January 16, 2014

We hear all the time that what we see on social media is only an edited snapshot of a life. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Even reality is only given in small portions, because it has to be.

It’s unrealistic to expect people to put all their mess out there every day. And yes, some never do.

So we know this. We know everyone has their own struggles and pain in life, even if all we see is designed clothes, pretty backyards, and photos of vacations. We also know that these snapshots are part of happy moments in lives, and often saved because that’s what we want to reflect on. Find the beauty in a hard day, take a picture, go to bed remembering that moment.

What gets complicated even if we know life is life for everyone, kids are kids no matter how you dress them, and marriage and friendships have their ups and downs – there are times when you’re not really sure if this is true for everybody.

I know it is. The Bible tells us it is, that we are all struggling sinners. But some days I start to doubt that other people have anything wrong in their lives at all. Ever. Rationally I understand the odds of this are, um, zero. Since we’re all human. Yet it begins to eat at me that maybe I’m the only one who looks at life and thinks, “What happened here?”

“If I had more kids”

“If I had more money”

“If I was a better Christian, if I knew more about the Bible”

“If I was more crafty”

“If I work more/less”

“If I was thinner”

“If I went back to school”


Then what?

I don’t exactly know. I guess I would be able to take more happy snapshots while rest of reality was still waiting after?

If you can’t be content (not happy, content) with where you are and what you have now, you’ll never be content with more.

I don’t know how that works with losing children. I can’t even wrap my head around it. But I do know that I would be ok if we never had more kids – because I don’t long for more children like I long for my sons. I wanted THEM, not someone to take up that space of baby. I would love to have a bigger family, but I think that I could be content with an only child after the shock of another loss eases.

All the rest on that list won’t make me happy or content long term because as soon as those holes and/or insecurities are filled, another one opens up. That’s the very essence of the fall of man – this can be better if I change it.

It won’t. I have proof. Adam and Eve had everything, everything. Yet they wanted more. Look what happened. They couldn’t be content so they ended up with far far less than God intended. What would have happened if Eve had paused for a moment and looked around at all that God had given her, instead of fixing her eyes on the fruit that held the “next step up”?

Oh, how different life would be if we all fixed our eyes on Christ more instead of the world’s unachievable list of getting to happy. 


  • Trinity Lutheran Church & Preschool

    March 13, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    …Oh, how different life would be if we all fixed our eyes on Christ more instead of the world’s unachievable list of getting to happy.

  • Andrea

    January 21, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Yes. You summed it up so beautifully. When we went through our second loss in June (right after your loss of the twins-your writing has been helping me ever since!) a well-meaning family member began bringing up adoption. Like, a week after we lost Harrison. Really?!? Sensitivity is not a strong point. . . And no, I don’t want to adopt. I want my son that I lost. I don’t feel the need to expand our family just because- I want my two babies that never got to be with us.Thank you, thank you for voicing that and putting more eloquent words to my fractured feelings. As is so often the case, my heart echoes what you’ve expressed. I was just talking to my daughter about contentment, finding the good in being an only child-as my heart is breaking inside, I reminded her that God only has our best in mind, although we don’t understand how sometimes; we need to see the good in what we have.

  • Ann Picken

    January 18, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I like the way you think- reality sometimes is hard to put into words but you have done that with precision-im very sorry for your loss, my husband has lost 3 children way back before I ever met him although, it feels like they were my kids too I cant imagine losing my very own… thanks for sharing god bless

  • In Between the Piles

    January 17, 2014 at 5:57 am

    Beautifully said…I think about movie stars who seem to have "it all." Then you hear of an actor or actress dying alone from an overdose. Money, fame, a large house…it means someone has "more" but not the more that matters.

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As…the Wife

    January 16, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    I struggle so much with being content versus complacent versus successful. I can never find the right balance.

  • Kathy G.

    January 16, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Thank you, Diana. I needed to hear this today. My husband has been working nights for 4 1/2 years, and I hated it. Last week, he got a day job for the same company, and started this past Monday. I loved having him around more and not tired. Today he came home and told me that he has to go back on nights for a while. I was struggling very hard to be content. Not major, compared with losing children, but stressful. Your writing is helpful.

  • Mylene

    January 16, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    I love this. You put into writing what I struggle with on a daily basis. I admire you for speaking about the loss of your sons in the way you do – you are so eloquent and often put into words thoughts and struggles that are difficult to grasp.

    3 years ago when i had my first son I made the decision to quit my job as a hospital social worker (a job I thoroughly enjoyed!) and while I don’t regret my decision, I often find myself sitting here, now 3 years later, still waiting to find that ‘perfect’ routine and waiting to feel that ‘magical’ feeling of how amazing it is to be a stay/work at home mom. I am glad to be able to do this and I know that my going back to work full time would bring a very different set of challenges that would most likely be worse to deal with than those I have now. My goal for 2014 is exactly what you talk about – to be content with where I am now. Thank you for sharing.

  • A.M.

    January 16, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Oh man, I constantly struggle with wanting more, and feeling badly because I’m so blessed already. It’s a hard balance, but your perspective is so wonderful.

  • Mary Templeton Lichlyter

    January 16, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Well done! Well written!

  • Alisha Call

    January 16, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I so needed this message today. Thanks for sharing and thanks for be open and genuine!

  • Becky @ bybmg

    January 16, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Contentment is on my mind today as well. A material kind, which is different, but still.

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