Something hit me this weekend. A full life, with all it’s nuances and challenges and little moments, can never be put into the box that is the internet. Even with a thousand photographs and ten-thousand words, the fullness of life simply can’t be poured into the confines of this little web space. And it got me thinking about how it’s so easy to assume we know people based on what they blog or post on Instagram, but that is never the whole picture. Our lives are so much richer than what can be held in 140 characters or a WordPress page or a single photograph.

And that is frustrating. Really really frustrating sometimes. As a creative, I am compelled to create because I want to mirror back to the world God’s goodness. I want to create with every fiber of my being. I try so hard. I try to share and create what I think will help. I try to share what I hope will inspire Grace one day to know and love Him. I try, but sometimes I get really tired trying to pour the ocean of life into a little cup. Most of my favorite moments don’t get photographed because I’m completely immersed in them. And sometimes life is just too big for words. I think that someday, in eternity, we won’t need to search for the perfect words anymore. The Word will be right in front of our eyes.

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Grace has been going through a week of waking up at 3am. I don’t know what God’s purposes are in everything at all, but sometimes I suspect He wants me to be up all night so I hear Him. Because many days get so packed that I stop listening. He teaches me in these sleep-deprived days. He teaches me, as I look at her finally sound asleep, that He is good and His mercies are made new every morning and the most meaningful creating is a direct reflection of us truly living our lives and…

that I need Him. I need Him because I get lost and He literally is the way.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 16:4)

The last days, He keeps telling me to LIVE my life instead of trying to capture it. Like the most brilliant sunset — I could write about it or take a photograph or paint it but nothing quite feels like simply taking it in with my eyes. Some sunsets are so brilliant and make me feel God so clearly that my heart feels as if it may burst if I gaze too long. So many times I feel that about Grace too. Sometimes, the fullness of life just needs to be soaked up by our eyes and hearts. Our eyes are the windows to our souls (and to other’s souls), not our Instagram accounts. Babies soon turn into toddlers and our hairs eventually gray. This morning I even caught myself thinking, “Wow, “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” is a workout!” Life is short. Be all there.

lara casey handwriting

My prayer for you all is a week full of letting your eyes and hearts drink in the blessings in front of you. Put your phone down. Close your computer. (I was really set on blogging every day this month, but I’m changing my mind.) When something great happens, don’t say “I wish would have had my camera,” say, “I’m so grateful that just happened!”

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  1. Sara

    I struggled with this so much when we were on vacation earlier this year in the Grand Caymon. We didn’t have a waterproof camera and had a full day of water activities planned. In the back of my mind I couldn’t let go of the fact that there wasn’t going to be a single picture of us kayaking. Seriously. IN THE GRAND CAYMON! How crazy is that? It was my first time there, first time kayaking; I shouldn’t have cared. It’s something I’ve REALLY got to work on. I love your words :: I get really tired trying to pour the ocean of life into a little cup. Most of my favorite moments don’t get photographed because I’m completely immersed in them. And sometimes life is just too big for words. :: Amen! And thank you for this much-needed reminder.

  2. Natalie Clamp

    Lara, your posts always, always, touch a chord with me. This morning Preston went into my closet and came out of the kitchen stumbling in my heels. First thing I did was look for my cell phone to take a picture–couldn’t find it, and when I looked at Preston, he was done. I was mad at myself. Why take a picture????? I should have just laughed my butt off and gave him a hug. In the moment…..must try to remind myself more often!!!

  3. Heather

    Perfectly said, especially the part about hearing Him even at 3am. It’s so easy to get frustrated when kiddos wake up in the middle of the night, but what a gift that time is to be a mommy and comfort our little loves! And what MORE of a gift it is to be in the Lord’s presence every waking moment!

  4. Jasmine

    Yes! I have fewer moments recorded on camera with my second baby than I did with my first one and sometimes I regret that. But most days I’m just glad to be able to spend every non-school moment with them.

    My little Naomi (almost 3 now) still wakes up several times a night too, and our pediatrician says we must let her ‘own her sleep’ and let her figure it out by herself in her own room. All alone. In the dark. NO WAY! Not in a million years will I do that, because even if its against the books, it is completely in sync with my mommy instincts to love her even when she’s awake when she doesn’t need to be.

    How can I teach my little one about trust and unconditional love if I show her that in the middle of the night she’s by herself?

