Several years ago, I was caught off guard when my daughter called me out unintentionally. “Mom, your Pinterest clothes are so cute. How come you don’t dress that way?” Ouch! It stung. But after considering it, I realized it was a valid question. I (like millions of other Pinterest addicts) was pinning things that caught my eye. Things I felt represented my spirit well. So why was I living that life virtually instead of in reality?
Before you hit “delete” thinking this is about living a shallow life where identity is found in design, let me assure you: I live in a place of gratitude. I thank God every day for the life I get to live. I know that this life is not about what we accumulate here, and that what we focus on can lead to wanting more of it and less of the things that really matter. Random Fact: My first Pinterest password was “sinterest” to remind me when logging in that He created me with a heart of vision & creativity -not coveting & jealousy. (It also ironically proves he made me a words girl as well.)
With that said, my daughter’s question hit me for a reason beyond insulting my wardrobe. As a young teen I remember saving my babysitting money to buy Bridal magazines, and then designed a poster of my dream wedding-to the minutiae. I had another that detailed my future home-including photos, fabric swatches, and even a floor plan! (A skill that served me well when I got my 1st degree in Interior Design.) So you can imagine my excitement when I heard of this wonder called “Pinterest”. Let’s just say I could win a metal for having the most boards if that were a thing.
When my girl pointed out the discrepancy she saw, it was as if she’d asked “Is this who you want to be?” I thought about what I’d virtually pinned online. My boards represented a wide range of hobbies, the body and home that I live in (or hope to some day), self care, nutrition, etc. But the ones I spent the most time adding to had a deeper meaning and enjoyment. Scripture that has shaped my life and brought comfort, gatherings for hosting family and friends, date ideas for my husband, family vacations and activities and things that would make our kids and someday grand-kids want to come “home”.
I realized that for the most part, my life does look a lot like what I’d planned as a child. The creativity God seeded in me as a child has grown deep in my roots. I still love spending time with my family and our four legged friends as well as decorating, knitting, and being outside. But I also realized that there are somethings I’ve pinned for the future that I could be living today. So I don’t have a huge kitchen. Why wait until I do to invite friends over for supper? Now that I’m done with school, why not start those hobbies I’ve been wanting to learn? And when would it be the right time to dress my body in a way that reflected my personality?
Living on Purpose I made some changes that day. I cleaned out my closet and donated anything that didn’t reflect my spirit. I Marie Kondo’d my entire wardrobe. (Minus thanking my clothes for their service before giving them away. That’s just weird. 😉 I started asking myself each time before making a purchase, “Does this reflect my spirit?” If not, it’s a no-go. I shared my dream with my husband to someday live on a reversed tithe where we live on 10% of our income and donate 90% to those who need it more than we ever could as Americans. While our businesses are still a long way from being able to support that idea, he surprised me a few months later when he shared that he’d reworked our budget and and created a plan to scale our charitable giving by 1% every year until we’re able to make a bigger jump. The truth is, living authentically (where your values, dreams and actions all align) brings contentment while in-congruence brings distress. Don’t believe me? Show me a someone who believes God loves us infinitely, but hates herself whenever she passes a mirror. How about someone who wants to give her kids the childhood she never had, but loses her temper with them all day. Or the nutritionist who teaches healthy eating all day and binges on junk food each night. We can’t believe one thing in our heart while taking contrasting action without experiencing internal conflict. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” -Gandhi
When we take our beliefs and values with us into all areas of our life, we are consistent in who we are. What are your core beliefs? What foundation have you built your life on? If you reviewed all of the “boards” and “pins” in your life, would they align with your foundation, or are there things you need to pin or toss in order to live in alignment with your beliefs? Take a look. Take some time for a late spring cleaning. You’ll be so glad you did!
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