Let’s Stop Photoshopping Our Lives

Let's stop photoshopping our lives

“If most of us stopped to examine the expectations we set for ourselves, we would discover that our concept of perfection is so unrealistic that it can’t exist in one person. Instead, its a combination of pieces or snippets of what’s perceived as perfect. We don’t just want to be good at what we do, we want to be perfect–we want to edit together all the best clips of what we see to form our lives.”

Brene Brown, page 174, I Thought It Was Just Me But It Wasn’t

Last week, I brought you all into our home for the Clean Your Home for Christmas Challenge. I showed you my messy drawers, my unpacked suitcases, my untidy closets, and gave you a peek into real-life here.

Truthfully, I wasn’t sure how those posts would be taken. It’s always a little intimidating to press publish on posts that are far from perfect.

You know you’re going to disappoint some people. And as a recovering people-pleaser, that’s hard for me to voluntarily do.

Let's Stop Photo Shopping Our Lives

But can I be really honest with you? Letting you into our home — to see the underbelly, as it were, of our lives — was so freeing for me.

Again and again, women commented and said, “Thank you for being real. It’s so good to know I’m not alone.”

You’re Not Alone

The messes, the fact that I don’t hit all my goals, the unkempt closets, the suitcases that don’t get unpacked for months… they all bear witness to the fact that I’m a work in progress just like you.

I hope that it encourages you to know that I don’t have my ducks in an alphabetical row. Far from it. I deal with have stuff bombs and dust bunnies and bad hair days, just like you.

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In this online world beaming with Pinterest-staged pictures, it’s easy to start feeling like we’re the only one who has laundry piles, unwashed dishes, and sticky countertops.

We can be tempted to try to photoshop out the messes, slap on plastic smiles, and pretend we don’t have some ugly, messy, or struggles in our life and home.

But that’s not real life.

We All Have Struggles

I tried being a people-pleaser for years. And let me tell you this: not only is it completely exhausting, it’s lonely.

I’ve discovered it’s so much better to let people get to know me for exactly who I am — messes and struggles and all — than to wear myself out putting on an act in an effort to please someone.

Let's Stop Photo Shopping Our Lives

Real, authentic relationships only happen when we’re willing to stop pretending and start being honest about our struggles.

No one — no matter how put together they may seem — is exempt from hard things.

We all have struggles. We all have burdens. We all have areas where we fall short. We all have literal and metaphorical “junk drawers” in our homes and lives.

Let’s stop photoshopping our lives and instead welcome people in right where we’re at. It won’t always be pretty, put-together, or Pinterest-worthy, but it will certainly be much more fulfilling and freeing!

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5 Books I’ve Read Recently + 3 Books I Hope to Finish This Week

Books Read This Week

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a post about the books I’m reading. In all honesty, that was because I was so focused on finishing my own manuscript I didn’t have much extra time to read other people’s books.

And oh how I’ve missed it! It’s been so good to get back to regular reading the past two weeks!

Books I’ve Finished Recently:

Undone: A Story of Making Peace With an Unexpected Life — Ya’ll. Do yourself a massive favor and go pre-order this book. It is SO good. Michele is one of the best communicators I’ve ever known. The way she paints pictures with words moves and inspires me as a writer. But her book is much more than beautiful word pictures; it’s the story of a woman finding hope and peace in the middle of messes, heartaches, and unexpected difficulties in life. Highly recommended.

Addicted to Busy — This wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read on white space and margin, and I sort of struggled through parts of it because it sort of felt like it was dragging on a little slowly (maybe that’s an indication that I’m addicted to busy? That I have a short attention span?? ;)), but overall, it made me think and examine my own life. Some of my thoughts on S-P-A-C-E were the result of things I mulled over after reading this book.

You and Me Forever — I thought this book had some valuable information in it, but honestly, I found it a little scattered in how it was laid out. While I’m not opposed at all to self-publishing a book (as this one was), I felt like it could have benefited from having some more editing for clarity, flow, and to further develop and strengthen the bones of the book. I still feel it’s really worth reading — especially if you want to have your mindset challenged on what constitutes a “Godly marriage”.

Me Before You — This was one of the most heart-breaking, compelling, and thought-provoking books I’ve read in a long time. I thought it was very well-written and found it hard to put down. In fact, I read the entire book in one day! Caveat: This book is not written from a Christian perspective, has quite a bit of language, and the plot line deals with suicide in a very raw form. I didn’t agree with the outcome of the book, but it made me dig deep and think hard… and books that do that are ones I feel are very worth my time.

Grace is Free: One Woman’s Journey from Fundamentalism, to Failure, to Faith — As someone who was deeply involved in what many would term “the fundamentalist movement” for a number of years of my life, I found this book’s title intriguing. One of our elder’s wives from our church in Kansas recommended it to me and I found it insightful, thought-provoking, and encouraging as I’m on a journey to walk by faith and live a live steeped in grace instead of being a performer, perfectionist, and people-pleaser.

Books I Hope to Finish This Week

I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) — I’m really digging into this right now after setting it aside for a few weeks. Such thought-provoking stuff in it!

A Proper Pursuit — I finally started reading this one! It’s been on my to-read stack what feels like forever! I’m about eight chapters in and enjoying it.

The Best Yes — I’m working through this as part of my morning devotions and really finding it helpful as I think through my priorities and goals for 2014.

And maybe I’ll read a few others, too. We’ll see!

What have you read recently? What are you planning to read this week? Any good book recommendations for me?

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Free download: Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas Attic album

Free Trans-Siberian orchestra album

Download the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s album, Christmas Attic, for free from Google Play today.

Please note: you will have to enter a payment method at checkout, however you will not be charged. Be sure to click on the “Free” button at the top of the page, not on the individual songs, or you will be charged $1.29 for those.

Thanks, My Frugal Adventures!

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Simple way to earn 15, 30, or 50 additional Swagbucks this month!

Swagbucks Challenge

Join the Swagbucks Ugly Sweater Party Team Challenge and you’ll earn a bonus of 15 to Swagbucks.

To join, just log in and click on the green “Join Now” button and choose a team. Then, just contribute at least one point to your team and you’ll earn a bonus of 15, 30, or 50 Swagbucks this month!

Read more how to earn free gift cards through Swagbucks here.

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Free natural & organic sample packs

Free sample packs from Naturally Savvy

Take quizzes and earn free samples from Naturally Savvy. Here are the free sample packs you can earn for free:

  • Pack 1: Barlean’s (Omega-3 Fish Oil Swirl x2 ), Barbara’s (Puffins Cereal) & Goddess Garden (Sunscreen)
  • Pack 2: Barlean’s (Omega 3 Fish Oil Swirl x2 ), Yummi Bears (Gummy Vitamin for Kids), Lily of the Desert (Aloe Mix ‘n Go)
  • Pack 3: Glee Gum, Barlean’s (Omega-3 Fish Oil Swirls x2 ) & Now Foods (Slender Sticks).
  • Pack 4: Uncle Matt’s (FREE Coupon), Barlean’s (Omega-3 Fish Oil Swirl x2), and Barbara’s (Puffins Cereal)
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