Reflective Meandering

Thoughts on faith, people, politics, travel, and transition.

Pinterest Perfect

on February 25, 2014

I’m pretty sure that nothing in my life has caused so much pressure for me to “keep up with the Joneses” like wedding planning.

There are so many expectations that people have. Preferences, standards, etiquette. There’s always an opinion, a recommendation, a website, or an entire book to tell you exactly what you’re supposed to do and how you’re supposed to do it. But, hand-address 200 invitations? Not.happening! God created technology for a reason – my wedding!

When I first got engaged, everyone, well, every woman, asked me if I’d looked at Pinterest for ideas. The honest answer was no. I didn’t want to get on Pinterest. I didn’t want to create all of these expectations and standards for myself. Standards for a wedding that cost the bride’s parents a house, when I was only hoping to spend about a used car. I avoided Pinterest for awhile, also avoiding unrealistic expectations of the perfect rustic wedding, but with my bridesmaids being far away, Pinterest became the perfect place for me to share my ideas, and, unfortunately, to collect some along the way.

I’ll admit it; I was scared of Pinterest.

Thinking about the DIY, blog-worthy perfect wedding/party stresses me out. After all, when did it become a crime to simply have a pizza party at the skating rink for your kid’s birthday? Holy cow! Seeing facebook photos of the birthday parties of my friends’ kids almost made me want to avoid having children, just to avoid the social pressure of the perfect party. When I was a kid, I was totally fine with pizza and a piñata (that was store-bought!). Nowadays, moms spend the first year of the kid’s life pinning ideas for that first party (that Johnny isn’t even going to remember!). Those Sesame Street characters carefully constructed with organic fruits and veggies are cute and all, but did you really spend all of that time making those for your kid to enjoy, or was that photo-worthy homemade cake meant to impress mommy’s facebook friends?

I’ve always tried to avoid comparing myself to others; but, I find myself getting trapped sometimes. My fiancé and I have discussed this a bit. At one point, I told him that I was going to delete my facebook account once we’re married. He asked why and I admitted that I struggled with comparing him to the “best of” moments of all of my friends’ men.

I have an awesome fiancé. He is perfect for me in every way. I could not be more thankful that the Lord preserved me for him and that God saw fit to bring us together. He is everything that I could need and want in a future husband and the future father of our kiddos. But, he’s not perfect. And, according to facebook, all of my friends’ husbands are.

I mean, Jane’s husband brings her flowers “just because” all the time; Jillie’s husband made her a home-cooked steak dinner last night; Jessie’s husband took her on a surprise weekend getaway last weekend; Joanna’s fiancé bought a house near her parents for them to live in; and, and, and…

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s wonderful that Jane, Jillie, Jessie, and Joanna are praising their men on social media if their purpose is to praise and encourage their men. I absolutely love talking to my friends about how much they love being married and how much they love their husbands.

What I don’t like is comparing my future-husband to theirs. I’m not blaming my comparison on them, but I am encouraging all of us to check our motives. I, too, have praised my man’s expressions of love toward me on facebook. I admit now that I did so to gloat about the quality of my guy. To gloat. To fill him with pride. To fill me with pride. It’s almost like a reply – your husband made you dinner? Well, my man drove across the country to see me because I had a bad day.  Social media threatens my contentment and leaves me comparing myself to my DIYing friends and my fiancé to their husbands.

Ultimately, social media sometimes leaves me wanting that which God did not intend for me. Lusting for perfect things, perfect events, and perfect people.

Again, I believe with all of my heart, mind, and soul that the person I have chosen to spend the rest of my life with is perfect for me. He loves me in ways that I need to be loved. He communicates that love in ways that speak to my heart. He meets my needs in ways that all too often go unnoticed, or at least unthanked and unmentioned.

As we’ve prepared for marriage, we also discussed divorce. For us, it’s not an option. For ourselves, for our posterity, our marriage must survive. We know that there will be difficult times, but we’ve also talked about how to succeed despite them.

Somewhere, I’m not sure where, my fiancé heard a statistic – we love 80% of our spouse, the other 20% (that he leaves his clothes on the floor or she doesn’t clean her hair from the shower drain) that’s what we focus on.

Instead of focusing on what did and does make our life-partners perfect for us, we focus on their imperfections, and that is a recipe for disaster, and divorce.

So, praise your husband on your facebook wall, but do it so that he knows how much you love and appreciate him, not to keep up appearances with your 879 closest friends. Plan a party or a wedding or a date night that you’ll enjoy preparing and participating in, that represents who you are and what you love, one that will make you mom of the year, not one that makes you look like mom of the year. Make memories and don’t forget the story of Martha and Mary. While Martha was busy preparing for things to look and taste nice for Jesus, Mary was busy building a relationship and making memories with Him.

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