Confessions of Perfectionists: Finding Contentment and Peace in the Home and Life You Have

Disclaimer. This is going to be long. And contain lots of words. It just will. So grab a cup of coffee and get comfy. There are some good confessions in this post and maybe you’ll relate.

If you missed it, right before I left for Relevant I released my first ebook, NOT a DIY Diva. I haven’t really had much of a chance to talk about the book, being that I was rushing to get out of town and all! But the response to it so far has been encouraging and life-changing for me. It is great to find kindred spirits.

I’ve soooo appreciated the notes, messages and emails I’ve received and posts I’ve read from women who have struggled as I have to come to a place of contentment and peace with where they are in life. I will share a few of their emails with you today.

My story and journey to overcome perfectionism and find authenticity started long before blogging, but this issue takes on new meaning in blogland! There are many people who struggle with what is “enough.” Even if we don’t share what we are really thinking, the feeling of overwhelm and the struggle for contentment is not unusual!

Life probably isn’t going to be perfect for most of us (and if it is perfect, it might not be that way forever!). The older we get, the more we realize that reality! Imperfection is supposedly chic these days, but yet, do we really embrace that idea in every way? Or are we still striving for contentment and acceptance through perfection, even in our imperfection?

Some women just smile and nod and pretend everything is OK behind the closed doors of their pretty little houses and behind the scenes of blogs, but for many women, life at home REALLY is not perfect. It isn’t the fairytale they dreamed of and there are real struggles to find contentment.

It is tough being a good mom and keeper of our home and living up to our own expectations. It is challenging juggling our to do list and balancing priorities. It can be discouraging when our home, life, husband, children or blog doesn’t meet up to our ideal and we can feel discouraged with what we have.

Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by ideas and inspiration and feel pressured to do more or spend more in order to “keep up.” Sometimes the overload can leave us curled up in bed unable to accomplish anything.

Being online can be like having ADD, inspiration is everywhere and you just don’t know where to focus any more.

I received an email from a young blogger who told me:

She goes crazy one month accomplishing those DIY projects around her house on a self-imposed crazy deadline, and the next month she basically passes out from exhaustion. She is desperately in need of finding a rhythm for her life so she can enjoy the journey!

She revealed the trap she sees online:

The bigger my blog gets and the deeper I get into this world the more I see the ugly side of it.  You know the side that is driven by money, stats and jealousy?

Another reader wrote to me saying she “feels productive searching for wardrobe ideas, craft projects and recipes online and cataloging them for future use.” Until she realizes she hasn’t finished a project in her own home in months, her house is a mess, she has nothing in the house for dinner and her kids have been on the computer all afternoon. Then she feels “defeated, discouraged and disappointed” with herself.

I have thought many times over my four years of blogging that this job was a dream come true for me! And it really is! I am blessed in many ways. I can say “this is my job” and therefore I can do more to decorate my home. How fun is that? And I can justify spending more time blogging and fixing up my home because, well, blogging is how we are able to support our outside ministries. The more I do, the more I blog, the bigger and better my business can be! That gives me a great excuse, right?

finding contentment

Yet, it is often the justifiable respectable good things and reasonable excuses that pull me back to discontent with my life.

While it is true, this is my job, and it couldn’t be a better fit for me and it definitely provides for our needs, I really have to try hard to not let my “job” lure me into a perpetual state of discontentment or put me on a constant mission to have the perfect home, accept more opportunities I don’t really need, create the perfect posts, set up the perfect holiday or live the perfect life. I don’t want my “job” or “hobby” or neighbors or comparisons or whatever it is at at the moment determine my success or failure as a woman, as a mom or keeper of my home.

That is another perfection trap I can fall into.

It is a fine line between what is right to do to support my family or charities or grow my business or simply to do what I enjoy, and what is the wrong message to send to my girls about what it takes to be content in life and what my priorities are. Gulp, it is not easy getting it right.

One blog writer sent this message to me:

While I have loved writing this blog and putting together my design business, the stress is immense to make it all work, while still being the perfect wife and mom.

A blog reader confessed:

Even though I enjoy reading all the blogs and you all feel like friends to me, I shut down my computer feeling kind of depressed sometimes because I don’t have that kind of time or money. I know they are just bloggers trying to give the best ideas, but it is hard to not compare yourself to their greatness when you can’t measure up.

