when you can't find what you want because it's what you already have

{{possible subtitles include:
~when you can't find your toothbrush because it's stuck in your mouth
~when you can't find your glasses because they're on your nose
~when you can't find your keys because they're in your pocket
~when you can't find what you're looking for because you already have it, 
only you haven't realized that yet}}

So, I'm on Instagram.
I'm on there a lot.
I'm kind of addicted to Instagram...
or IG, as we IG-ers call it.
It's far more fun to me than Facebook.
I don't like all the Facebook drama.
I'm on Instagram daily...many times daily...
I'm on Facebook...uhmmmm...never.

Instagram is the best of two worlds for me--
photos...and friends.  
And that's just about it.
Very little drama.  That's a good thing.

I'm going somewhere here...stick with me...

Anywhoo...all sorts of different apps have come out on the market
 to edit your photos that you post on Instagram.
I mean, I'm sure you could do other things with your edited photos, too, but really, why would you?  Instagram is pretty much the bee's knees.
I digress.
I have several of the Instagram-photo-prepping-editing apps.
One of the newest is PicTapGo, which I use primarily.
Another good one is Squaready...I used that a lot more before PicTapGo came along.
Both of these apps have the capability of taking your non-square, horizontal or vertical photo, 
putting a nice bright white frame around it, and making it "ready" for Instagram.
All photos posted to IG must be square.  MUST.
These apps turn your photo into a square.  Kind of.
 Since the IG background is bright white, all you'll see is your beautifully-edited rectangular photo...
because the bright white frame that these apps put around your photo blends in with the bright white of IG.
I hope so.
If not, study all the photos in this post--
they have white frames either on the sides or on the top and bottom--
I used these types of photos on purpose in this post to show you what I mean...

All that to get to my point...
I have what I call the "Holy Grail of Instagram".
What that basically is, for me, is when I can get my background on my picture to white out brightly enough that the white in the photo becomes the same white as the frames...
thus making my photo appear frame-less.
Again, look closely at the photos in this post--
you'll see what I mean.
See how the white of the porch pillar {{in the first photo}}
and the white of the sky {{in the second photo}} 
both blend in with the white of the "frame"?
Yah...that's what I'm talking about.

Sounds complicated...
probably sounds weird...
and now you're totally convinced that I'm a geek...
and that everything you've heard about stay-at-home moms must be true...
after all, I have time to sit at home all day and fiddle with my phone photos.
Please don't tell me you think that.
If you do...I'm sorry.
But definitely, definitely don't tell me, k? 
I'm not responsible for my reaction if you do.

On Tuesday, I opened my phone to post a photo to Instagram.
I wanted to post a photo I'd taken on Monday--
a photo of a tiny bird's nest, right outside our front door.
The nest is actually perched right on top one of our front porch pillars.  
The nest has four perfect...achingly perfect aqua-colored eggs in it.
It's the photo you see at the top of this post.
Anyway, on Tuesday, I opened my phone to post that photo.
I took the photo from my camera app, transfered it to PicTapGo,
and proceeded to edit it.  
I noticed right away that the photo was naturally very white.
So, I decided to shoot for my "Holy Grail"...
to white it out enough to blend in with the white frames.

I edited the photo several times...
three...four...maybe even five times...
trying to get it the "just right" shade of white.
Each time, something was just a bit off.
One time it was too grey...another was too blue...
another too pink...and another too yellow.
I was close to just posting it, giving up on achieving perfection,
when I decided to try it in its original state--without any editing.
It took me all of twenty-seven seconds to find out that the photo,
as I had taken it,
was perfect.
It didn't need to be edited.
The white balance, saturation, coolness, warmth...
they were all perfect for what I was trying to achieve.
I had spent several minutes looking for something...
something that I already had...
I just didn't know that I had it.

And I think some times, 
many times,
life is that way too.
We have our heart and minds so set on what we want,
so set on what we are trying so desperately hard to create,
that we fail to see what we already have.
We fail to see that
what we want we already have.

I'm guilty of this.
Especially with my children, I am so incredibly guilty of this.
I'm in a store...my three-year-old asks for something...
I say 'no'...and she starts crying.
She's crying softly.  She's not screaming.  She's not on the floor, kicking and flailing.  
She's not throwing a tantrum.
She's crying.
I can hear her.  My other children can hear her.  
And it's possible that the few other people in the same aisle as I can hear her also.
But that's all.
And yet, I'm mortified.
I just want a well-behaved child.
I want a child who doesn't embarrass me in the store.
I want a child who makes me look like a good mom.

