You Are Enough

This summer we ripped out the carpet on our third level, had new hardwood flooring installed, redecorated our master bedroom, had the entire exterior of our home painted, redecorated the guest bedroom, and installed built-in bookshelves. And I haven’t shared much progress on these projects because none of them are “finished”. And by finished, I really mean that none of them are Pinterest-worthy, or pinnable, or perfectly polished, or “good enough” to share yet. This is the nature of the game. However, since returning from my time at Haven (the conference that I help plan each year for DIY/Home Blogger enthusiasts), I have given a lot of thought to this magazine-worthy life I strive for and realized that it is sometimes paralyzing.

sunflower field

When I began blogging nearly six years ago, perfection was the farthest thing from my mind. I started this blog as a creative outlet and as a way to encourage others that you ARE enough right where you stand. You are gifted. You are capable of achieving more than you think. You CAN create beauty out of chaos and redeem whatever in your life seems unredeemable. Transforming thrift store finds into beautiful household treasures is what we do best, and in those moments we are reminded that the potential for beauty exists even in the most neglected pieces of trash. It gives hope to many for all the unspokens. Hope that no matter how dire our life’s circumstances, we can trust that our lives—just like a discarded second-hand find—can be transformed into something new and lovely.

sunflowers

Yes, creating a gorgeous stage on which to play out the moments of our everyday lives is what we strive towards. And it IS incredibly fulfilling to make a nest for our loved ones which nurtures the needs of our lives during this season.

sunflower

But when perfection becomes the ultimate goal instead of progress, then there is a risk that our joy will be robbed and anxiety will take a foothold.

inside covered bridge

I love sharing the work of creatives on my blog—my own creations and those of others. And I love sharing the absolute best ideas that inspire us all to grab ahold of beauty and bring more joy into our homes.

bridge window

But I don’t want to fall into the trappings of perfection and I just felt that I needed to tell you that today. As Nester always says, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” Never were truer words spoken. I need the reminder today that it doesn’t have to be pinnable to be blog-worthy.

covered bridge

I have retreated into my own little introverted bubble the past few weeks and have spent a lot of time out and about enjoying creation. The message that kept reverberating back to me was: You are enough. Our society and culture do everything in it’s consumeristic power to tell us (especially us women) that we are not enough. We aren’t clean enough, organized enough, pretty enough, thin enough, stylish enough, rich enough, or creative enough. But the Creator of all things truly perfect is whispering daily, You ARE Enough. You are loved, beautiful, gifted and treasured right where you are at–beautifully messy life and all.

covered bridge

While on a walk with Asher yesterday (my 9 yr old who has mild autism), we were all commenting on the gorgeous evening and the slight nip in the air. He said, “It’s seems that Fall is moving in and Summer is packing up her bags of green.” It was a beautifully poetic acknowledgement of the change in seasons that is just beginning for us here in Central PA. More importantly, it was a reminder that each season has it’s own beauty. I’m currently in a season of 100 undone house projects with not enough external and internal resources to finish them all quickly. But it’s okay. I’m in the chaos. I’m trudging along to create some beauty. And I won’t stop sharing all of my stories with you in the meantime. I hope you’ll do the same! Thanks for letting me share my heart.

fall is moving in

Comments

  1. says

    Beautifully written, and I agree with your (and your son’s sentiments) completely. We have something in common with our boys. I live happily amid the chaos and I choose to blog only part time, so I’m happy to hear a message that reinforces that this is ok, and reminds me as to why I started doing this blogging thing in the first place. Best of luck in the new school year!

    • Beth says

      Living happily amid the chaos is sometimes difficult but so important! Thanks for stopping by and visiting.

  2. Kerry says

    Maybe one of my favorite posts of yours, friend. Well written and a theme on which I’ve been camping lately — beauty from ashes, and a lot of times ashes are all I have to give. I’m so thankful for the hope that can be found even there, especially there. :)

  3. says

    I love this post. I have been reading Haven recaps filled with this super motivation/drive and while I was super motivated and inspired, I also I took away what you did- that it is all wonderful and we can work our tails off but in the end it is about us enjoying our work as well. It has caused me to pause and reflect on how much time I do want to hustle and how much time I want to sit back and enjoy! Thanks for sharing:)

  4. says

    So glad I stayed up late… if only to read this! I just started a new small group for young ladies at my church, and if there’s any message I’d like to give them it’s this one! I’ve been burdened for awhile for young families, particularly women. Society is so LOUD in it’s message that women just don’t measure up unless they look, act, BE like the media icons it promotes. Thank you for this reminder to all of us that we ARE enough, and precious in His sight!

