Authentic Living

J and I joined a small group last August in our church and it rotates meeting at different homes. The first time we planned on having the group over to our apartment, I was a mess. Not our house, mind you, me. I scrubbed the apartment down, mopped the floors (which I hate and never do) and did my very best to have the apartment spotless with chocolate chip cookies awaiting everyone when they arrived. It’s probably the best our place has looked since we moved in. Halfway through the evening I looked up at a shelf we have over the TV in horror to an empty picture frame on our shelf above the TV. It was blank, with a big sticker on it and a family of models smiling down on our group. I was so embarrassed. After our meeting while we mingled before everyone left, I started apologizing to a few of the girls that I had forgotten about that photo. One of the girls started laughing and said, “I was actually so relieved to see that empty frame. It’s so nice to know that I’m not the only one who doesn’t have it all together!”

Me, have it all together? Please.

I wish I had it all together — a beautiful clean home, home-cooked meal on the table every night, perfectly manicured nails, able to balance a full time job and all that life demands with ease. But the truth is, I don’t. And I can imagine it’s a lonely and tiring road for those who do have it all together, or at least constantly pretend to. There’s something powerful and comforting to share your insecurities with others and learn you’re not the only one who struggles balancing life.

I kept that frame empty for a few months before filling it with an actual picture. It became a visible reminder that my house — and my life — is not perfect and shouldn’t pretend to be.













(photo credit)

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  • Welcome to the real world of people and women in particular. If you can learn this lesson early you will have much more peace, more people over and more friends. I confess it was and is an area I struggle with too, infact, I’m having my small group over tonight so I better get home to vacumn….

  • I have many empty frames around my house….some people comment and so don’t. I absolutley love the saying you have at the end of the post.

  • We try so hard to achieve perfection don’t we? That non-existent perfection that isn’t achievable because we live in a sinful world. Praying that you find beauty and comfort in your flaws.

  • Honestly we all have these experiences…sometimes I leave dishes for days…l eventually get to it!

  • Good Words. It is in community that we are able to share our downfalls, and still feel accepted by those close to us. That’s when we realize we can stop pretending to be perfect.

  • I am horrified you would be so stressed about this picture frame that you would find the need to apologize to your guests about it. It really speaks to how much we, as women, have internalized the pressure to be perfect, to have the perfect home, to put on the perfect facade, etc. Please keep this experience in mind in the future and try to be more relaxed – it seems like that is the lesson you took from the experience, and I’m glad to hear it. There are so many more important, worthwhile things to spend your time thinking about. :) Keep up the good work on your blog.

  • I can so relate to your post! I’m having people over tomorrow and am stressed about it.Thank you for sharing! :)

  • I love that. I feel that way about blogging sometimes. Like I’m afraid to post something in fear of what people might think of me, but then I find so many people who can relate to what I’ve said!