commandment number 10

The other day I got a text from a friend of mine. She wanted to know about how stressful it was to plan a wedding when I was finishing college and in the middle of student teaching and preparing for a big transition/move in life. She said she has a friend who is currently in the same place in life, and is trying to pick a wedding date, and is considering moving her wedding back because it may be too much to plan around all the other demands of her life.

I read it twice. I thought, "Wow. I never even realized it but I kind of did have a decent amount of stuff on my plate while I was planning my wedding. Go me." And then I paused and thought, "What in the heck? Why is that a big deal? Why shouldn't I have been able to plan a wedding in the midst of my current life?" 

Here was my response:
"Okay. Maybe I'm weird but I didn't get stressed over planning my wedding. I was very lax, and if certain things didn't work I didn't really care and just moved on to something else. I was six hours away [from home and where the wedding would take place], and like you said I had a lot going on, but I just had fun with it and didn't lose any sleep over the details. So…My advice for your friend would be to get off Pinterest and realize she can't have a perfect wedding, enjoy the process, enjoy student teaching, and just keep the big picture (getting married!) in the forefront and pick the day she really wants. Too harsh?" 

My friend said it wasn't too harsh, but rather exactly what her friend needed to hear.

And I think a lot of us need to hear it.

I've been on this tangent before, I know. But more and more recently I see this happening: girls get engaged and are so excited and then a few months later you talk to them and it's all, "I can't SLEEP! I am EXHAUSTED! OH THE WEDDING! If I never have to look at another bouquet I will die happy. My bridesmaids…their hair…the drama! And the menu?! Well you wouldn't even BELIEVE what's going on with that. I can't get the DJ I want, but I floated the photographer an extra $500 so I at LEAST have that taken care of. I'm concerned about the invitations and…seriously?! No one told me it was going to be THIS MUCH WORK!!! I've never cried so much in my life because I'm just under so much pressure. If the wedding could just plan itself….!!!"

That may be a bit of an exaggerations, but I have actually heard 9/10s of that, maybe not all from the same person though.

What has happened to marriage? For real. I mean, since when do centerpieces and invitations and DJs and menus take precedence over the "till death do us part" and "with this ring"s? Yes, don't get me wrong, it is a big day. I too wanted it to go smoothly and look nice, but you better believe that I put more stock into my student teaching, and finishing my degree, and prepping my marriage than I did June 7, 2008. My college roommate got married the week after we graduated. ONE WEEK! Was she stressing out? Pshhhhh. She delegated like a pro because she understood that perfection is overrated when you are getting to marry the one you love.

Do you want to know what is happening? Here is my take:
source: pinterest

source: pinterest
source: pinterest
 As much as I love all of the above…holy cow! It should not be what we have come to expect, should it? I look at my grandparent's "wedding photo" [because there is just one], and for each set of grandparents, in the fading black and white image I am reminded of a simpler time, of a simpler set of ideals, and of marriages that were begun in a simple church with a few family members, with some sandwiches shared in fellowship hall afterwards, and no honeymoon to speak of. I am obviously okay with celebrating the marriage in a bit bigger way, and getting married outside, and all of that, but I do agree we've lost something when we start fantasying and trying to bring to reality the things we see in the media and online. I want to bring back the beauty of getting married under a streetlight in January, until death.

{I did write about planning a wedding pre-pinterest, and what I would maybe have changed, but touched on a lot of the same sentiments I've shared here.}

And in case you're wondering… this isn't really about weddings at all. Nope. And this is where I have to really check my own lusting, greedy heart.

Because just as easy as it is to except the perfect wedding day and want all the glam, and stress about the details and lose sight of the big picture, it's just as easy to do that with other things in our life.


source: pinterest

source: pinterest
Do you know how much I would love an updated house, or a fancy back yard, or dress like I have it put together every day? I would love all of those things. Give me! But I can't. I just can't. And the more I expose myself to blogs and websites and tv shows, the more I begin to think I need all of them.

I need to remind myself that it is similar to planning a wedding: focus on the bigger picture. Focus on my heart, on the people in my home. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart, right? I've had to really start to limit my time on sites like Pinterest or with my nose in magazines or even watching tv because during this season in my life, when I haven't shopped for new clothes in I don't even know how long, it's easy to get a grabby heart. And I want a generous heart. I want a heart that loves others well. I want a heart that looks to give her possessions.

Sigh. It's so much easier said than done. I think God made this the tenth and final commandment in the hopes it would be easier to remember when we finish reading them.

Do you struggle with this, or is it just me? Please tell me Pinterest makes you have a grabby heart as well!

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Ellen said...

Hmm. This is a great post. I don't pintrest, but it has certainly influenced my wedding planning... mostly because images are so prevalent that while I have been fighting for very simple, other members of my family have been imagining pintrest images. It's created a lot of mixed expectations... I may need to expand these thoughts sometime when I am not getting married in FOUR days!

I seriously love this. Thank you.

Alyssa said...

What a great reminder! I'm planning a wedding now, and all of the details and food and music is so much fun to pick out. But it's easy to spend more time on that one day, than it is to spend time on the kind of life you will live after that. I have to remind myself of this frequently!

momiss said...

So far I'm good with no grabby heart. But I chiefly use it for recipe look ups and gifts for Christmas.
I never was a big wedding or "foo-foo" kind of girl, so I think I may be immune to a lot of that naturally.
I am very glad I grew up when I did. But I would have rather been an Indian. ;) They seemed to have all the important things figured out. lol

Hannah said...

This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately too. I think the images on Pinterest (and pretty much everywhere else) have such an influence over us. They make us want more and more when we should be thankful for the blessings we have. It's so easy to look at what you have and compare it to someone else and allow your heart to become clouded and let the Enemy work his way inside. If I do get on Pinterest I just tell myself that they are pretty pictures and that's all. I can't be havin a grabby heart.