What I don't see is that that's what I already have.
My child is not embarrassing me.
My child is not making me look like a bad mom.
And although one could argue that she should have handled the 'no' better,
one could rightly argue that she certainly could have handled it a lot  worse.
But still, I'm blind to what I have...
thinking only of what I want.

{{this photo was taken at my sweet friend Megan's home}}

 And oft-times, it's easy for us to admit our short-comings as mothers...
but we don't like to fess-up to our short-comings as wives.
That subject is taboo.
We don't like to talk about that with anyone.
So...let's go there.

My husband texts me...tells me he'll be home from work between 6:00 and 6:30.
Around 6:00 he calls...he's chatting casually, making plans for our weekend.
I ask if he's on his way home.
No.  Not yet.
And my stomach sinks.
He says he'll be home by 7:20.
At 7:23 he walks in the door.
And I want to give him the cold shoulder.
I want to punish him.
I want him to know that I.Am.Upset.

He was supposed to be home.
He was supposed to be here with me.
He was supposed to help with the kids.
Except, now...he is.
He is home.
He is here with me.
And to his credit, he has jumped right in, helping with our four children.
I have exactly what I want.
I just don't see it.
I can't see it.
Or is it that I won't see it?

My children are not perfect...but they're mine...
and for the most part, they are what I want them to be.
My husband isn't perfect {{though he may contest that}}...
but he's mine...and for the most part, he is what I want him {{and need him}} to be.

And that's how it is with so many areas of our lives...
our children...
our husbands...
our finances...
our houses...
our yards...
our vehicles...
our churches...

Think about it.
Were you able to buy food this week?
Do you have electricity in your house?
Then your finances aren't as bad as half of the rest of this whole, wide world.

Think about it.
Do you have to walk or bicycle everywhere?
Do you carry your groceries home on your head?
Your vehicle may not be a 2013 Porsche Cayenne...
but it really isn't half bad.

Think about it.
Do you have a roof over your head?
Do you have entire rooms, small though they may be, 
designated just for holding your clothing, just for washing your clothing?
Your home, ever-so-humble, is palatial in comparison to so many others on this big round ball.

for today...
Quit looking for your toothbrush.  It's in your mouth.
Quit looking for your glasses.  They're on your nose.
Your keys?  They're in your pocket.

And the well-behaved kids...
and helpful husband...
and sheltering home...
and welcoming yard...
and prosperous finances...
and soul-stirring church?
They're already there, too.

You don't need to make them.
You don't need to create them.
You don't need to buy them.
You don't even need to find them.
You just need to see them.

And if you need your glasses for that...
well, you know where they are.


  1. The Lord has parked my soul in Phil 4 for a bit now to heal me. Don't know how long I will be there studying how not to be anxious, what to set my mind on and the secret recipe to contentment.. Maybe for life. We were just talking about a very specific "want" of mine today.. Was literally in the middle of a "list" of hopes for this deep desire of mine.. Asking Him for confirmation. This post did just that. It's in my mouth, on my nose, in my pocket. Just like His words from Phil 4 to my soul.. Deut says the word is not far off, it is in your mouth. Perfect post. Perfect.

  2. (Deuteronomy 30:14 NASB)But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it. Just like my toothbrush. :)

  3. Wow.. So very insightful! I do have everything I need... And mostly everything I want.
    Thank you for the reminder to have a grateful heart and attitude.
    #iamsoblessed # thankful #gratitude��☀����❤

  4. LOVED everything about this post! Thank you!

  5. Hey. This post is eggcellent! (reference to egg photo). But serious though. Really very well said. Totally helping me when I could find a lot to complain about. I "could find"....meaning if I'm looking for it. You're so right. OR I could look for what I already have. It's all my choice. Im gonna take that idea with me to church tomorrow even though I'm tempted to feel frustrated that we aren't meeting people and the women's ministry lady never emailed me back. :)

  6. Beautiful point and thanks for sharing!

  7. I was so incredibly encouraged by this post this morning. Such a wonderful reminder of God's blessings. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  8. The way you explained that was so beautiful. This is something I often struggle with as a teenager--I want to have the best life I can, the best wardrobe, and the best future husband. I don't realize that If I would just LOOK around at my life I could find contentment. Godliness with contentment is GREAT GAIN! Thanks for taking the time to type out these pure words.

  9. beatiful - totally what I needed. struggling mom who totally blew it with her teenager. thank you.

  10. Beautiful post--thank you for speaking such truth!

  11. This is beautiful friend. I'm sitting here weeping. Weeping because these words have spoken to my heart. Thank you for speaking truth in such a kind, loving and to-the-point way. I appreciate you. xoxo


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