I received another note recently from a reader who was encouraged by the ebook:

Melissa, you have helped me more than you could imagine. Your words have given me moments of inner peace. This feeling has been foreign for so long. I want to thank you, for now I can begin the process of living true to myself…Thank you so much.

I don’t have it all figured out yet. Obviously I love finding inspiration online and don’t feel it is all bad, I REALLY LOVE IT! But I do use the techniques and suggestions that I shared in my own ebook to refocus myself on what matters when I get sidetracked by the lure of shiny things I think I need to be doing!

By allowing myself to spend time getting distracted by many things that are not priorities, I’m by default saying NO to things I could be doing that are more important to me. I want to say YES to what matters and NO to what doesn’t.

What are you going to say YES to TODAY?

 

You can find the ebook, NOT a DIY Diva, here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. Melissa, Thanks for this insightful post. I am saying yes today to spending the day with my teenage daughter helping her make costumes for a school project. It began with me helping her do hers, but since I’m the creative mom, it seems I’ve adopted a few other kids. So on this, my day off, I am saying no to taking on any home projects, no to spending hours reading those blogs I never have time for and no to not putting my family first.
    Mimi recently posted..Watch Flowers Bloom On This Cool VideoMy Profile

  2. JUST what I needed this morning…what a reminder of the truth.

    Our contentment and joy and peace comes from God. The end.

    Since the beginning of time, we’ve been trying our best to get our identities from anything other than the ONLY one who can give it to us.

    Thanks, Melissa, for keeping it real.

  3. I am still figuring all this out. But one thing I’m learning is that saying yes in one place, is saying no in another. That is not a judgement, but a truth. The challenge is making sure I’m saying yes to the best things.

    Still, I’m grateful for a creative space online that God uses to bless my heart over and over again.

    Thanks for your wise words Melissa!
    Stacey recently posted..Writer,GirlMy Profile

  4. Melissa, I was shaking my head YES and talking out loud to myself through this entire post. Finding contentment and balance…..now that is a challenge for women today. We have so many options which is wonderful! But at some point we have to say to ourselves – THIS is enough. It’s something that I’ve realized the older I get – having hopes and dreams for the future is important, but more so is being grateful for the NOW and making the most of what you have in your life. Thank you for this thoughtful post. Your words are such an inspiration to me.
    Lisa recently posted..Mangia Mondays:: A Grandmother’s Apple PieMy Profile

  5. Dear Melissa,
    You have put to words what our hearts are feeling. Thank you for voicing the truth. It’s so easy to get off the real road and get lost in a fantasy land which crashes down on us all too soon. We lose our inner focus, we forget what’s important to us, we don’t know how to listen to ourselves anymore and it’s all about everyone else. AND WE BEAT OURSELVES UP FOR IT TOO. Ladies, LOVE YOURSELVES FIRST so you can love your life, no matter what!! There are true blessings everywhere.

  6. Hi Melissa…what a wonderful post, I do struggle with discontentment. I know I should be content, but it’s like you know what you “could” do, if you had more money, time etc. I am constantly telling myself to make more grateful lists than “to-do” list. Posts like this one really help! Thanks!!!!!
    Noelle recently posted..Thanksgiving Preparedness- Part 3My Profile

  7. I needed this this morning. I want to do it ALL but I have to learn that I can’t do it all. I get frustrated when there are meals to cook, dishes to do, animals to tend to, floors to sweep, crafts to create, stuff to organize, pictures to be taken and edited and posts to write…and this all has to happen between 5 pm and 10 pm. I can’t do it all and still enjoy time with my boyfriend and our pets. It’s exhausting.

    I envy those women who get to stay home. I know their jobs aren’t easy either, I really do, but I just wish I had more time…everyone does, though, I suppose.

