Finding Your Identity In A Pinterest World

How many of you deal with imperfections? How many of you feel guilty for having those imperfections? And how many of you feel pressure from social media to get rid of those imperfections and become the "Perfect Pinterest.....?"(You can fill in the blank).

For me...I deal with all three of those things, and on a daily basis. It's crazy really, how you can literally create your "perfect" life using pictures and phrases and "boards" and in reality your life can look nothing like those images. Now I understand the whole concept of creating a "Vision Board," believe me, I have one myself. It's important to envision the life that you want to live someday: the car you want to drive, the house you want to live in, and the clothes that you want to wear. It's fun even, but where do you draw the line? I mean, when do you stop fantasizing about the future and begin to live in the present? I find myself so easily getting caught up in my "ideal" Pinterest World that I begin to lose sight of what's actually in front of me. It's not even the materialistic things that draw me in, it's this image that Pinterest projects. Whether you're a mom, single, or in a committed relationship Pinterest projects a specific image for each of these stages of life. This image enhances how we "should" be living our lives, therefore shedding light on all the ways in which we aren't actually living those kinds of lives. Make sense?

I remember thinking before I became a mom that in order to achieve my ideal image I needed to stay in shape, wear name brand clothes, get a good job, and maintain upstanding social credit with my peers. Now I can't help but laugh because not only do I struggle with the desire to maintain all of those said "credentials," but I also desire to achieve the many other "requirements" that come with being a wife AND a mother.  I still have the desire to maintain my appearance, social "cred," and profession, all the while juggling the 945 other things that my many "hats" require of me. But because I have this social stigma in my head that has been fueled by such sites as Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc I somehow look at my CRAZY life and think...I should be doing more. As if all the things that I'm already doing aren't good enough, or perfect enough...I somehow believe that I'm not enough.

**Side Note: You do know that most of those pictures you see on Pinterest of all those food recipes are actually glued in place just to make it look perfect for that moment. So when your Pinterest recipe doesn't turn out as pretty, or tasteful, just remember...you forgot the GLUE! 

I recently found myself in a situation in which I began to believe this lie that told me I wasn't good enough and as stupid as this may sound to all of you, it's sometimes simple things like this that can stop us in our tracks. The story goes a little something like this:

As the autumn leaves began to fall I started noticing all the cute pictures people were posting of their finely decorated porches and living rooms on Facebook and Instagram. And as I continued to scroll through my newsfeed I began feeling shame. I looked out of my finger smudged windows to my patio and saw what was left of my pathetic assortment of flowers, wilting away, untouched by the sun and rain. I then looked back at the picture up on my screen of this woman's beautiful porch, covered with festive mums of all sizes and colors, with pumpkins that lined the stairway leading to the elegantly decorated door with a wreath wrapped in colorful leaves. Can you just imagine that? If you can't...it looked a little like this...

 

I grimly glanced back at my own patio and felt shame for the lack of attention I'd given to it. I began visualizing all the ways in which I could spruce up the space a bit and immediately set out to buy some mums to fill my antique ceramic crocks. After arriving at the store, I realized just how expensive mums were and settled on buying just one (I made sure I picked out the one with the most blooms on it though). I thought to myself I can purchase this one plant and split it into two when I get home and have two instead of one! In my head I thought it was the most clever plan ever created.

When I returned home I got right to work. It wasn't long into my plan that I realized I didn't have any soil to fill my pots...what to do, what to do I thought. Oooo! There's construction happening next door, I can just sneak over and scoop up some dirt that they just dug up!! Perfect plan Tessa! So I did just that and as I transferred the freshly dug dirt into my "cutsie" crock I realized just how thick and heavy and clumpy this stuff really was. Oh well, I thought and kept on working. After I had transferred a sufficient amount of dirt I began to "split" my single mum. Have any of you tried splitting a mum before? If not...let me give you some advice...DON'T try to split a mum...they literally won't split apart as nicely as you might imagine. So here I am, "splitting" (more like massacring) this mum when I begin to realize that, oh sweet, I just separated a whole chunk of this plant from the root source and basically killed the entire thing. 

