image by mandiejoy photography
I browse Pinterest in the evenings, when the house is settling and my mind is quiet enough to dream again. This season brings so many celebrations for our family, from birthdays to simple autumn dinners; tailgating to Thanksgiving prep. I want to do it all. I want to throw the kind of birthday party for my daughter that inspires people. I want to decorate my home like a scene from Better Homes & Gardens, with a fabulous front porch full of pumpkins and haybales. I want people to come to our house for dinner and delight in the food, the decor, the scents.
In the warm glow of the computer screen I start to believe that I’m required – expected – to provide this magazine-perfected experience for my friends and family. That somehow, my daughter won’t have a great birthday if mommy doesn’t find a theme that delights both children and adults.
Football games will be uninteresting and uninspired if I don’t find food to satisfy the guys – that also travels well, taste perfect warm or cold, be appropriate for boys who love spicy food and kids who don’t. Oh and it should all look beautiful enough to Instagram.
And now I’ve just successfully set myself up for failure.
God has put something on my heart recently that has been changing how I’m approaching some of these hectic seasons in life. When I start to put too much pressure on myself to be someone I’m not, to do things that just aren’t necessary, God reminds me to “let it go.”
Let go of the expectation to offer a Pinterest-perfect party. Let go of the lie that doing more, decorating more, spending more, or creating more are at all required. Let go of the lie that everything will fail if I don’t find a way to be all things for all people, all the time.
The truth is that none of our gatherings – whether a birthday party or Thanksgiving – will be perfect. There will be stress. It’s likely that my daughter will probably have an ear infection, because that’s just how we do things. The perfect menu we choose from Pinterest will either look fantastic but taste awful, or look awful and taste great. And my house is more likely to be decorated with dust bunnies than seasonal decor.
I’m letting it go.
Open to inspiration, creativity, and ideas but dropping the self-imposed need to do it all. I’m not going to stop looking at Pinterest or browsing my favorite blogs for ideas. I’m not going to unsubscribe and become “anti-internet” because I love the community I’ve found. I love knowing that there are incredibly creative, talented women out there who are using the gifts God gave them.
I’m opening my hand and letting go of the expectation that I have to be one of those women, so I can offer an open hand to my family. To cheer, to support, to hug, to hold. To use my own gifts to make our celebrations special. Whatever it looks like – I want my hands empty of the expectations to perform so that I can embrace the beautiful – if imperfect – life that God has given me, in this season of celebration.