    I need to use my crock pot more.
    Ashley recently posted..A Different Kind of Pinterest ChallengeMy Profile

  8. Hi Melissa,
    I’ve not ordered your book yet…I want to but haven’t had time, but with Thanksgiving weekend coming up I will have some relaxing moments. I know you have struck a chord with so many of us that feel like we’re dancing as fast as we can to achieve perfection in our lives. It can be exhausting and I’m ready for a change. Congratulations on your early success with your book.
    Karen
    Karen recently posted..{GHP} Fall installment #3 and introducing my pheasantMy Profile

  9. All of this rings soooo true! Whenever those feelings of inadequacy hit, I shut the computer off and go clean something, look at my list of things to do, and give myself a huge break. A lot of “ordinary” hides behind the glamour of blogs we like to drool over. It isn’t reality. It’s more like a TV show – you never know what goes on in production, behind the scenes. I blog for me and mine – even tho I love to get comments. I keep a beautiful home for my family – even tho I love to make guests feel comfy here. I will never monetize my blog, but bless anyone’s heart who wants to. It’s good to keep perspective, no?

  10. Wow. I was reading along, with my cup of coffee, thinking I should be heading to the kitchen to get breakfast ready before school, nodding and agreeing with so many things you and the quotes were saying. Acknowledging some of those same feelings within myself. Then at the end, you made me tear up. I don’t even know if I’m sure of why. A combination of all of it I suppose. It’s amazing that we can KNOW there are so many other moms out there attempting on a daily basis to do it all and do it well, yet we still struggle with that elusive perfection, that will never come, in an attempt to show the world we’ve got it all figured it out and all put together. Or maybe, at times, we’re struggling with coming to terms that that can never be reality. In those moments, whether they’re minutes, days, months, we are then attempting to live a life that is “content”. A life that is full, no matter what’s outside our home’s doors. It all comes down to committing to be happy. A choice that so many of us find hard to make sometimes. Or one that’s hard to even see, among the dinners, the laundry, the crafts, the volunteering, the kids, the wall color, the outfits, etc.
    This was really such a great post.
    Mindy recently posted..Ruby ChickenMy Profile

    • I tear up a little too when I talk about this because I know all sides of this issue, so many GOOD things in life can be distractions from the best things. And yet, we all struggle to feel like we are ENOUGH. I just want to be so clear here on this blog about what matters MOST. I do believe we CAN have both, a lovely home AND contentment, it is just a discipline to avoid that false measuring stick of what is good enough and challenge ourselves to accept and thrive in the reality we live in!

  11. I’m going to say, “NO!” to that thief called comparison. Making a new home without spending a dime is a challenge. And seriously, don’t I already have an overabundance of items to make my house pretty?!! My husband is pleased. Who else really matters? Who am I trying to please? I think it’s time for my home to be an expression of my creativity and hospitality and a place of peace for all who enter. And maybe most of all a sanctuary for my husband. Not a ‘show-off’ place. And therein lies the real priority for me.
    Thanks Melissa for your honesty. I am looking forward to reading your book. You are a wonderful inspiration. May God’s hand of blessing on you be exceedingly abundantly more than you can ask or imagine.

  12. I am going to say YES to the NEXT JOYFUL THING! Whatever that may be. I finally started blogging – something that I have wanted to do for a long time – it brings me joy. But so does reading, cooking, crafting, walking my dog and connecting with friends. I’m not going to think too long or too hard about it. I’ll just let my heart guide me and enjoy what comes next.
    Canny recently posted..Confessions of a Fake ShopperMy Profile

  13. Kathleen Grace
    Twitter:
    says:

    Melissa, you couldn’t have hit the nail on the head any better. I began blogging as a way to communicate with family members and it turned into so much more. It has changed my life for the better, but there are times I feel the pressure to “measure up”, post more, do I have anything really creative or interesting to share? I love blogging, and the connections I have made, but as with any other aspect of life, keeping a balance and finding contentment with what I do is a struggle sometimes. Thanks for saying what I have felt. I often wondered if I was the only one who felt that way!

  14. Thanks for this touching post! I’ll share it with my friends!
    Bea recently posted..Get full value…My Profile

  15. Danielle M. says:

    Hey Melissa!

    This comment has nothing to do with me blogging (I don’t have one) or imperfection or what-have-you, although I really enjoyed the post today! This comment is to simply say thanks for the 31 days series. I read every day and really enjoyed coming to my computer knowing there would be something new, fun and fresh to read about topics that are dear to my heart. So thanks! I know the blog is your business, but it is still appreciated that you probably had to devote more time, effort and energy during that series.

