My Not-So-Pinterest Life
In keeping with the spirit of Amber’s last post, I’m ready to confess some of my secret struggles as well. The last thing we want anyone to feel reading this blog is shame or envy or discouragement. We absolutely do not have it all together in this space we share.
Lately I’ve been feeling kind of blah. Uninspired. In a rut. Don’t get me wrong – I love this life that’s happening all around me. The garden is growing. The chickens are settling in to their new home. There’s something about farm animals that go to sleep when the sun goes down and wake up with the sunrise. It feels natural and real, like an antidote to our technology-driven, goal-oriented, fast-paced world.
We had a yard full of friends and family here celebrating Easter afternoon. Kids playing soccer. Little ones hunting for Easter eggs. The adults eating and visiting and sipping coffee. It’s a beautiful, picturesque scene.
And yet, I’m struggling on the inside and I can’t quite figure out why. Lord, is this a “holy restlessness” because you’re calling me to do more with what I’ve been given, or is there something unholy taking root?
Instead of resting in the beauty of this day, I’m complaining about the muggy weather. I look around and I see junkiness everywhere. An old, bent-up shed with paint flaking off. Grass growing tall underneath the Airstream parked in the yard. The house we remodeled, in desperate need of landscaping. I see trash cans and dirt where there should be grass and way too much junk piled up behind our shed.
I long to see only charming beauty, everything fresh and clean, but I can’t quite seem to get there. When I host gatherings, I want everything pinterest-perfect. It’s a flaw of mine. It’s not so much about impressing other people; it’s more that I truly want to live in a pinterest-perfect environment. It makes me feel like my life is fresh and clean and in order.
By the time nightfall rolls around, I crawl into bed and the conversation in my head is anything but pretty. I am wondering if our guests feel like they’re slumming it here. By this stage of life, we should have a more manicured, upscale house and yard. Something people “ooh” and “ah” over. My husband’s an architect, for goodness sake! I should have a more established, lucrative career. I should be doing more kingdom-building things with my life. Making a difference in a bigger way. Right? I should have more faith, more compassion, more love.
The shoulds run deep this night. I’m saying things to myself I would never say to my best friend. I notice my copy of The Broken Way (Ann Voskamp), stuffed under a pile of books on my nightstand and I feel compelled to pick it up. I open it to the dog-eared page where I left off the last time I read. The next chapter is a well-timed gift… “Breaking the Lies in Your Head”.
Ann is comforting her teenage daughter who has been wounded by words.
“I want to cup her face in my hands and tell her, tell both of us: that serpent, the enemy of your soul, his name means prosecutor and that’s what he does – he tries to make you feel alone and on trial, tries to make your life a trial to get you to prosecute yourself.”
Her words remind me that the first tactic of the enemy of my soul is always to distort my identity. To lure me into forgetting that I am a child of the Most High. That my worth and value is determined by Him and Him alone. The Accuser’s scheme since the beginning of mankind… “Did God really say….?”
And then this reminder: “What you and I and all the broken can never stop doing: shake off that lying snake and break free. Because that lying snake’s head’s been long crushed.”
Toby took a shovel and, with one blow, took the head right off of that 4-foot snake making its way to the chicken coop. It slithered a little bit even without its head but by the end of the day that snake’s lifeless body was nothing but a heap in the bottom of the garbage bag. It was Easter Sunday. The same day Jesus crushed the serpent’s head and stepped out of the grave, telling every single one of us “I love you this much.”
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