I had the greatest dream last night.
One of those dreams that you don't want to wake up from.
One that you wish and wish would come true!
I dreamt that I went to Ashley Ann's house.
Do you know Ashley Ann?
She writes my most favorite blog - Under the Sycamore.
So back to my dream!
I don't know if I won a contest, if she invited me because I'm such a faithful, nice blog follower! Or if I just stalked her and showed up on her door step - but regardless, I got to go to her house.
She showed me to my room that was dimly lit, quaint and had a bed covered with vintage quilts!
After I set down my suitcase I walked out to the kitchen where there was a large farmer's table and her family was seated, eating breakfast. There were baskets of yummy scones and muffins and all of her 5 children were so well behaved. In fact, they were silent and I don't even remember really seeing them (yes, this must have been a dream!)
Throughout breakfast I kept telling myself, "act normal, pretend like you've known her all your life."
I didn't really know how to behave.
I obviously didn't really know Ashley.
I only read her blog.
And drool over her amazing thrift store finds that she transforms.
And get inspired by her incredible photography.
And cry as I follow her adoption story.
And get challenged as I see her children live with such freedom to create, get dirty, and dream.
And envy the whimsy, creativity and bright cheeriness of her home and studio.
And play in the vast expanse of land their home sits on in Oklahoma.
And sneak along on one of her crafting weekends.
I read her words and see the amazing images of her life, but I don't really know her.
So, in my dream, as I was a guest in her house, I was trying really hard to live in this odd space of "I know so much about your and your world" and "I've never met you before and have only had a glimpse of one part of your life."
So after our breakfast we went outside and Ashley was wearing these super cute red jeans! Her backyard expanded for acres and it was beautiful. When I looked to the right I saw this strange winding river with car dealerships lining the banks of the river!
There was a dog laying on the other side of the river by a dealership and Ashley called to the dog. But the dog didn't move, he couldn't swim. Ashley called him again and then as if it were an emergency, Ashley jumped into the river and swam across it to save her dog!
She was a hero!
I stood there thinking, "she's amazing! She wasn't even worried about her cute jeans and she just jumped in to rescue her dog from the car dealers!"
I woke up reliving the dream (in much more detail) and wished it were true. I want to go to Ashley Ann's house! I want to be her friend! I want to be happy all the time and be a hero like her!
I've heard so many funny things about blogs and blog readers. Some friends of mine have criticized my blog that it makes me appear perfect, but they know better! Others feel like blogs put a lot of pressure on people to be perfect because in the blogs they read, they appear to have it all together with perfect crafts and cute kids and a clean house.
So then some launch this crusade to dispel the myth and show everyone how many problems they have, how messy their house is and how they burn toast.
It's all kinda funny to me.
When I hear that blogs put pressure on women to be perfect I have to be honest, I think they had that pressure on themselves long before they started reading blogs.
I love reading Ashley's blog. I really love all the beautiful images she captures of her family and her home. I'm almost transported into a wonderland when I look at her blog! I have this made up idea of who Ashley is and perhaps some of it is true, but I know most of it is just my imagination.
But one thing I do know about Ashley for sure - she is not perfect.
Her home is not perfect.
Her children are not perfect.
Her marriage is not perfect.
I don't know this because she talks about all of her mess in her blog. No. I know this because I know we all live in a fallen, sinfilled world where no one is exempt from pain and hurt and mess!
I just read this in my favorite "Jesus Calling" devotional:
"I have planted longing for perfection in every human heart. This is a good desire, which I alone can fulfill. But most people seek this fulfillment in other people and earthly pleasures or achievements. Thus they create idols, before which they bow down. I will have no other gods before Me! Make Me the deepest desire of your heart. Let Me fulfill your yearning for perfection."
I love this!
We all have a longing for perfection. That is why we are drawn to the pretty blogs with beautiful photos of happy kids and dreamy decorated homes. That is why we pour over Pintrist and fill our boards with lovely images. That is why we marvel at nature and wonders of creation. We are longing for perfection and perfect things - God created us that way.
His intention was to fulfill that longing with Himself - the ONLY perfect one.
All these other things are small, temporary fixes. But God ultimately fulfills our longing for beauty, perfection and more.
So, I say enjoy blogs with beautiful pictures and happy families and cool crafts and yummy recipes! Enjoy them.
Don't blame them for making you feel less or accuse them of trying to appear perfect.
Instead, acknowledge your longing for perfection and ask God to fill you up with His presence, His beauty, His perfection - so that you are complete in Him, lacking nothing.
*Ashley Ann Campbell did not ask me to write this post. She does not know me and most likely has never read my blog nor will she! All these thoughts are my own and do not reflect her blog or her thoughts at all. She has never invited me to her home, but if she ever finds out who I am and feels the desire to invite me to Oklahoma, I just might go!!!
Now, just for fun, head over to Under the Sycamore and enjoy yourself some Ashley Ann!!!