Let’s Get Real About the Pins

Easter is fast approaching and I’ve tried to think of the perfect things to do… you know, cute Easter baskets, treats for Sophia’s class, something cute for my co-workers, crafty decorations for the house, etc. Like millions of other women, I turn to Pinterest (it’s okay, just admit that you do it, too).

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I do love Pinterest. Really, I do. But, there in the midst of all the inspiration and DIY craftiness, I find something that turns me away every time – comparison.

I’ll be honest with you – I can’t do all of those wonderful things I’ve pinned to my boards. In fact, I’ll be happy to get just one of my Easter pins done. And while I’d like to say without hesitation that I’m okay with that, the truth is that it comes with some guilt.

There are some women who seem to have it all together. You know the ones – cute haircut, trendy boots & a great outfit, brining organic, homegrown snacks for the kindergarten class and planning this week’s bible study. Her house is well-decorated and her children are clean & well-mannered. She is Pinterest-worthy. She is the one you look at and wonder, “how does she do it?”

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I know that woman. I even like that woman. And the thing that bothers me about her really isn’t about her at all. You see, it isn’t jealousy or envy. It’s assumptions. We assume things about her life based just on what we see, when the reality is probably very different from what we think we know.

No one can do it all. God has given each of us strengths and skills that are unique to our stories and our experiences. There are some things that I do really well and other things that don’t turn out right no matter how hard I try. This idea of perfection that lingers in my thoughts and whispers in my ear, reminding me of where I fall short, is nothing more than a lie.

My worth is not tied to the amount of things in my children’s Easter baskets or the outcome of my DIY project. I may only get to 3 of the things on my to-do list today, go to the office with little or no make-up on, & choose my outfit depending on whether I have time to iron. And that’s okay.

Because He fills in the gaps. He steps into my ordinary. Those spaces where I fall short, He fills in. No, I’m not meant to do it all. And neither or you.

So, if your to-do list didn’t get done today and you’re feeling less-than-sufficient for this crazy life, take heart. Just as there will always be others further ahead on this journey, there will also be others behind you.

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“Each one should test their own actions.

Then they can take pride in themselves alone,

without comparing themselves to someone else.”

~Galatians 6:4

The Conversation is Everything

A report card and a candid discussion – that is what brought me to tears tonight.

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Four A’s and one B. He was pleased and disappointed all at the same time. It should have been 5 A’s, but a low score on the standardized test brought that 97% down to an 81%. He questioned if working so hard for so long was really worth it. If all of his efforts over a span of weeks could be reduced with one test taken in 3 hours, then what was it all for anyway?

In that moment, seeing the unfairness of life set in, I had nothing to give him except empathy and compassion. Words are my thing and I had none.

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He wants to know… If the purpose of education is to inspire free thinking and creative solutions, then why are the answers reduced to a check-box? Does thinking of the answer 5 minutes after the teacher says, “Stop writing” make me less qualified for a job? If we know people learn differently & have different thought processes, why are we all tested in the same way?

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Was he wrong? No. As his mother, should I be concerned at his point of view? Maybe. Am I excited by his out-of-the-box, against-the-grain thinking? YES!

I look across the table and I no longer see the blond-haired, blue-eyed little boy who loved our ‘dates’ to Dairy Queen and his Star Wars action figures.

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Today he listens to Abbey Road, has the vinyl, and cares about his fashion statement.

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He’s never been the outstanding athlete or honor roll student. He’s floated in the middle and fallen through the cracks. Unless you take the time, you’ll never know just how creative & witty & compassionate he is. That is just his way – simple and unassuming.

He sits on the verge of being a man, speaking his thoughts on the true meaning of education and, like many 17 year olds, questioning the ‘rules’. My heart swells with pride. He has no idea how much his very being has led me to question things.

Yes, sweet boy, keep wondering and speaking out for change.

Look for your own answers and don’t accept things as they are ‘just because’.

Push the envelope and talk about the hypocrisies you see.

Because the conversation is everything. And your VOICE is His masterpiece.

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