    • Oh thank you! That means so much to me. Really, I blog out of love for my topics and sometimes I put in more effort than is necessary — but it is a lot of fun. I’m glad you enjoyed the series, it helps so much to know that!! Sometimes as a blogger I feel like I’m speaking out into the air and I’m not sure how people feel. Your sweet comment today was reassuring and encouraging. Thank you!!

      • Danielle M. says:

        You are most welcome!

        Given that information, let me further (in)courage you (heehee!) with this:

        Between the ideas you and Sandy from Reluctant Entertainer have shared on your blogs, I am one excited woman because I get to host a Christmas girls’ night at my house! I had been enjoying all the eye candy from the 31 days, and had wondered if I might do something. Yesterday, a friend that lives out of state called and asked if I would be willing to hostess the gathering the weekend before Christmas when she and her husband pass through. YES!

        Thanks again for the ideas and encouragement. It is not just thin air out here. We’re reading and enjoying. :)

  16. Wow! I didn’t get an ounce of sleep last night for listening to all the crazy thoughts going through my head about all I have to do and all I’m not getting done. One such thought was about how I haven’t been blogging (publicly) for very long… and I feel like I’m already an epic fail at it. lol. I was even going to write a blog post about how I don’t see me ever being able to keep up with everything as well as those I admire do. The truth is, I really don’t think I will ever be as good at this as you are, and I’m OK with that… as long as I remain mindful that I do it because I enjoy it, not because my survival depends on it. Thank you for helping me to feel “normal” today, Melissa.
    Susan recently posted..Got Bracelets? A Charmingly Inexpensive Way to Dress-Up Your CandlesMy Profile

  17. Melissa, we are definitely kindred spirits! As a designer it is so so so easy to focus on the “presentation” and making sure everything looks perfect on the outside. Most of the harshest expectations,deadlines and stressors we put on OURSELVES! Also we forget that this is all JUST STUFF – beautiful, home-made, purchased, decorated, fashionable STUFF. I recently started my blog with a mission to be totally authentic and to encourage others – I love reading your posts as a reminder for myself to stay true to that mission! Thanks for posting!
    Kelsey recently posted..Pinning ProblemsMy Profile

  18. Wow. This post really speaks the sentiments of my heart! I started a little etsy business this summer and tried to start bloggging more frenquently, but ended up getting burned out (yes, only after a couple months:). So even though I know more frequent blogging would probably increase sales, I absolutely have to minimize my computer time as much as possible in order to keep my sanity and not get caught up in the “money, stats, and jealousy”.

    Thank you for being real and transparent in your post content! I so appreciate it!
    Katie recently posted..Who Loves Fall?My Profile

  19. Thank you Melissa for this much-needed post! I struggle with this often, and was encouraged today. Sometimes I don’t hear the still, small voice within due to all the foghorns I allow to drown it out.
    Jimi Ann recently posted..ships in distressMy Profile

  20. michelle starling says:

    Melissa, thanks for this post. I really needed it today. You’ve said exactly what I’ve been feeling. There is so much out there and I’m always happy to find new ideas but that discontentment is always lurking, waiting for an opportune moment to pounce. I’m new to this blog world and I thought that maybe I could oneday generate some additional income for our family through my blog. But what I’ve found is that first I have to find my direction and I have to realize that my blog my just be a hobby. Today I’m finding contentment in that. Today I’m choosing to be where I am. Last night as I was turning out the living room lights be fore bed, I was caught off guard by how my living room looked. I was in love. My red walls, wood bookcases filled with homeschool books, my yellow, red and green color scheme that I’ve had for years. I was in love with my living room for the first time in a while. I’ve been dreaming of white walls and light furniture, you know, what’s all the rage in desighn world. But last night, I was overcome with the beauty I have right now. Thanks so much for the post.

    • YES. That is what I’m talking about. Finding peace with what we have and seeing the beauty in it. Being able to set aside what we think everyone else is doing and just find happiness with where we are!! I’m happy you got a glimpse of that!!

