God’s Board

Every once in a while it hits me all of the sudden like, “Hey! Didn’t I used to blog sometimes?” And then I pop back on and pretend I’ve been here all along.

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I was chatting with friends the other day about Pinterest, and there’s one thing that just keeps on bothering me about it. Now (BIG) disclaimer here. I have a Pinterest account that is a little bit like my garden right now. Sorely neglected. I have no problem with Pinterest in the abstract. I find it occasionally handy. But there is a problem with it too – or at least a temptation to be aware of. So this is not a comment on whether or not you should ever look at Pinterest. It is just a few things that I have noticed and thought I would share.

Discontent is often not about one specific thing. It is about your identity. It isn’t really just, “Oh I would love to have that,” but a lot more of “Oh, I would love to be that kind of person who has that.”  In this way, it is easy to use Pinterest as a little costume. By pinning things that are like the person that we wish we were, we sort of tell ourselves and maybe other people that we are that person, deep down inside. Just look at the boards. It will show you clearly what an awesome aesthetic I have. It will show you how beautiful my food is. It will show you who I wish I was.

I have nothing against setting goals or aiming higher. The problem that I am wanting to point out is thinking that we have become something or done something or known something that we actually only clicked on. Letting Pinterest become a sort of fantasy world of yourself as a 50’s housewife, a world traveler, model, a fashion designer, a fitness guru, or DIY superstar can be unhealthy. It is a different kind of romance novel for women. It is a world to lose yourself in that does not actually connect with reality as much as it pretends to.

But your identity is actually around you, not through the magic mirror computer screen. You are a daughter of the King and the things that He has chosen for your life are perfect for you. Embracing the identity and situation that God has given you is a powerful step toward both contentment and progress. It’s an old but true saying, “Bloom where you are planted.”

Today I saw a bumper sticker that said, “I’d rather be here now.”  This is a profoundly Christian sentiment. While the truth may be that you love fishing, or running, or whatever your bumper says you’d rather be doing – here and now is what you should rather be doing. Because here and now is what God gave you. It is like we are guests at God’s table wearing big stickers on our heads that say, “I’d rather have pasta” and “I’d rather be eating cheese, but here I am again with the bread and the wine.”

God has given you a tremendous gift. He has chosen your life for you. He has chosen the lessons that He wants you to master. He has chosen your hardships, your headaches, your health problems, your children, your husband, your house. Let the things that God has chosen for you be the things that you willingly pin. Things that you say, “Yes! This is my style!”

Today is a day when I would have pinned a beautiful embroidery project for me. God pinned my children at the table with scissors and sticky hands. He pinned Shadrach eating a bran muffin in the same way a weed-eater would have. He pinned a weird smell in the laundry and a mishap in the bathroom. I would have pinned some nice Japanese lunch boxes. But lo, God chose me up bruised bananas following a desperate Arby’s drive-through. I would have pinned onto today a beautiful menu display board for my dining room. God chose no time to get to the grocery store. I would have pinned beautifully tailored clothing and expensive shoes. God pinned a muffin top. When God pins things onto our life, it isn’t a joke either. We can pin all kinds of things that we have no intention of following through on. Here’s a cool project. That looks good. Interesting tutorial. When God pins things on our life, they are things that we must do. This isn’t a tutorial for never anymore. This is God working you through lessons He wants you to learn in real time.

But does all this mean that God chooses ugly and I chose beauty? Of course not. God did not give me a perfect life, because He has given me a life that He is using to perfect me. When we get all caught up in things we wish we were given, we are losing sight of what the whole point of our life should be. As the Westminster catechism so beautifully puts it, “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

This is why, no matter our circumstances, no matter our troubles, if we are glorifying God with our obedience, with our hope in Him, with our hearts disposed to gratitude, to forgiveness, to growth – then we will truly be enjoying God. We can then truly say – “See my life. See where I am. See what I struggle with, what I am not getting done, what I have fallen behind on. See all this! This is me. And there is nowhere else I would rather be.”

 

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28 thoughts on “God’s Board

  1. Well said! And God pinned a few fun things for me to do today too! Thanks for the encouragement 😉

  2. Well said! Wholeheartedly agree! Contentment with godliness is great gain. :) Having just had a two year old girl eating peanut butter off her toast like a cat lapping up milk ‘pinned to my board’, I am laughing at this day to come. It is going to be something special, that’s for sure. Xx

  3. My favorite line from Jen hatmaker’s post last week was this: “we also live in the real world where not every solitary day is pinnable (thank you for these shame-based new verbs, Pinterest)”
    So true. Not every day is pinnable, but every day is ours to live for Jesus.

