(My daughter who hasn't yet figured out social media and learned recently what real value was. Goodness how lucky for her!)
Ready for some random ramblings? Sorry, you're in for it again this week. 😉
I'm working on putting a post together sharing all the things I learned this past week about how not to let Facebook take over your page (whether you're a blogger or just a user), but am waiting to hear back from Facebook to make sure that all the images I've documented are correct.
In the meantime, I wanted to share something that I learned ridiculously through this experience, because maybe you've been there too. Even though you may not be a blogger fighting to get back your Facebook following of over 200,000 folks, I'm betting you (or your teen/tween-age children) have been here.
Saturday night, when the PPP page was completely totally gone, I literally stayed up all night just sick.
I was sick because I didn't know if all the readers were just gone. I was sick because as far as I could tell the page was completely lost. And I was just sick because I'd known for a long time that way too much of my traffic comes from Facebook, so it could literally ruin the business that I've worked five years to create.
(Y'all, if you could please sign up for emails I would really appreciate that so that I have a way to keep you up to date with the deals in case something crazy like this ever happens again, 0kay? Or, better yet, come visit PPP every day – I post deals every. single. day. ten to twenty times per day except Sundays. I'd love for you to come check them out because I promise they'll be here. really. every. day.) 😉
But do you know what really sickened me? As stupid and prideful and obnoxious and ridiculous as this sounds, I literally felt a loss of my identity.
When people ask me what I “do” each day, I usually respond that I'm a stay at home mom. And then let them know that I run a frugal living blog. More often than not they kind of laugh it off, but then when I mention I have 190,000 Facebook fans (ahem,
200,000 275,000 Facebook fans . . . CRAZY!), all of a sudden I feel like I'm a little more valuable.
A little more worthy.
A little more important. (Don't you think?)
So when all 200,000 of you were just gone, I kind of questioned my identity. All of a sudden I turned into just me. Plain old Laurie, not all that special, just a silly mom who likes to clip coupons and figure out how cheaply she can make dinner each night.
I realized then and there that I've put my value into something that's so stinkin' temporal. Something that can (and did) go away at any moment. And something that doesn't show my real value at all.
At that point I really didn't know if all those Facebook fans even existed. It wasn't until Monday that the hacker chose to put the page back up and start posting his or her own images that I saw the page was still there. At first, I honestly felt there was no hope to get everyone back here.
Do you know what I've so easily done? I've put my value into a silly online place that doesn't have show my value at all.
I've allowed who I am to be defined by this silly computer world rather than who I am in real life.
It's kind of scary how quickly your identity can be pulled away.
Wanna know what's scarier? Our children are doing the same thing every single day.
I've watched my son post a picture in his Instagram feed and three hours later feel a little bit hurt because his Instagram friends didn't notice him as much as they noticed another kid.
I've watched a good friend's daughter who's off in college think they're awesome because 1,000 people liked their super cute picture and all of a sudden they have value for the day.
And I've watched an even-older-super-smart-crazy-talented-23-year-old question why they don't have as many followers on as some 11-year olds.
But what are my kids seeing in me?
I'm not awesome enough to ever have real value because of who I am. The only value I've ever had for even a moment comes from Whose I am. And allowing my children fall for the lie that the internet determines their value is a mistake.
And guess what?
Letting myself fall for that same lie is a mistake too.
For me, the business side of this mess was real – it could have impacted how PPP was run, whether or not I continued, and how we were able to give to others. So I am beyond thankful that it was fixed. (And honestly, so thankful for this crazy-internet-thing of ours even when it does make me nuts.)
But the identity crisis thing really scares me. Deep down all I am is just a mom who loves to penny pinch, pray with her favorites, and come up with fun ways to craft and decorate things. If everything else was gone, that just-a-mom is probably the favorite mom my kids have.
I encourage you . . . if you find your value online sometimes as well to really consider where your value comes from too. And just as importantly to consider where your children find their value. (Gosh, that's so hard to do!)
Our value is so much more than what this ole' world tells us right now, and I'm telling you right now in case no one else does today that you are so precious and oh-so-valuable just the way you are.
