When You Can't Live Up to Expectations

Empty Journals: Letting Go of Expectations I’m a self-proclaimed minimalist. My husband actually made a rule that I cannot throw anything away with out his okay, because he lives in fear that he will come home one day and there will be no more furniture. 

Which is why my journal collection is a strange anomaly. My shelves are full of beautiful journals. Lines, grids, sketch pages, calendars. I’m not picky. I just love journals. But they are all the same in the fact that they are completely empty.  


I can’t live up to those beautiful journals.

I just can’t bear to fill up those picture perfect pages than anything less than genius. And a genius I am not. So they lay there beautiful, but blank.  

But my bedside table is filled up with on-sale spiral notebooks that have front and back scribbles on every page. Dates, Bible notes, meal plans, ideas, dreams, and medicine reminders fill those pages. Flow charts and doodles cram the margins and my handwriting is barely legible for all the scribbling I do in those pages. 

Because when I don’t have to live up to perfection, when I don’t have to strive for genius that matches the expectation of those covers, I can hash out a beautiful day right there on college ruled paper. 

My perfectionism used to cripple me. I’ve missed out on so much beautiful because I wasn’t willing to be less than the best. Fine, I'm not gonna win? I won't even try. But, here is the thing about perfection…it doesn’t leave room for redemption. 

Perfection doesn't leave room for redemption.


It is one-dimensional flower, drawn on a piece of paper. Beautiful? Yes. Pleasing? Yes. Fruitful? No. 

It can’t grow. It can’t be pruned. It can’t be sanctified. It takes the dirt and the mud and the mess to grow something fruitful. That fruitless flower on paper is a beautiful journal with blank pages. It is the opposite of redemption.

Our messes give us content. Our scribbles in the margins fill us up. Our over-abundance of sentences that end in question marks gives us a chance to be sanctified. 

They give us a chance to grow.  

So I grabbed a couple more spirals on sale the other day, because my expectations are still crippling. Because I still need more growth. Because I still need to poured into. Because God doesn’t need my perfect journals to grow me, He just wants me to show up and be willing to scrawl His words on my lines. 

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:2

As a part of the Compel Community I'm excited to link up over there today as well as at the #livefreelinkup and the #rahrahlinkup.

Compel Tip: Use pictures!!! (I'm working on it, okay y'all?)

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