So someone shared this article, Why I'm Not the Room Mom, with me the other day. As I read through it, something didn't sit well with me so I read it again...
"I don't stencil names onto fancy pieces of cardboard. I don't hot glue the perfect candy heart message onto cardstock. I don't bake heart-shaped cookies from scratch. I don't help my boy cut and glitter his own valentines out of red and pink construction paper. We buy a box of valentines and stick them in the envelopes. Last year, we left the envelopes blank because we ran out of time to print the other kids' names on them.
It's not that I'm a slacker mom, exactly. It's just that the Lord reminds me often about what does and does not really matter as I mother. Essentially, anything I can find on Pinterest falls into the "doesn't matter much" category. Anything that requires the work of my heart and the selfless service of my hands tends to hang out in the "matters a great deal" side of the ledger."
And there it is... I'm that mom. I use stamps, stencils and paint, and I LOVE the hot glue gun. I like to make homemade cards and I love to make and decorate my kids' birthday cakes. And
I enjoy pinterest.
What struck me most was her last two sentences... "Essentially, anything I can find on Pinterest falls into the 'doesn't matter much' category. Anything that requires the work of my heart and selfless service of my hands tends to hang out in the 'matters a great deal' side of the ledger."
Maybe I am reading too much into what she is saying but I feel like she is making a contrast between 'anything on pinterest' and things 'done from the heart or out of selfless service' as if you can't make things on pinterest from the heart. Really? Well, maybe I am overthinking it, but then she states "The primary goal of our marriages, our homes, our families should not be to impress the watching world. The goal should be to honor God." She goes on to quote Colossians 3:17 "And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
Assumption: If I'm doing something on pinterest, I must be trying to impress the world?
Okay, so maybe I'm totally interpreting this wrong... Maybe it's the way she worded it or maybe I'm just being overly sensitive. I'm guessing the main point of her article was to encourage mom's to remember their purpose- to honor God.... particularly for those momma's out there trying to do it all. Amen to that! I totally agree"God is more honored by a woman who makes wise choices with her time than by a momma stretched so thin she has no time to seek Him."
But here is the thing. I find pleasure in collecting a zillion memories of my kids on 4x6 cards and glueing them to scrapbooks. My kids LOVE to go through them over and over and over again... reminiscing about the things we have done... the things that God has done in their lives. It brings my heart joy when my kids want to take scrapbook after scrapbook off the shelves so they can ask, "Is this me when I took my first bath?" or "Is this that time when grandma and I went swimming as a baby?" or "Look mommy, this is when we were on the airplane to Mexico!" I think God is honored by that.
It warms my heart when I see the expressions on my kids face when they finally get to see the cake I've been working on just for them... the laughter and the giggles as they come down the stairs and see the colorful balloons and the unique streamers all over the place because today is their special day. They feel loved, valued and unqiue because we celebrate their birthday big... because God made them special and I want them to not just know it, but feel it! I think God is honored by that.
And we invite lots of kids to their parties and give them fun things to take home in their goodie-bags... Things that I made because that's our love language... it's one of the the many ways we can express our love for our friends, share that we appreciate them and that we hope they had fun! I think God is honored by that.
I enjoy making personal handmade cards to give to friends and strangers because while crafting & designing those cards, I get the opportunity to think about and pray for that person I'm designing for. And although it's a simple piece of paper with glitter, ink and glue, a folded piece of paper that will more than likely end up in someone's trash, I did actually give them something from my heart.
And here is the fabulous thing about creating and crafting... It was creative people that designed the vehicles we drive. It is crafty people that painted the artwork we hang on our walls. It is talented people who bring sweet music to our ears and innovative people who invented the kitchen tools we cook with. And lets not forget we serve a pretty creative God. He's so creative he designed billions and billions of people all with their own giftedness and passions and uniqueness in how their affections for Jesus are stirred.
The real issue isn't creativity or crafting though. It's not pinterest or facebook or any other social media. It's not even about being a good momma. It's the age old problem of 'keeping up with Jones.' In the past, envy was stirred up in our hearts when we saw our neighbor two doors down pull into the driveway with a brand new mustang or when you're invited to check out your friend's latest Apple gadget. Although that still exists, we now have the added temptation of seeing a whole lot more 'neighbor's' buying not just stuff but doing more things. And that feeling 'I should do that too' or 'I want to do that' is in tow right behind the temptation.
To me, it's saturated with the age old problem of comparing ourselves to others instead of thanking Jesus for who He made us and the gifts He has given us. Instead of wanting to be like all these other people, why can't we just be content, satisfied and joyful that God made us unique for a purpose and a reason? We are all gifted in some area! We should celebrate that... and then celebrate the passions and uniquenesses of our friends!
See, I am not a sewer. I can do papercrafts like it's my job but I can't sew anything... I can't even hem a pair of pants without help. I look on pinterest and see all these cute dresses and think, "It would be awesome if I could sew those cute dresses for my little girl." But it's not my thing. It shouldn't make me feel like I'm less of a mom. I know my weaknesses and my strengths. And I'm okay with that and I know I'm a work in progress. We all are.
I think I was so struck by this article because it is probably the third piece I have read that seems to have a hidden message in regards to women struggling with comparing themselves to those on pinterest or facebook... But I'm someone who is on the other side of the coin, I see them as a gift and a blessing and a resource to inspire. I actually have prayed since my kids were little not only that they would grow in steadfast love for the Lord and that they would be a window to Jesus for a dying world, but I actually specifically pray that they would learn to be creative! And one way of encouraging that is to be creative myself.
Crafting is not for everyone... just like fishing or dancing or playing volleyball... but lets remember what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
So for those of you who felt the Lord leading you to buy valentine cards, Yay!! God was honored in your obedience! But if you are like me, and make a bunch of homemade cards regularly with lots of glitter and bling bling all for God's glory, He is just as honored. Lets celebrate each other's gifts and passions and stop trying to keep up with the Jones'!