is enjoying. “Can we just stay here forever?” (#myview #sunandsand #noplacelikeit)

Or the ones that really get me: a view of a Bible and journal….with an un.be.liev.a.ble view in the background. “The best place ever to meet with God!” (#bestquiettimeever #mountaintopexperience)

I don’t mean to sound cynical – even if I am more than a little envious. I’m thrilled for my friends who get to enjoy some time away. A change of scenery does wonders for the spirit. It’s critical, even if we can’t get to a luxurious cabin in the mountains or a beachside condo for a full week. We come back refreshed and better able to manage our real lives. The old Chicago song says, “Everybody needs a little time away,” and it’s true. I’m genuinely glad for those who are able to make it happen. I don’t want to sound like I’m not. My own family is escaping next month for a few days of salty breezes and beach sunrises. (Thirteen days until we leave. Not that I’m counting.)

It’s just that not everyone is in that kind of place, financially or mentally or physically. Not everyone can have a getaway and experience God in powerful ways on a real or proverbial mountaintop, so it’s to those friends that I want to write today.

I myself sat down for my quiet time this morning and chuckled a little at what I saw. It wasn’t very picturesque, to say the least. It is summer, after all, and with my daughter home all day every day, there is a visible trail of destruction that follows her. My kitchen table is a no-man’s land of this week’s origami obsession, a fidget spinner and colored pencils thrown in for good measure. So when I made space (in my day and on my table) for a little time with Jesus this morning, I didn’t have a gorgeous view to post to Instagram. I had this.

Let’s see….

#ugh #reallife #paperscrapsfordays

Somehow I suspect that maybe this is your scenery today, too. (And if you happen to be reading this from someplace beautiful, you’ll have to go home one day, too…and real life awaits.) I think my smeary kitchen counters and my overflowing laundry baskets and scattered library books are probably more the things of reality for most of us, but we don’t like to share that. There’s a whole other essay there for a whole other day, but I have another point for writing today.

The thing is, I did find God in that mess this morning. He was there.

Jessica Bolyard
Jessica Bolyard
Jessica Bolyard is a truth-teller who writes and speaks with transparency about mental illness and community. Her passion is helping other women discover the common threads that connect us all, and her favorite phrase is, “You’re not the only one.”  Through her spoken and written words, Jessica hopes to lead women toward the heart of God and through Him, to a greater understanding of their place in the world. In all she does, her prayer is that she would be invisible and silent so that God can be seen and heard. Jessica is married to her best friend, mom to the coolest kid she’s ever met, and lover of iced coffee, cats, and colored pens. She lives in Georgia, but her online home is JessicaBolyard.com.

Related Posts


Recent Stories