Be encouraged that if this mom can find her value in the wrong place and you've felt the same way, you're not alone. And thank heavens God's infinite value rests in us ('cause really, most of us are just a mess, aren't we?) 😉
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life. And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you.” Matthew 6:25-30
Looking for more posts like this? Here you go . . .
- The Smartest Financial Decision We (Accidentally) Made
- Charm is Deceptive and Beauty is Fleeting
- The Value of A Kind Word
- Praying With Your Children
- Praying With Your Children (the Addendum)
- If Only….
- Are You A Real Mom?
- Giving Passionately?
- Do Our Children Need It All?
- If Only….
- Contentment In the Little Things
- Don't Sacrifice What You Really Want For What You Want Right Now
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I have been following your posts about your FB issues. Have you contacted a local news stations and see if they can help you get the attention of FB? I definitely think it wrong that someone can do that and still be getting away with it. Best of luck to you.
Laurie, Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts today about the true value of a person. It’s obvious from past comments that you’re a child of the King and that fact alone gives you great value. I’ve been coming to this website daily for a couple of years and have received quite a few ideas from you about home, shopping, etc. which just goes to show we’re never too old to learn. I’m almost 80, been married 57 years, and have raised 4 wonderful children with the Lord’s help. I still cook a full dinner every night and am always looking for recipes and ideas to save on food and other household items. You have been a big help!
That means so much to me Pat – I need you to send me over a few recipe ideas because I’m betting you have them! So thankful I’m a child of His because clearly on my own I’m a mess – love that God allows grace to cover the messes that we all are!
Your honesty is such a blessing! We all have trouble keeping our focus on eternal value while living in this world. Thanks for being transparent. Also great insight on kids. I’ll share this with my daughter tomorrow. So glad your page is back. I always visit your website and get your email. Best wishes for you & family & business. Will miss seeing your family at beach. Thanks for good lessons for us all.
So glad to hear from you Susan, and we’ll miss seeing you all at the beach as well! (James and I debated if there’s a way we could still come and count it as the hours he needs for continuing ed each year- ha!) 🙂 It’s definitely hard to remember where our value really comes from, so this has been a big lesson for me that I needed to reminded of. So glad you still read PPP – that means so much to me!
Thank you so much for this post Laurie. As someone who is looking to launch a food blog (hopefully by April) I was completely devastated when my Instagram crashed. Completely and utterly just crashed. I tried all night and day to try to fix the problem (most likely will end up going to the Apple store). Later in the day I realized how much of my day I have wasted because I was worried I would lose followers…. And the REAL people who matter, my children, didn’t get the undivided attention they desperately crave! Our pastor preached about Counterfeit Gods this past weekend, and the entire time I thought to myself, oh that’s not me…. there’s nothing I value more than the Lord, nor my family for that matter. Not sports, not money, homes, cars, status, nothing…. and then I realize… I have allowed something like the internet, my “followers” to become my counterfeit God! Again, thank you so much for your post Laurie. I love that quote. It always reminds me of how much more the Lord loves US, his children, than we can ever phantom! Blessings to you & your family!
Thank you so much for sharing Michelle – it’s so hard when you’re working on a business and something so out of our control can mess it up! Definitely reminds me that I’ve got to stay focused on what I can do and not all the external stuff – so hard to do so often, but definitely important. Blessings to you as you get started – send me some recipes as you get them started!
Brooke Hodges says
Wow Laurie! I was COMPLETELY blessed by your words. God has truly used this horrible experience to bring a powerful word and work for the good of us all through your message. Romans 8:28 in action. I love and miss you!
Thank you Brooke – goodness I miss you too! It has definitely taught me a lot and God has good plans even when we mess things up. Thank you for your words of encouragement!
I homeschool my oldest and those verses were part of our reading lesson today. How timely!
I know I’m a drop in the bucket when it comes to your readers, but I quit Facebook for the exact reasons you stated. One day I looked up and realized how much time I spent scrolling through pictures, news stories, deal alerts and even the occasional (and unnecessary) vent from a “friend”. My real world has more joy and satisfaction than the virtual one I had created.
Thank you so much for sharing Amy – goodness FB (and any social media), can so easily skew our view of reality! Even though I can’t quit Facebook completely, this experience taught me so much, and goodness it’s so important to realize how much there is out there besides things on the computer! Thanks so much for sharing your experience – so glad I’m not the only one.