  5. says

    Thank you for the reminder! :) I think this is an issue that woman must realize is a trap that’s so easy to fall into and so hard to dig out of. Have you read the book Captivating by Stasi Elderedge? It really probes into this and how this issue has been prevalent since Eve. Have a great rest of your week!

    • Beth says

      Ooooo, good call! I read Captivating years ago and really appreciated it. Same exact message.

  6. says

    Beth, what a beautiful post!! It is SO easy to get caught up in the “perfection” trap, especially as a blogger. Thanks for writing this. It’s always a good reminder! :)
    And, p.s.–I think your little guy has inherited some of his mama’s way with words! ;)

    • Beth says

      Thanks Sara. Isn’t it fun to see our kiddos reflect some of the same giftings and even some of the same weaknesses that we ourselves have? It blows me away daily :). Kids are so smart.

  7. says

    There is a huge danger when others look at our homes and think they’re perfect because none of them are. There are no perfect families, either. We share what we want to on the internet and don’t share if we want to keep something private. As an adoptive mom of wounded children I shared a lot when I was blogging for support and encouragement to other foster/adopt moms but as I’ve grown bigger and transitioned to a business I rarely share the details. I could never have done the working mom thing before because I’ve homeschooled for 19 years and that has been my focus. As I am beginning a new season of life and finishing up my youngest two in four years I fight with being too personal or not being real enough. There’s a balance there that I find so hard to straddle at times. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Beth says

      It is indeed a difficult a balance. For the past year (or longer), I have erred on the side of not really sharing the personal at all which has felt out of balance for me. Striking it right is so tricky.

  8. Debi says

    Important message clearly and beautifully written – and one I truly needed to hear right now. When I finished reading it, I felt like applauding. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  9. says

    Beautifully said. I needed this right now, as I am working my way out chaos (getting our house ready in hurry for renters) only to move right into a new type of chaos–moving to Germany. You reminded me that chaos and imperfection is the nature of life, and that great beauty comes from it–if we let it. I will keep on trudging through the madness of these home projects and not worry so much about perfection, but rather enjoy the process of creating and doing it myself. Thank you so much for posting this today, and tell your son that his words really touched my heart.

  10. says

    Love, love, love it, Beth! I sometimes, many times, feel overwhelmed and anxiety-ridden when thinking about all of my projects. Thanks for the beautiful reminder that I’m enough just the way I am. Even if I don’t get the project photographed, edited and written by my self-imposed deadline. :) Thanks for sharing your heart tonight!

  11. says

    What a beautiful post Beth. Your son is obviously very insightful for a nine year old and I love how he put into words exactly how I feel about the change of seasons. Thank you for the reminder that our lives don’t need to be compared to the pages of a magazine or to the pins of anyone else.
    Traci

  12. Stacey says

    You had me at “You are Enough.” Funny how the Lord leads us to hear what we need to hear…well written. Just what I needed this morning.

  13. suzi says

    jamie lee curtis appeared in an advertisement wearing her under things and looking very normal as a middle aged mother & wife, without touchups. she said she did it as an apology for making women feel they “aren’t enough” all the years she appeared perfect in her movies & ads. we have to stop comparing & we have to quit striving for perfection because “perfection does not make good on its promises”. it cannot make us happy & fullfilled as there will always be something else. only the Creator is perfect, we never will be but we still are “enough”.

    • Beth says

      I remember when Jamie Lee Curtis discussed this on television. She is so right. Thanks for sharing this!

  14. says

    Beautifully spoken, Beth. I so appreciate you sharing your heart. Women do have so much in common, and “striving” can easily take over our lives. I’ve struggled with feeling “enough” most of my life and fight it often. I have a picture of a locket on my Inspirations page that is engraved with the words “I am enough”. Why is it so hard to believe? I want to be settled in my heart and rest in knowing that the God of all creation loves me just as I am! You are beautiful!! And your sons words are precious.Thank you for the needed reminder <3

  15. says

    I really needed to hear this today! I just started my blog a few weeks ago, and as I look at other blogs through the week, I feel like everything is lacking in mine. The photography, the design, every tiny flaw speaks so loudly that I sometimes want to just delete my whole blog and forget it! Because of you and your encouraging words, today I feel like its okay if my blog and everything about it isnt perfect, or as perfect as others. I wanted to start a blog to share ideas and feel like I’m giving SOMETHING back to those I get so much inspiration from. So, thank you so much for this post. It means alot! :)

  16. says

    Love this Beth and your son couldn’t have said more beautiful words! We should have a Chaos sharing link party where everyone shares their messy rooms, unfinished projects etc. life is full of chaos…it’s up to us to choose how to handle it. Lesley

  17. says

    Beth, thank you so much for opening your heart and writing this. It is so very true and something God has to remind us of because we tend to loose sight of it in the chaos. In fact I’m going to a women’s retreat this weekend and this is our focus. :) Very timely.

