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.