Smelling the Lavender. And Living Quietly.

In July of 2001, Dave and I traveled to Europe with friends.

It was such a glorious experience.

One I remember so fondly.

I was a self-proclaimed scrapbooking psychopath.

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Abnormally delighted to find acid-free paper made out of real pressed lavender in the south of France.

I was already thrilled about seeing the lavender fields and my excitement quickly escalated upon purchase of the paper.

I couldn’t wait to take the perfect pictures and come home and have them printed.

I’d mat them on top of my photo-safe lavender card stock and into my scrapbook using my tape roller.



As we were driving through the French countryside, we saw it.

The sea of purple.

I yelled for Dave to pull over and we took our pictures.

And then we were on our way.

Au revoir, south of France.

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Here’s the deal.

I don’t remember the smell of the lavender.

Or feeling the breeze carrying the scent.

I don’t remember the real life beauty of acres and acres of purple.

I don’t recall Dave’s reaction as we saw it.

Did he even care?

Probably not.

But I don’t remember.

All I could think about was that stupid paper.

I wanted to be home.

Picking up pictures at Costco.

And I was in FRANCE.

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The best worst part of the story?

If you flip through my Europe scrapbook?

There are zero lavender pages.

No pressed paper.

No purple pictures.

And honestly?

I can’t remember why.

I don’t know what happened to them.

My scrap psychosis probably doubted the acid-free international standards.

Sometimes we lose so much in our quest for the perfect capture.

And then we have nothing left to show for it.

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I’ve seen five million articles on this topic of being present.

I’ve only read a handful.

I GET it.

As a mom.

As a wife.

As a friend.

As a Christ follower.

As a human.

I’ve been warned of and understand the danger of living such a staged life, one forgets to ad lib.

And honestly, I feel I accurately represent who we are on various social media outlets.

If you know us, I would hope that what you read and see does not contradict what you know to be true.

And if you meet us, I don’t think you’d be surprised.

Here’s the rub.

It’s not so much that I change or manipulate who I am.

Who WE are.

It’s my pre-occupation with capturing it.

And displaying it for others to see.

Taking 100 pictures and deleting 99 to be left with the one perfect shot.

Spending wasteful minutes cropping out ratty hair, parts of a messy kitchen and a blurry background dog.

Choosing the perfect filter.

From a separate app because the Instagram filters aren’t good enough.

Maintaining a certain level of “quality” to the photos in my Instagram feed.

To what I post on Facebook.

My worth has become wrapped up in the response of strangers.

When it should be wrapped up in the response of my Savior.

And my husband.

And my little girls.

And my family.

And friends.

And frankly?

It’s just not a good use of my time.

I’m still fleshing out what this all means.

But I guess I just want to be quieter.

And simpler.

Because it’s become too much.

And overwhelming.

And I feel annoying.

I want to be a mom for the sake of being a mom.

Not to capture moments for others to see.

I want to serve my family and my home and my church.

For the sake of serving my family and my home and my church.

Not to show how I serve.

I want to count on my memory more than my social media feeds.

I want to write more.


Post and caption less.


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I want to tell our family stories.

And not worry about who’s reading.

Or what response I’ll get.

I want to read your stories.

Have real conversations.

Not flick my index finger up my phone screen and feel caught up.

We have so many exciting things going on in our family.

In our growing church.

If it doesn’t look pretty in an Instagram square, it’s still worth capturing.

If it can’t be said in a clever Facebook status, it’s still worth saying.

I want to stop and smell the lavender for a season.

I don’t want to miss the breeze.

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One Response to “Smelling the Lavender. And Living Quietly.”

  1. you know when the crying hits that spot in your throat where if you let it pass you will erupt into a mess of emotions… that’s where i am after reading this. and only because it resonates with me, and where i’ve been, and i thought i was the only one, and now…

    that line, “i want to write more. here.” oh, jessica! i get it. and i don’t want comparison to steal my joy, and i don’t want to NEED strokes (comments) to validate my worth. i want to do it for me- for Him. and so i pray that you (and i) will move forward in Peace for His Glory… “the world behind me the cross before me, no turning back.”


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