Sign into Instagram and search #idhtbptbb and you’ll find over 5,000 posts.
It’s a hashtag created by Myquillin Smith that stands for “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” It’s a recurring theme on her blog, thenester.com as well as her book, The Nesting Place. Both are filled with daily beauties in the form of DIY, decor and life grace. She challenges, even dares, us to see that beauty is not found in perfection, but in the process and the courage to try.
I just saw a blurb the other day about a new book in the works by Shauna Niequist called Present over Perfect. The title alone is enough to make me want to pre-order a copy. And then there’s the tag line, “Leaving behind frantic for a simpler, more soulful way of life.” And now, you want to grab your own copy too, right?
Exactly when did we trade in the concept of striving for excellence for the demand of perfection? We like to think that we’re above this strong tug of culture, but when we’re honest we find it creeping in as the very foundation of our thoughts. Whether it’s our weight, or the condition of our homes, or the grades and “adorableness” rating of our family, it’s there. And from time to time it rises to the surface rearing it’s ugly head. I’m pretty sure it’s why every child on a sports team when ours were younger received a trophy. Please don’t hear me saying that encouragement and rooting others on is not vitally important, but somewhere we bought into the idea we ALL have to be champions. At EVERYTHING. EVERY TIME.
So how’s that working out for you? Yeah, me neither.
I have to laugh at a few of my blog posts in the past few weeks.
Like this one, the “You’re Cool Beans, Mom” Gift Set that was part of the DIY Mother’s Day series. See the pic here? Do you see the oops in it?
No? That little strip of black on the cutting board? That’s chalkboard paint. The creamy white stuff with chocolate chips on top in the mug? That’s some pretty yummy coffee dip for fruit.
The backstory? My Steve actually stopped by the store on his way home from the office to pick up the whipped cream that I needed for the dip, along with a few other things because he’s cool like that. I spent time searching for a good recipe. I made the dip. That family tried it and approved.
I styled the little cutting board with the yummy dip in the mug. Took about a dozen pictures. Edited said pictures. Created a title for the final pic. Published the post. Two days later I realized what I had forgotten.
The whole point of making the dip was to write the name of it on the cutting board. It would show how amazingly cool the little project was. And then those who follow here would be in awe of my mad creative skills. And sponsors would contact me and then maybe, just maybe I would get to meet “The Real Beth Moore” and she too would be equally amazed. Just kidding, I didn’t go quite that far with the whole thing.
I did mentally scold myself though. I mean the entire coolness of the cutting board rested in the fact that you could write on it. Fortunately, before I traveled too far down the path of scolding, before it turned into more serious reprimanding or flat out berating, I had to laugh. Trust me, that was a God thing.
The thing is, theoretically we can reject the ridiculous notion that we must be perfect in every detail of life – yes, that includes mostly done projects for a blog post, or an uncooperative scale, or a melt down with one of our children or home decor that is “so last year” or … Oh, it’s a great theory, but the reality is that most of us have allowed this subtle lie to wedge itself right into the foundation of our thinking – this idea that worthiness demands perfection.
The Nester’s message has resonated with so many of us because we all need grace. It’s quite obvious how desperately we need it for the big things.
Yet we fail to realize how our repeated dismissing of grace in the small things can rather quickly add up to one larger-than-life burden that weighs down our days.
We would do ourselves a favor by accepting on the front end of life that we won’t be perfect, and that’s okay. Then we need to remind ourselves daily, learn what we can, laugh about the silliness of the inconsequential imperfections and move on.
So when you find foibles here on the blog, or piles of dirty dishes in your kitchen, or stray comments for which you’ve already received forgiveness, accept those as reminders that it’s okay to not do everything perfectly.
It doesn’t have to be perfect to be… (feel free to fill in the blank)
I’ll be over here reminding myself of the same!