So I had to think quickly on my feet, what was I going to do? My husband was going to be annoyed that I'd firstly spent money on another plant that was likely to be dead next week, and secondly that I'd already killed half the plant within the first 5 minutes of having it. Ok...I'm just going to scrap that chunk and save what I can of the big portion of the plant and just settle with having one mum on my patio instead of two, I could live with that. By the time I placed the mum into the finely dug "top soil" (that I'd borrowed) I realized that the dirt had pretty much settled and there was no nice way I was going to fit this plant into this crock. So with all my might I thrusted the remainder of the mum into the pot and called it a day. Two weeks later and this is what my mum looks like....

Those are dead flowers if you couldn't quite see. 

Needless to say, I don't have a green thumb and my porch never turned out the way I'd envisioned. It actually never even came close to the beautiful porch I'd seen on Facebook. But does this change anything about me? Does this make me look different to everybody else? No...probably not. Odds are, people probably never looked at my porch before or thought that it needed sprucing up in the first place. The fact that I couldn't "adequately" decorate my patio doesn't make me less of a mom, wife, or person...it simply doesn't. The fact of the matter is...I only wanted to decorate my patio because I felt like that was what I needed to do in order to fulfill a specific area of my role as a housewife. I'd somehow mustered up this idea in my head that that was part of my responsibility and duty. Just because I'd seen other people doing it I somehow assumed that I needed to do it as well. But why? Where was this coming from?

The source of this lie, this lie that tells us that we aren't pretty enough, perfect enough, or "filtered" enough is coming from the world and the world's view is constantly telling us that we can never be and will never be enough. So why do we continue to believe the world? What's our motivation?

Honestly, I sometimes think about other mom's or wives that I know and wish that I could be more like them. I wish that I had their laid back nature, or their sense of peace amidst the chaos. I continuously compare all the little things that I seem to lack with all the big things that they seem to possess and I begin to beat myself up. I wish I could play guitar like that one worship leader, or have authority like that one speaker. I wish I could cook like my one friend, or show hospitality like my other girlfriend....I'm constantly battling with these ideas in my head, these ideas that tell me I'm not "Pinterest-y" enough or artsy enough. 

I'm gonna be honest here...I have no patience for the little arts-and-crafts that Pinterest always recommends for "stay-at-home" moms and I feel bad about that because I see all the pictures of all the moms completing these artsy, fun crafts with their children or on their own and I think....wow, they have so much patience and they are so creative....they MUST be able to do it all. 

Am I being a little dramatic? Maybe. But the truth is this...I never feel good enough. And I'm guessing that I'm not alone in this dilemma. You see...there are things that I do really well, and then there are things I do really poorly. But the fact of the matter is... I'm not Superwoman and I will never be able to do all the things that Pinterest suggests that I do. This is my reality. But the fortunate thing for me AND for you is that God didn't create me to be the best at everything (can you imagine if we were each perfect at every single thing we put our minds too?!), He created me to shine in the areas in which He created purpose for my life. I am here for a specific purpose, you are here for a specific purpose and each of the roles we play are crucial in fulfilling those given convictions that the Lord has placed so purposefully in our hearts. 

 I am going to be fulfilled knowing that I may not be perfect in every area of life. I may not be as artsy as the mom next door, or as laid back as the mom with the 6 kids in the grocery store but I do know that I have specific "talents" that the Lord wants me to excel in and that is not something I should take for granted. We each have specific talents that the Lord wants us to excel in and if we are constantly grappling about all the things that we aren't instead of all the things we are, we are insulting our perfect Maker. You are special, you are flawless, you are perfect and you are made in the image of our Father. Remember that the next time you walk into your friends immaculate home for a playdate and wonder where in the heck they found the time to not only clean their beautiful house but craft a wonderfully delicious lunch as well.  Odds are there is something about you that they wish they could have as well.