  18. Karen says

    I love this post and I especially love the words spoken by your son…what a perceptive little guy (now, you really need to put those words on a canvas to hang in your home)!! I don’t blog but I can only imagine how hard it would be to feel like enough when surrounded by other bloggers who seem to have it all together. But that’s just it isn’t it…it’s all in the word “seem”. Also, social media makes it so easy for us to sit and look/read about other’s accomplishments and feel lesser somehow. My daughter feels that way about Facebook for instance…looking at other people’s photos and feeling like they’re having more fun, living more exciting lives than she is. But that perception is so distorted. Everyone is battling something and being able to feel joy and draw inspiration from them is a blessing! By the way, you’re one of the bloggers that always seem to have it together! Thank you so much for writing this post and reminding me of the words I just typed…and thank you so much for the inspiration that you provide!

  19. Kelly F. says

    What a beautiful post. I remember to remind my children that they are enough but I often forget that it applies to me too. Thank you for the reminder.

  20. says

    As a relative newbie to the blogging scene – I am often paralyzed with whether or not to do a post on some of my projects…because they are not as good as some of the “seasoned” bloggers – thanks for letting me know that you big bloggers have the same kind of fright – I keep reminding myself that every picture is “staged” and their houses don’t really look like that all the time – here’s to keeping it REAL and knowing that I AM ENOUGH!

  21. Deborah H says

    I needed to read this so badly today! My children returned to school this morning and I have been lamenting the fact that I didn’t accomplish as much as I’d hoped this summer. Thank you for helping me to accept that it really is okay.

  22. Trish Rooney says

    Thanks Beth- for opening up and for your honesty. I love to decorate and see and view beautiful rooms., but I always try to apply the philosophy we strive for in my field of Early Childhood….”it’s the PROCESS vs. the PRODUCT” that we strive for. What we gained while doing is equally important as the outcome..

  23. says

    Well said. I remind myself that I thrive in controlled chaos. With that I always need to remind myself that perfection is unobtainable and overrated.
    Love Asher’s quote.

  24. Carolyn B says

    So easy to forget that we are enough. I know I forget it all the time. Thanks for the reminder!

  25. says

    Oh, boy, can I relate to this, Beth! A friend was at my house last week and was pointing at various things and asking, “Why haven’t you shown that on your blog yet?” and “Are you going to show them what you’re doing in this room?” I kept saying, “Um, no, I’m not sure it’s really blog worthy. It’s not finished yet.” Etc.

    It’s hard not to feel like everything has to be perfectly finished and polished. It really can be paralyzing. Thanks for the inspiration to relax and be our imperfect selves with our imperfect houses! :)

  26. says

    Isn’t it the best when our little ones can put everything into perspective with one sentence, I love that! What a beautiful post, I needed that, it has been pure craziness for three day since school started, thank you for the reminder.
    XO
    Kristin

  27. says

    What a beautiful post and a lovely sentiment from your brilliant son. Thanks so much for this reminder, I needed it ;)
    Hugs,
    Jamie @ somuchbetterwithage.com

  28. says

    Thank you for sharing this! I’ve been struggling with this so much lately, even tho I tell myself I am enough and I don’t have to have a perfect blog, it is still hard. It’s like being back in Jr. High or High school and wanting to be included in the “popular group”. Thank you for your words.

  29. shelley says

    that’s My Beth! :)
    in my experience, when chaos reaches an uncontrollable level, we are often reminded whats really true about us and about this world. that we are enough and that we are Loved beyond measure. i cling to this daily and i’m glad you are too! xoxo

  30. says

    Asher really nailed it. And beautifully.

    There definitely is a pressure to put our very, very best work out there. My bathroom has been basically done for months, but it needs a few more tweaks. And then a sunny day to capture it at it’s best, so it sits, un blogged about. It’s probably “good enough” but it does feel like the projects and rooms we share are supposed to be magazine quality now, even though I don’t have a magazine budget, stager or photographer. It’s a little intimidating at times. I’m just one girl, with a teeny-tiny budget, who started her blog just to share too.

  31. says

    This was wonderful to read. I stepped away from blogging for nine months, partly due to the stress of trying to keep up with all the perfection I saw online. It just isn’t possible. Now that I’m back at it I’m trying (desperately) to just do the best I can and forge ahead. It’s so hard though to keep perspective, and I really appreciate your honesty.

  32. amy says

    You may want to google, “Enough” by Jason Castro. Its a beautiful song that he wrote for his daughter, and it goes along with what you are talking about.

    God Bless!

