I’m a Pinterest hoarder! I collect pins like a child collects junk at a free garage sale. I love almost everything I see, and so I save it for what? Sometime in the future when I’m suddenly crafty? Or suddenly find myself with “free time?”
I just can’t stop pinning stuff whenever I see something that will change my life and give me peace on a budget. Unfortunately, I find that my pins bring me both joy and stress. Joy because of the self-deception I have about being dedicated enough to attempt them, and stress because of the devil on my shoulder saying to the angel on my other, “You’ve got to be kidding me! She’ll never do it!”
Face it, I have enough to do in my life without comparing my crafty output to what all the other women are doing. I mean, just think about the Pinterest worthy projects the Bible has for me to do, like keeping up with the Proverbs 31 woman and all her hours of female perfection. She’s got me feeling like a loser from the minute I wake up. At least, that’s often my interpretation of her life.
Can you imagine what would be written about the Proverbs 31 woman if she lived today? I can! She’d be the bane of my existence, everything that I am too tired to be. You wanna see?
Okay, then take a look at my Woman Overwhelmed paraphrase of the woman we all feel we should be but just can’t seem to pull off:
“Listen up men, this woman is impossible to find. Finding her is like finding the Hope Diamond in your backyard. But I’m going to tell you about her anyway, so you can compare all other women to her. Finding her will make your life a living paradise.
First of all, she’s not afraid of hard work, she likes it! She’ll go to Aldi, Kroger, and Publix all in one day just to save you money! In the morning, she’ll rise with the birds to feed you: pancakes, bacon, eggs, omelettes, bacon, anything you and the kids desire, she’ll have it laid out like a Hilton buffet.
After breakfast and a quick tilling of the garden, she’ll start getting to work flipping houses. While the contractors are taking care of the big stuff, she’ll take a break and work on her Etsy business called “Knitting Pretty,” where she sells chunky homemade knit blankets and other crafts she whips up during her “me-time.”
During lunch she’ll serve the homeless at the shelter downtown, even if there is four inches of snow on the ground.
When she gets home it’s time to to tackle sewing that new suit you need by Wednesday, and making a memory quilt of her dead aunt, which takes her into the wee small hours of the morning to complete.
When she rises a few hours later, she quickly loads the mini-van with her upcycled palette furniture she’s delivering to the boutique down the street. She drives off laughing at the future and praising God for her wonderful life.
Lunchtime is her weekly Bible study where she teaches and disciples five women to become industrious and joyful. Now, she might not be charming or beautiful, but her hard work certainly will give you something to brag about. All that beauty stuff passes anyway, but her works will live on forever. She is greatly to be praised.”
This is how we often translate this passage into our own lives and those we see around us. “You’re such a Proverbs 31 woman,” we say, “running that amazing business on the side.” This comparison to the “super women” around us is why we are so often overwhelmed with our repeated failure to live up to what everyone else is doing. But we weren’t meant to create our own law of living up, but to live for Jesus, who is all the perfection we need. In fact, flip forward to the New Testament and read in Galatians 2:21 that, “if righteousness could be gained through the law (yes even our own), Christ died for nothing!” In other words, if you could perfect your life through your to-do lists and constant hard work then Christ died for no purpose.
The moral of the story is that God isn’t asking us to do it all, because he’s already done it all. He’s already made us perfect in His eyes by giving his Son as the final sacrifice for our failure to live up to perfection. So the next time that I open up Pinterest and see that perfect DIY sponge holder that would make my life so much neater and easier, I’m going to smile and say, “That’s cool, but it or something like it will always be there if I ever have time to make it.” No more hoarding for me, it’s too much pressure, besides a big coffee cup works just as well:)
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A Woman Overwhelmed Tour may be coming to a town near you this fall. If you’d like to have me speak on the overwhelming life at your church drop me a note and we’ll talk:)