The Danger of the Pinterest Life

I’m going to come clean.  I love pinterest.  No, that’s a drastic understatement.  I adore Pinterest.  The organizing personality aspect of me relishes in the clean tile design.  The optimistic creative spirit inside me revels in the possibility of new crafts and projects – which will inevitably have a 97% failure rate, but that 3% possibility is exciting and full of promise.  There is a constant stream of inspiration that comes across my board in everything from mountain views to toddlers in Halloween costumes.  No judgement.

My boards are not quite up to par – mostly because I get wrapped up and distracted looking at other people’s boards and creativity and don’t ever remember to pin anything of my own.  There is a mix of present and future all mixed together and resulting in a little electronic version of my brain.

But Pinterest is quite the double edged sword.  Because despite the beauty of lining up all of my dreams in order, Pinterest is quite a beast.  A really pretty beast, decorated in sparkles and glitter and painted in ombre tones fitting to the season.

Pinterest is the perfect monster. 

The perfect wardrobe, exceptional fashion and accessory coordinating, creative teaching, delicious cooking, brilliant landscaping and seemingly constant presence of perfectionism eats into me as I scroll through at the end of the night.  The constant stream of perfection wrenches further and further into my self-esteem and can {read: does} leave me feeling worthless, imperfect and lacking confidence in my ability to match cardigans with button-up tops.

That isn’t even starting into the incredible controlling aspect of Pinterest.  Not in the sense that it controls me {although my 1:00 am log-ons would beg to differ} but in the fact that it perpetrates the idea that your perfect plan is the only way things can happen.  Can you {gasp} imagine if you got married and your wedding ceremony didn’t have those little mason jars lining the sidewalk and your dress didn’t look like it does on that Italian model?  Or when you cook, the frustration experienced when your chocolate chip-Oreo-cream cheese- cinnamon rolls don’t end up looking exactly like the ones on your board?

It’s control.  I have to fight the desire to constantly control everything and make sure my plan happens.  Make sure my sisters see what I’ve been pinning so that when it comes time for my birthday, they’ll know what I’m interested in.  Make sure my fashion board looks coordinated enough so that, in a rush, I can make sure I have some inspiration for the days when the snooze button wins.  Control…control…perfection…control.  Don’t let anyone see that you don’t have it together sometimes.

The solution? As in all things, virtue stands in the middle.  So don’t get me wrong – I’m not telling you to delete Pinterest and shun all things that spark creativity with the fear that you will never create something worthy of a random board of things pinned by people you’ll never meet.  What I am gently advising is, as with all things, a sense of quiet discernment.  Yes, even with your Pinterest board.

Pin with intention. {embroider that phrase on a throw pillow, would ya?} Is what you are pinning distracting you from the life you are living now? Is it hindering your ability to see the beauty of your present moment, even if that moment means that your hair looks like the opposite of your inspiration page and your cardigan is slightly wrinkled?  Then it’s time to re-evaluate.

Be intentional.

If having a wedding pinterest board is not letting you enjoy your current vocation, delete it.  It’s better to go into Heaven with one less wedding dress pin than to enter purgatory bemoaning the times you let emotional chastity catch you up (Matthew 25:4…or something like that).  Point being, it’s not bad to be excited about the life God has planned for you – when that’s coupled with a trust in His plan…regardless of whether it involves keyhole wedding dresses or campus ministry or school work or whatever beauty He has in mind for you (Jeremiah 29:11…a real Bible verse that has an insane amount of promise packed into a few words.  Check it out.)

Enjoy Pinterest for what it is…don’t make your life cycle around the perfection or non-perfection of your current state.  Authentically enjoy every stage and don’t get wrapped up in the pinterest-qualities of things.  Trust me, it’ll be a lot more rewarding.

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