  33. says

    Pretty sure this post describes exactly what is going on in my home and my blog right now! I’ve got a huge pile of projects that I’ve worked on, but none that I feel are “blog” worthy cuz they aren’t finished. Thanks for the reminder that that’s not always why we come to each others blogs. We come for the journey, not just the end product. It’s a reminder I’ve been needing!

  34. Kathy :) says

    Awesome Beth thank you for this post, I’ve always struggled with wanting to start my own blog, I’m competative by nature so reading them is just ‘perfect’ for me !! Over the years I’ve read others struggling with the ‘perfection’ thing too, so I do believe I made the right decision. You’re a sweetheart so glad I came across your blog many moons ago :) (it was the melanoma post). You have a beautiful home & family. I love coming here for a visit…..thanks virtual friend :)

  35. says

    I love this post and totally agree with you. It is easier said than done sometimes for me because I have that “A” personality… but I have learned this to be so much more true as I get older. I have experienced many seasons in my life and what is most important is our family and creating our own happiness. I also have learned that sometimes it is baby steps that really get us to where we want to be! So enjoy TODAY, because you are enough! What a sweet sentiment from Asher. You are lucky to get to share your days with him! :):)

    Have a “happi” day! ~ Jillene

    • Beth says

      Thanks Jillene :). I’m learning slowly but surely to try and live in “today” and not obsess all the time with tomorrow. I’m an “A” too so it’s difficult at times.

  36. says

    “it doesn’t have to be pinnable to be blog-worthy.” – THIS! I needed to read that. I too have projects that I have done even a complete room re-do that I have yet to share because I can’t get the decor just right for it to be “pinnable.” Plus tons of unfinished rooms/projects that I haven’t shared. Needed to read this post and be reminded to just be me! Thanks, Beth!

  37. says

    So perfectly said, Beth. Thank you for this. Totally what I needed at this moment as I face a kitchen disaster (I just cleaned it top to bottom two days ago, BTW), a half-finished master bathroom, a Hometalk chat tomorrow I am totally unprepared for, a 6-yr.-old who still needs school supplies by Monday, a family camping trip to plan and pack for by Saturday, etc. Whew! I am ENOUGH!

  38. Naomi J says

    It’s kind of funny that you say that you don’t- like to share your progress because it isn’t yet “pin worthy,” because I find that I more often overlook the pins that have magazine-like spaces in favor of pins that look like they were done by real people and could possibly be obtained by someone like me, who doesn’t have a lot of experience. In fact, I’d rather see a project right after it’s finished and before it’s decorated (unless decoration is the point of course) because then I can get a better sense of how it’s all put together. Step by steps are also a plus! I guess to sum up, I’d rather see something you’ve done than something you’ve made pretty… does that make sense? I might be rambling at this point.

    Anyways, you have really cool things on your blog, and you should give yourself a little bit of a break okay! You deserve it!

    P.S. That is the best thing anyone has ever said about fall and summer. Your son is awesome!

  39. says

    OH, girl, you know I loved this one! It’s an ongoing thing in blogworld to feel this way and we all feel it to one degree or another. It ebbs and flows. I just have to stop looking around and keep doing what I do best and know that it doesn’t always look like perfection. When we see all those pin-beautiful pics floating around, it’ s hard not to take it to heart and feel inadequate. Loved you sharing your heart!

  40. says

    I have never left a comment on here before (as far as I can recall). I just read and enjoy. Today, I just simply had to comment, though. You spoke exactly and directly to the struggle I’m facing right now. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You just have no idea…

  41. says

    Aw, sweet Beth! I hear ya! I know we all can relate to this post. This is one of my favorite posts that you have ever written. It shows your beautiful and honest heart.
    Thank you for being a blessing to others. :)

    xoxo
    Traci

  42. says

    I missed this last week and so glad you reposted a link. I need this pasted across my forehead. I am recovering from a stomach virus and laying on the couch staring at the mess of unfinished projects and deadlines looming was making me feel even worse. What a wonderful reminder that despite what I think my standard should be, I am enough and perfect in my creator’s eyes. What a beautiful reminder from your son. Thank you for sharing. Love the pictures, some day I hope to walk across a covered bridge. How gorgeous you live close to such beautiful changes in the weather too!

  43. says

    This is an excellent post!

    It reminds me of a post I wrote this last Saturday about an old lady’s garage sale reminding me that life is too short to waste time on being perfect.

    I love all the sunflowers :)

  44. says

    Beth, I’m “catching up” with your blog today and this was such a great reminder. Sometimes I feel like my creativity is “on hold” right now with three children ages 3, 2 and 2. I barely get the necessities done let alone any extras. But it’s just a season and a beautiful one that God has for me…right now. I choose to enjoy it! :)