  21. Melissa, you have written such a thoughtful post. I think we, as women and creative women at that,have a constant tug and pull with what NEEDS to be done and what we WANT to do!! I have found that when I keep my priorities straight I seem to find time for both and don’t have the guilt that is involved with not taking care of the home fires!! The balancing act in life is always a struggle and we as a society really do try to do too much in one day. I love the way you share your struggles, your victories and you everyday life with us. You always keep it real and I think relateable. Keep doing what you do so very well, xo Kathysue
    kathysue recently posted..There is Change In The AIR!!My Profile

    • Thank you Kathysue, I agree…when our priorities are right we CAN find time for both what we need to do and want to do! We definitely try to do too much in one day! Thanks so much for your supportive encouraging comment. I’m so grateful for women like you who keep me encouraged!!! xo

  22. This is a great post, Melissa, full of truth. Comparing ourselves to others is such a trap, and so easy to fall into. I’ve struggled with contentment in the past couple of years, not with my house but with where God has placed me. I’m continuing to work on my attitude and seeing progress, which makes for a happier me.

    What I’m saying YES to today is spending time at my sewing machine, using up a small part of the fabric I already have. Christmas is coming and I’m making gifts!

    Thanks, Melissa for sharing your heart.
    Lorrie recently posted..On My WorktableMy Profile

  23. I love reading decorating and DIY blogs. But, I get tired of what never seems real on how perfect the homes seem. There is no way any one’s home can be perfect like the blogs usually show all the time. Of course we don’t want to look at some one’s messy house all the time either. Blogs I tend to stay with show a mix of real life and good results from creative ideas. I like seeing the human side of the blog writer. I don’t expect the writer to be perfect as no one is. We should be supportive of each other, and keepin’ it real sometimes shows we all have more in common in our daily lives. Posts sometimes on just daily living, mixed with decorating and projects, is a welcome change also.

  24. Ummm, yes. This is true:

    “By allowing myself to spend time getting distracted by many things that are not priorities, I’m by default saying NO to things I could be doing that are more important to me. I want to say YES to what matters and NO to what doesn’t.”

    I have “by default” said no to many things I shouldn’t have. It stings a little to realize that, and yet I am grateful for the realization. Better to realize it and do what I need to do in order to change than for it to just go on and on–because that road leads to nowhere good.

    Thank you for being an inspiration, Melissa!
    Richella at Imparting Grace recently posted.."Give thanks" pillow tutorialMy Profile

  25. I love your quote from an e-mailer:
    “Another reader wrote to me saying she “feels productive searching for wardrobe ideas, craft projects and recipes online and cataloging them for future use.” Until she realizes she hasn’t finished a project in her own home in months, her house is a mess, she has nothing in the house for dinner”

    Been there.
    Before Pinterest, I made my own cut-and-paste book of ideas. And, I rarely went to it – except to paste MORE!

    Now, I have a very organized system of lists – broken down by topic. So, if I’m looking for diner inspiration, I have a list of my own ideas.

    Feel like doing a really fast project? I have a list of quick things (move this to there. Unpack the __ and put them on the ___.)

    I am beginning to understand how I will never have that grown up house. Bigger house. I might never have a fireplace. I need to be content with who and where I am…now.

    I look forward to reading the ebook!
    ~
    Dana at Cooking at Cafe D recently posted..2 Quick Tips to a More Inviting HomeMy Profile

  26. I’m continually inspired by you and your blog. Today – I am going to say YES to the laundry, the dirty kitchen, eating lunch with the windows open while my kids are napping – and NO to Pinterest, blogland and Facebook. Goodbye until tomorrow…
    Anna recently posted..You Know You’re a Blogger When…My Profile

  27. You have put into words what many of us feel deep down, especially me. I’ll be blogging 4 years in December and while I first felt the urge to “keep up with the Joneses” I’m so glad I finally got to the point that I was pushing myself to do more and more, to the point of just spinning my wheels and getting nothing done. I admire those that can post every day and seem to have never ending projects going on, but that’s just not for me, and I’m good with that.

    Thank you for your timely and heartfelt post.

  28. Hi there, I just found your blog, guess I am a bit behind in all of this. I do love blogging, for the great ideas and new friends. I have refused to get all involved in Pinterest though..just too much computer sucking my time away sort of thing! ;D

  29. Great post! I’m going to pull myself away from the computer and say “yes” to housework. Not fun, but my family is my priority, thanks for the reminder.
    birdsandsoap recently posted.."She’s About to Pop!" Some MoreMy Profile

  30. I believe in moderation. I got really stressed after our move last year. The condition of the old house and all the building work made it even worse and I felt like I was having panic attacks.

