When Striving for Perfect Gets in the Way of Living

While scrolling through Facebook, my eyes fell on a status of a friend.

Her husband was congratulating her on her flower arrangements being used in Style Me Pretty’s photo shoot. How very exciting for her!

That’s a big deal!

For every click on that link it will bring advertising to her flower arrangements. It’s great advertising to be splashed around the internet in a positive way!  And I was so proud of her!

I clicked on the link and began reading and taking in the beautiful pictures.

The settings were exquisite and I was ready to move to California where it must always be this beautiful with flower petals scattered and the sun filtering perfectly through the trees above. It’s like a Disney fairy tale. Then my eyes came to a screeching halt….

Wait a minute! That’s my tablecloth!


{Photo credit: Style Me Pretty}

No joke!

I’m taking in all this beauty and perfection wishing my world could be that pretty and put together when I spot my own tablecloth in the midst of it all.

I don’t know where they got their tablecloth but I purchased mine a few years ago at Target on clearance for $2.99.

Yet when I look at their posted picture it looks so much nicer than mine.

They are so put together and flawless. Their tablecloth has eloquent flower arrangements, beautiful wine glasses and matching silverware.

We might think it’s a picture-perfect life of another and say “I can never be that put together or have it that nice.”  But in reality, life is much more than a set-up, staged-out photo shoot.

We are living real life and that comes with all kinds of spills, dirty splotches and piles of “to-do’s.”

In our world of Instagram, Facebook and social media, we can scroll pics and status updates taking other people’s snapshots of a moment to be their reality.

In starting out this blog post idea, I was ecstatic to think some wedding photographer thought my tablecloth was pretty enough for a photo shoot. I was so proud! I even cleared off my table, straightened the chairs and maneuvered things to get the right angle to show off and say: “Look, I have the same pretty table-cloth!”



But in reality, my table looks like this:



It has held spaghetti sauce splats, cranberry juice dribbles and coffee cup rings. If anything is scattered across my table, it’s not rose petals but stacks of mail and Lego bricks.

Here’s the beauty of your life. It’s not in the striving to live the picture-perfect table setting that makes your life beautiful but it’s the beautiful life of those who sit around the table with you.  

We are living life around this table. No, it’s not perfect and we don’t always have filtered sun shining through. In fact, we sometimes have a hard time just using our filters. But we are growing, learning and laughing together.

Our settings may be filled with stacks of “to-do’s” and scattered with all kinds of craziness but it’s in all of our imperfection, spills and mess-ups of life that God can shine through to reveal the true beauty of all that is in our lives. 

9 thoughts on “When Striving for Perfect Gets in the Way of Living

  1. “Just what I needed to read,” said this mom who never feels I have enough time to clean my house to the “perfection”
    it should be. Thank you!


    • Loving on your kids and having those moments with them will be what your kids remember and cherish more than a “Perfectly” clean home! You are doing great and you are an awesome mom!


  2. Great post Rachel. I am not perfect either. And Id rather show off the well worn, well loved, coffee stained, spaghetti splattered tablecloth because that is real life. We need to remember to show our real rather than perfect!


  3. That it’s true Rachel! In our mess God’s works are perfect. And He desires for us to be the way He created us, to be real. Thanks for sharing and encouraging me. By the way, I loved that tablecloth!!!

    Tayrina from TGAWrites


  4. Beautifully shared! Life is so real and messy. And, the funny thing is, photo shoots that show life as perfect and elegant, are so much work and challenging just to make things look “perfect.” The only “perfect” thing we will ever know is God’s perfect love for us.


    • That is SO true! Photo shoots are insanely crazy and meticulous… simple to catch a beautiful moment. I guess that’s why it’s art! 🙂 Thank you for your work in all this. You did a fabulous job! Thank you for the inspirational pics! 🙂


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