  4. Interesting comments which make good sense, however I guess people’s reasons for using
    Pinterest are many & varied. For my part, I have a chronic illness which keeps me in and resting
    A lot of the time & I have found it a blessing in my life as a way to appreciate beauty – lots of what
    I post are Scriptures or lovely flowers & as a creative person I can express my appreciation
    Of God’s beautuful creation through it! Just thought I wanted to put a different angle.
    I quite agree if much of what is posted is commercial it can lead to discontentment!

  5. So funny. I love Pinterest and have found it really useful in some limited ways… But I’m always much more content when I take a break from it. I find myself trying to make my own life – on and off Pinterest – into something pinnable (you know, all I want is ladies walking through my house going “Ooh! Repin! Repin!”). In reality, it’s more like something that would be on a “Pinterest Fail” blog. It’s helpful to be reminded that God’s actually doing something with the melted Cookie Monster cupcakes that symbolize my life right now.

  6. I’ve been using Pinterest to store up ideas, just a few, for a someday-dairy-goat dream. It’s like a little hobby to organize ideas and recipes; and I like having it as just a little hobby. For some reason, though, your post reminded me of a book I am currently reading….”The Hidden Art of Homemaking” by Edith Schaffer (sp? – to lazy to get up to check). Her ideas are to take what we have now – sticky kids in a too-small house and enjoy and beautify with what we can do. Right now? We have one tiny vase of flowers with some pink yarrow from my herb garden on the table. It’s not big enough for the size of the table, but it gives me a moment’s smile and my eldest daughter too as we scarf down the leftover noodles and canned green beans!

  7. “I would have pinned beautifully tailored clothing and expensive shoes. God pinned a muffin top. ” that is my favorite line! I’m so there. This was very encouraging. Thanks!

  8. This was truly a day when God pinned things differently than I wanted … thanks for the biblical perspective….

  9. Very insightful and funny too. I find a lot of similarities between your beliefs and ours at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). I love reading your Christian posts. Thanks :)!

  10. The weed-eater with a bran muffin. Ha! Good reminder that the sticky crumbs on the bottom of my feet are from our Lord for me, myself, just what I need.

  11. yup. I love Pinterest and I loathe it. Pinterest is a breeding ground for discontent and the dreaded ‘compare snare’. But it is awfully handy for someday crafty, homeschool, gardening projects! :-)

    I just wrote a blog post about this very thing YESTERDAY-(the concept, not necessarily about Pinterest) about forgetting about the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and actually ENJOYING the gold IN the rainbow! So yeah- great minds think alike and all that, right?! 😉

    It was good to ‘see you’. You may pop in sporadically, but it is always like when you haven’t seen a good friend for a long time….you start right back where you left off as if there was no time apart at all.

  12. Well Said. When I was a younger women there was a day I needed to stop looking at catalogs or going to the mall because my heart was discontent and these activities only tempted me. But the Lord brought my heart to a place of rest in many areas. Now, most of what I see on Pinterest exhausts me or makes me all the more glad for what I have been given. Like any other activity it really isn’t about the activity, it’s about our hearts. This is a good word to do a heart check on.

  13. “God did not give me a perfect life, because He has given me a life that He is using to perfect me.” I loved that quote! Just today I was lamenting about my constantly disastrous house and feeling like everyone’s got it together but me. I will accept that God has pinned me 3 young children and pregnancy exhaustion right now and rejoice in the perfect life he hasn’t given me.

  14. Thank you so much for posting this…I have been having this nagging feeling everytime I go on to Pinterest. Its so much fun, but at the same time its exactly everything that you share here. Well spoken.

  15. Thank you for the encouragement. Tears well up. Life as a young mommy is proving SO refining. Thank you for your deep roots in Jesus & His Word. I often feel like you’re a best friend, & how I’d love a cup of coffee with you -perhaps in heaven :) Keep on keeping on -you are a blessing!

  16. This can be applied to so much more than pinterest! But pinterest is a great example. Thanks for the encouraging words.

  17. yes Sara! I LOVE Edith Schaeffer’s book too! She was the ultimate RESOURCEFUL, CREATIVE woman who knew she was valued by God, and knew the value of each day placed before her, each person in her life and every one of her passions God would use in her home, family, and beyond!

    THE HIDDEN ART OF HOMEMAKING – the ultimate 50’s woman shares her passions in home, family, and life. You will want to get this today and see unlimited possibilites for your life too!

  18. Wise insight. Thanks for sharing. “But does all this mean that God chooses ugly and I chose beauty? Of course not. God did not give me a perfect life, because He has given me a life that He is using to perfect me.”…the thing is, the sticky hands, bathroom mishaps, muffin tops…His beauty is there, too, in the little moments and details. It’s all a matter of perspective

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