    I decided I was going to take it easy. What’s the worse that can happen, right? If I lose my mind I’ll lose everything and gain nothing. The house will still be a mess. I’ve done a lot of work and design in our house to make it the way it is today. There’s more to be done but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.

    In case you haven’t received my email, your book is now on my writing site.
    Anne Lyken-Garner recently posted..6 Worst Public Bathroom Designs EverMy Profile

  31. Gwen Anderson says:

    I feel guilty adding to your workload by writing a comment but I so wanted you and your “blog buddies” to know how incredibly awesome your openness and generosity in sharing your insights, ideas, and creative projects with us- the not so talented, escapists from our own lives, maybe too ill to move public. PLEASE take care of yourselves! Your readers love you just the way you are so relax and take breaks. Put a shout out when you aren’t doing well and hordes of us will pray for you. Vertigo kept me trapped in a chair for 2 months and I would have lost my mind if I didn’t have great blogs and pinterest. Really you saved my life. I had great joy between motion sickness bathroom breaks. Thanks for all your hard work!

    • Aw you are so sweet Gwen! Comments do not add to my workload, they are a real blessing to a blogger! They are what help us to know when you are really out there and not just a number!! Thank you so much for sharing how much blogging means to you and that you really CARE about us!!! We feel the same way about the readers. That means the world. We are all real people :-) so thank you sweetie…so sorry you were not well!! Hope you are better now!!

  32. Oh, wow! This is just the post for me! I can be totally obsessed with decorating and “fixing things up” in my house….therefore, sometimes I end the day feeling very guilty that I didn’t spend enough one-on-one time with my children. I love to blog and I sometimes feel guilty with what time I spend doing that as well. I’m constantly praying that God will give me the right balance of being the mama #1 and then having time to do the other things I enjoy:) And then contentment…when is it that I’m not content with what God has blessed me with or just simply the love of decorating?!! Thanks so much for being so transparent! It is so nice to know that I”m not the only one in the world that struggles..that’s one reason I love blogging so much:)
    Beth recently posted..ModerationMy Profile

  33. Hello Melissa,
    Ditto, thanks so much for keeping it REAL !!
    Many Blessings & peace…Domenica

  34. Melissa, I was totally shocked and honored to see my words in your post. You have touched my life in a positive way, therefore for me it’s now easier to “pay forward”. We’re all only human, and doing our best. Myra from My Blessed Life spoke to a similar topic just this past Sunday. I don’t want to give it away, but if you get a moment, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it and smile, just as I did. You are sincere and honest and I believe that out shines all. Be well!

  35. For me, blogging is a fun way to become inspired and then to create something all my own. At first I wished I had more followers and interaction, but as I decided I was blogging primarily for ME and not to impress anyone else, I became much happier, more motivated AND I got more followers.

    In my opinion, if you aren’t happy with your life as it is now, you’ll only magnify that unhappiness with blogging. If you are happy, blogging will make you happier.

    Love your stuff Melissa! Thanks for sharing it. xox
    Anne recently posted..The SparrowMy Profile

  36. Melissa,
    Thank you so much for this post. I am actually a former blogger/web designer who struggled so much with these issues that I have given those dreams up. Finding a way to be a great mom, wife, blogger, full-time school counselor and more was just too much for my perfectionist side to allow. I will definitely be purchasing your book.
    God bless!

  37. diane streicher says:

    Great wisdom and insights in this post and comments..as a mom of mostly grown daughters, I would just add this thought. We all want to raise children who are full of love, mercy, grace and kindness; the best way to accomplish that is to model those qualities in our own behavior, especially in the way we treat ourselves. We moms tend to be so hard on ourselves. There’s no doubt that we have the most important job in the world; I only wish we could more often relax and enjoy the ride!

  38. I love the comment about house being a mess, no food & kids on computer all day!!! That story is what I was thinking a few weeks back!
    Jessica recently posted..The beginning of our Family Room makeoverMy Profile

  39. Awesome thoughts! So true and so spot on. I too have tried to embrace the imperfect of everything. And every time I start feeling frustrated, chaotic, and depresed?

    I crept back into perfectionist mode. Thanks a bunch.

