Monday, June 15, 2015

Smitten Whittens: A Giant Lesson in Grace Not Perfection

So, I talked a bit about expectations a couple posts ago, and tonight's post will match that one.

Emily Ley has become somewhat internet famous for her stance on holding herself to a standard of grace not perfection, and this year has been the ultimate test of that for me. 

This makes the perfect lock screen for my phone right now. If y'all aren't acquainted with Emily Ley, I highly recommend you check her- and her beautiful and practical products- out. 

I wanted to be the perfect student teacher, I wanted to be the perfect fiancĂ©e, and even worse than that, I wanted to have the perfect relationship throughout our engagement. Now, anyone who is working or in school while planning a wedding knows it isn't exactly an easy task, and anyone who's ever been in a long-distance relationship knows that's no cake walk either. Combine those two situations and add your fiancĂ© buying and renovating a house on top? Yeesh. Our engagement season has been a little less rainbows and butterflies than I was expecting. (Ugh, there go those expectations again!) 
If my "rainbows and butterflies" reference didn't make you think of "She Will be Loved" by Maroon 5, you should really consider going back to 2002 for a do-over.

However, it has been a time of tremendous growth for John and me, as individuals and as a couple. John started his career and learned so many skills while making a house into a home (more on that post-wedding!), while I made my way through student teaching, getting a job, and graduating. Together, we've practiced giving each other grace when we really don't want to- and we're still practicing! However, I think that's an important part of marriage- to give each other grace is to get a taste of what we're given on a daily basis from God. 
On top of John giving me grace, I've learned to give myself grace. Okay, I've actually learned I'm terrible at giving myself grace, but again, I'm practicing! Besides the usual suspects, like giving myself grace with my appearance (oh hey, stress acne!), I'm trying to give myself grace with all those little wedding details. I'm slowly realizing it's okay not to have everything match perfectly, and if the guest table seems a little hodgepodge-y to me, so what?! It really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, and it's certainly not worth having a mental breakdown over a six foot table! 
This hilarious SomeeCard reminds me that the vast majority of our guests couldn't care less about the little details I obsess over. (Granted, I spent no where close to three months on invitations! I'm not that bad!)
Letting go of control is much easier said than done, because I'm just so detail-oriented, it's difficult for me to let the little things slide. I want all frames to match, all decor look cohesive, and I want everyone to get a clear picture of what my vision was for our wedding aesthetic. However, I also want to enjoy my last eleven days at home as a VerHage. (Okay, typing that makes me a little emotional...) The last thing I want to do is isolate myself because I'm so obsessed with every last detail that I shut my parents out.
Wow. I think this post was another therapeutic one to write. One where I spilt honesty onto the screen with the prayer that someone somewhere could maybe identify. Engagement is an incredible time; it's brought some of my highest highs and lowest lows. I know our marriage, exponentially longer than our engagement season, will bring way more joyful and trying times, and I think as long as we remember to give each other that unconditional love and grace, we'll be alright. 
Oh, and as for the lack of posts the past two days... I was celebrating one of my dearest, most wonderful friend's bachelorette weekend in Charleston, and I wouldn't change it for the world! Yay for that whole grace thing! :) 
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  1. Chelsea, I'm the same way as you. I want to be the perfect teacher, the perfect friend, the perfect blogger, etc. But the most important thing to me is to remember that God gives us grace... and he wants us to give it to ourselves. And isn't that just awesome?

  2. Girl! I love this post. And AMEN to giving ourselves grace! Emily is just wonderful too :)

  3. wonderful post my dear ! I really enjoyed it!

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