It’s that time of year when I see photos of beautiful holiday decorations all over my feeds and in stores. A couple of years ago I wrote an article on my decor shortcomings, so I won’t reiterate that here.
But I will say that as the familiar feelings of inadequacy started to creep in and my hitherto good mood started to wane, another train of thought began. Why was I worried about measuring up to someone else’s standard? Where did this standard even come from? Why did I care?
I realized that pre-social media, I wouldn’t have known what most people’s Christmas decorations even looked like. The only decorations I would have seen would be those of friends and family whose houses I visited and the outdoor decorations I drove past. That’s it. Magazine and television houses didn’t count because those always seemed unrealistic to me. Without the ability to compare myself to thousands of other people, would I still feel less than? Probably not.
Just then, the song Who I Am by Ben Fuller started playing from my favorite worship playlist (Apple Music’s Worship Today). “I’m a child of the most-high God and the most-high God’s for me.” I felt God gently reminding me that the world’s standards are not His standards. He doesn’t care what my mantle looks like. He’s given me a unique set of skills, interests, and resources. My house may not look like a winter wonderland, but I did bring six different flavors of cookies to Thanksgiving. I love to bake. I don’t have to try to also be an interior decorator. Why would I try to stretch myself into a different shape to meet some fuzzy idea of perfection?
So I stopped. My identity is not dependent on how well I can decorate. It’s not dependent on how well I bake either. My identity is fully based on what Christ’s done for me and who He says I am. That’s it. And trying to be someone I’m not means that I’m not living out my unique purpose in His kingdom. You know how annoying it is to lose a piece of a puzzle. The whole thing is almost complete, a beautiful picture, except for the one missing piece that you can’t overlook. Trying to mold yourself to be someone else instead of leaning in to your unique giftings means you aren’t being the piece of God’s puzzle you were created to be. So this holiday season I’m going to focus on what I love to do, steward my resources and talents the best I can, and be the unique piece of God’s puzzle I was created to be.