  40. Oh, I wish I had met you at Relevant! I love your heart here. You encourage me. I have been blogging for not quite a year now, and I struggle to surrender it all to His leading, wondering all the time what partnering with Him looks like — how much I should hope for a larger audience or not care at all. {It is too hard to not care when I hope His voice in me reaches His girls.} I need to trust Him, though. I am looking forward to reading more of your wise and tender posts. Thank you.

  41. I love your blog, I posted a picture linking back to you yesterday. I hope that’s alright? I always love it when people do that but please feel free to let me know if you don’t appreciate it and I will take it off. Thanks for being awesome!!
    Sundi recently posted..Something Old, Something New, Something Crafted And Somthing Blue! {Giveaway}My Profile

  42. First, I’m going to say a firm, “NO!” to finding out what Pinterest is all about. I’ve never been there and plan to keep it that way. Last thing I need is another distraction, and I’ve heard it can become addicting. Instead, I’m saying, “YES!” to more time enjoying the old and simple things that make up my home. Life is not a competition, and neither should blogging be.

    Great post.
    Dayle recently posted..Art ~ What A Needle And Thread Can DoMy Profile

  43. I love the inspiration on the endless blogs. It’s amazing how much we can learn and see while sitting in our own homes. I’m also aware that it can become the source of frustration too. Most of us have limited funds, skill and time. I’ve always loved French antiques and linens. I was buying little bits here and there. At that time it was all about Tuscany. I kind of thought that look was more like Olive Garden. Anyway I’m now to the point when I read FRENCH I tune out. I don’t live in France and let’s face most of us can’t afford to build the home of our dreams….to be honest I don’t even know what that means. My goal has been to create a home that sets a mood and has a soul. It bothers me watching the way young couples will go through homes on HGTV and look down on the current owners and say such snide remarks. When did that become acceptable behavior? I think it’s rude. We’ve bought many homes and completely changed them to our lifestyle and made updates without sending the message to our children – WE are so much BETTER than those people. We’re not. We have no idea how kind or decent the people might be that lived there. Oh well my rant. I say do the most you can to enjoy your home and family. It all goes by too fast whether we complain our way through it or enjoy it.

  44. I love this post – thank you for putting the truth into words that speak life! I sure appreciate you.
    BeckyB recently posted..Surfing For YouMy Profile

  45. Melissa, I so appreciated this post! It comes to me at a time of on-going struggle in my family’s life & the temptation to be discontented and discouraged is sometimes tough to fight. Your words really struck a chord with me and were such life to me. Thank you for being real..loved it. :)
    Maureen recently posted..The Love That Doesn’t Cost a ThingMy Profile

  46. What an fantastically humble and inspiring post! I love your work and always look forward to reading your posts. You are relate-able on so many levels and really tell it as it is. You capture all the emotions us mothers/wives/bloggers are feeling but not saying out loud!
    Balance is something I’m always striving to achieve. As a new blogger I feel like I can get caught up in reading, pinning & surfing. Then my house is a mess, my kids are ignored and i am just feeling overwhelmed and guilty:( And no projects get done.
    Thanks for inspiring me to take a step back and not worry that my project isn’t perfect or my blog is not up to par.
    And to less pinning, more doing!

  47. Thanks for posting this. I’ve often found myself on blog-surfing overload and then feeling deflated because there are so many beautiful blogs and ideas and I don’t have the energy or resources to do anything like “they” are doing. I had to come to the realization that I simply cannot get lost in all these blogs and ideas, I have to accept my own reality and go with the ideas I see that I know can fit into my life and home. Thanks for sharing all of your ideas and putting so much work into this!