    Lara, this will pass some day for us and then we will have sweet little shopping, spa and lunch date partners 🙂

  5. Casey

    This is a message i wish more people could truly understand. With social media it seems like what we see from so many people is a highlight reel. Just the best moments that make it appear that they have everything so perfectly under control. It is refreshing to read words that suggest focusing on real moments, both good and bad. Even though I’m a photographer I think it is beyond important to just live in the moment. The sweet smell of a baby’s hair is not something that can be shared,just cherished and remembered.

  6. Angela Miller

    I am inspired by this post and especially by the quote from Jim Elliot . . . in fact, it’s the home screen on my phone to remind me when I think to pick up the phone and read about someone else’s life, or look at the photos that someone else is posting, that my life is happening RIGHT NOW, and I’d better not let it pass me by. When I am old and gray, it won’t matter what blogs I read or whose feed I followed . . . I want to invest in my own life. I want to be all there . . . .

    By the way, I love your IG feed . . . is that a conflict of interests or what?!

    Angela

  7. Kara-Anne

    I loved this post.

    After my honeymoon in London, I came back and sifted through all my pictures and realised that we had only ONE photo of my hubby and I together, in London, and it was a self-portrait with our giant heads.But when I think back, I remember that I was so immersed in the city’s sights and culture and history and my gratefulness of being there that I didn’t want to be cumbered by my camera, I just wanted to soak it all in. And I will go again. And when there is some time in between soaking in, I will take a picture of the both of us. But that honeymoon? I didn’t lose out, at all.

    Your post made me put THAT perspective into my daily life. Letting the daily wonders of life wash over us and just BE STILL and enjoy it. Enjoy the journey, immerse in the NOW.

    I won’t deny I am sad that you will be posting less (I was so enjoying the posts after your long busy hiatus!) but I get it. And I’m off to get some down time to enjoy life as it is righ tnow.

    Loads of love and prayers,
    Kara-Anne

  8. Amy

    Lara, this is the exact post that I needed to read this morning. Thank you so much for your words.

  9. Tamara Nicole

    I totally hear you on this! My “smart phone” died yesterday and I think it’s God’s way of telling me I am crazy addicted to it . . . to all of the distractions. I need to enjoy life, not always missing moments because I am on my phone or online with distractions. I have an amazing man beside me (my hubby!) who deserves more than a wife always on her phone. Oh it’s the lessons we learn!!!

  10. Monica T Smith

    Lara;
    God wakes a lot of people up at 3:00 am. When I was in Bible school, several of my classmates and I would look at each other at the beginning of class and say, “Did He wake you up, too?” And the response was always, “Yep!”
    He still wakes me up at 3:00 am sometimes and I know it’s time for me to intercede for His children and listen to His messages. Yes, I am exhausted the remainder of the day, but nothing can take the place of that time with God.
    He is good.

    Monica

  11. Christina

    Lovely post- so true. I really enjoy and I am inspired by your blog.

  12. Shay

    Beautiful post 🙂

  13. Sara

    Oh Lara, I needed this so much. I’m so scared as my husband and I try for our second child – when I was pregnant with our son, morning sickness had me in the hospital twice, and your post has me wondering if, perhaps, God had me endure morning sickness to feel His presence. Morning sickness brought me to my breaking point, when all I could do was pray – and that makes so. much. sense. Bless your heart for sharing your Good News today.

  14. Lindsay

    Beautiful post. Thank you x

  15. Em

    Amen! That is all…now off to go DO LIFE 🙂

  16. Jasmine

    I swear, Lara- sometimes I think you’re in my head feeling everything I feel. I had a moment like this last week, while I was shooting a little video of my rapidly growing baby boy- and realizing that I was watching him through the screen of my phone- and not watching his sweet little face right in front of me. It’s so hard sometimes, in this “share it all” world to remember that we should be LIVING this life and not just recording it. That’s one of the reasons I am thankful for going to church on Sundays- we really unplug as a family and completely surrender to worship in those few hours. One of my goals for next year is to do just that, on a more regular basis, and really BE THERE.

  17. chris

    Beautiful picture and great thoughts!

  18. Denise Lopatka

    sooo needed this this week lara! here’s to a week of being present. being all there. and drinking up His goodness!

  19. Hadley Binion

    Just reposted this on my blog….coming from one of your biggest fans!

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  21. Ays

    Hi Lara! it’s my first time here . Thank you for this entry. I got married a couple of months ago, and I have been asking myself why I haven’t blogged about my experiences as a married lady, as my friends expected me to do . Your post resonated with me because I don’t have to document everything about my marriage, I just have to BE THERE.

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