  48. Thanks for your honesty. I truly enjoy your posts and this one was a great change and with some much needed words of wisdom
    STACY recently posted..Here there and everywhereMy Profile

  49. That balance is certainly a tricky one. I love when I complete a project or write a post that gets some attention, but the reality is that can’t happen all the time so I need to pace myself.
    Grace recently posted..WISH Wednesday #4My Profile

  50. Wow, I appreciated this post so much! Granted I always love everything you write ;) but this really spoke to me. I recently had an epiphany – why does my house have to be “perfect” and up to the standards of my mom or numerous friends who all have endless time & money to make their homes look fabulous? My home is simply that – MY HOME, where I live with my husband and our two boys, all of whom couldn’t care less about the decor but would prefer a comfortable place to put their feet up and watch TV with a bowl of popcorn, and not have to worry about using a coaster or crushing one of my perfectly placed throw pillows on the couch. ;) Once I realized that my home needs to be perfect for US, not anyone else, then everything started coming together: I actually started loving the decor and found new ways to organize, which led to me being happier and less grouchy. Because why be mad over the kids’ toys, sports stuff, shoes, backpacks, hubby’s piles of paperwork etc?! They’re a fact of life – embrace them, work them into the decor/organization, and get over it! Maybe a little bookshelf by the front door filled with baskets for all the STUFF isn’t “right” by my mom’s or my friends’ standards, or doesn’t “go” with the rest of the room, but it works for US and keeps the 4 of us happy and organized!! Why did it take me so long to figure this out?! All that really matters in life is putting God first and having a happy family. Everything else is just a bonus. Thank you so much for helping all us decor crazed ladies remember that.

  51. Thank you so much for posting this. I have definitely been posting less and less lately, mostly due to the fact that being in the blog world and seeing all of the talented people makes it very easy to become overwhelmed.

    I can identify with the blogger who said she feels inspired by pinterest and feels ambitious when she files crafts and recipes away…but then feels completely discouraged when she looks at the state of her own home.

    Something I’ve learned {or continue to learn/remind myself} is that you don’t have to only post when everything is “perfect”. For example, I had been dreading posting pictures of our first apartment because it didn’t look like it was designed by Candice Olsen. However, I realized that part of design is trial and error, so I thought I’d share some of my initial designs, just to show a starting point.

    Thanks again for posting this! Oh, and by the way, your home is lovely! :)

    ~ Natalie

  52. I don’t have a blog but I also wonder at the perfection of other people’s homes. I don’t have any talent for design but I think my home looks pretty good. Today is my birthday so I am going to spend it with my daughter and not worry about the plastic bottle and the box shards on the floor due to the dog’s love for really cheap toys. Perfection is a goal and should not be a threat. Have fun!

  53. What you’re saying is really important. I guess I am always struggling with this contentment thing. There is a lot of inspiration (diy and otherwise) that I can get online. But it is easy to forget that the blogosphere is just snapshots. They are mute, and cropped, photo-shopped and tweaked, to look their best. Holdi it up as a standard cab be a little like comparing my body to the actress on the front of People magazine.

    But the other danger I fall into is living vicariously through the net. When I spend all afternoon online looking at homes and recipes and crafts, I do get a good feeling while doing it. It’s focusing on all the good and fun things out there, as a distraction from my own imperfect life. And really, it’s no better than the stereotypical house wife who eats bon-bons and watches sopes all day. I’m not content with my own life, so I’d rather watch other peoples “lives” and forget about my own for the time being. But living in an alternate reality isn’t the solution!

  54. Melissa,
    I just wanted to say thank you for this post. Spot on and exactly what I needed to hear tonight. Your words went straight to my heart…xo

  55. I just read this post. It’s been sitting in my inbox this whole time. God knew I would need it today. Today, I needed to hear that while bloggers, designers and authors share their successes they don’t always share their disappointments or discouragements online. Those I have had plenty of lately. I needed to know that am not alone in my struggle to manage life.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Stephanie Lance recently posted..CrazinessMy Profile

  56. Ohhhhh … what a great reminder this is! I understand all too well. In fact, I blog about home organization and I had to shut down the computer yesterday and stop worrying about my next blog post so I could clean my own home.

    Ironic, no?
    Andrea B recently posted..Get Organized 2012: Book GiveawayMy Profile

  57. Nancy Hanselman says:

    I could not have stumbled on this at a better time, a nice gentle reminder of what really matters. Thank you ! I too can be a perfectionist in everything. My husband has lost his job twice (he is a research scientist) and we decided to downsize so we would not have to move our family again for a company who doesn’t care about how their decisions affect their employees. We have a beautiful 10 acres, a small pond, beautiful landscaping and a nice cozy home. We are just starting to redecorate and make it our own after three years. It is enough:) Living a perfectly imperfect life:)
    Nancy

Join the Conversation

*

CommentLuv badge

css.php