The Pretty and Perfect Trap: Learning to Be OK With Messing Up

by Krystal Whitten March 11, 2016 1 Comment

The Pretty and Perfect Trap: Learning to Be OK With Messing Up

Pretty and Perfect - Fear of Messing UP

The buzz word in my home has been "spark joy" the last couple months. In January I read Marie Kondo's bestseller about decluttering your home, and in a desperate attempt to feel less overwhelmed and stressed about STUFF, I mass cleaned the entire house. The haul that went in the trash and to the local donation centers was jaw dropping. 

So as a result, I was inspired to USE and surround myself with things that bring me joy. I felt a little unsure about it but decided to give it a go.

This is definitely a new way of thinking for me. We like #alltheprettythings to stay pretty. And we know if we use them, we'll mess them up, and then we'll be sad because they aren't pretty anymore. Right? Anybody? 

But I started (gasp!) using the pretty fabric napkins - the ones I save for parties or special days but usually forget to use when the time is right - on a regular weeknight dinner with the kids. I put my nice china in the cabinet next to the everyday dishes. And the pretty papers and pens and fabrics that I never used because I didn't want to "mess them up" are now getting regular use. And I love it! I love using pretty things instead of letting them sit in the closet or the cupboard wasting away their perfection.

A friend told me recently, "If it's practical, you'll use it. But if it's pretty, you'll love it." 

Ok, why do I mention all that house cleaning stuff on a Bible journaling and hand lettering blog?

Because I know a lot of you haven't journaled in your Lettering Prayer Journal or your Journaling Bible because you're too afraid to mess it up! Or you messed up once and now you're afraid to do any more pages.You're paralyzed by "pretty & perfect" syndrome.  

So let me break it to you gently.....Get over it. Perfection isn't real. Just like Mean Girls taught us, "pretty and perfect" is plastic and fake – and that's certainly not you. You are real and lovely, and you have a story to tell. And just like you, a journaled Bible tells a story. It's beautiful, worn, lived in, and it speaks to your journey and your worship and your love for the Lord. 

My Journaling Bible is literally taped together at the binding - my daughter knocked it off a table, and the binding broke. So sad. It's got coffee stains on it and some inks I tried bled through a few pages. I even tore a page accidentally. 

I don't think God is less glorified in this (unless you curse and have a fit when it happens, but um, I'm not going there).

God's Word is meant to be consumed and nestled in your heart and lived out. You don't have to do Bible journaling for this to be the case, but if you're reading this post, I'm assuming you desire to make Bible journaling a part of your worship and study time. The art and expression that comes from there is an inspired, one-of-a-kind worship that only you can give. That art has flaws and mistakes, but is more beautiful because it's genuine and authentic.

So go easy on yourself and don't wait until you think you can perfectly letter to break in your Journaling Bible. There's so much to be gained by starting now and getting better as you grow! 

 “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” -Colossians‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭NASB‬‬

If this resonates with you, please leave me a comment here or on my Instagram and let me know! 

 In my next post, I want to discuss the fear of the blank page and how you can get past it.



Krystal Whitten
Krystal Whitten


1 Response

Reese Taylor
Reese Taylor

June 30, 2016

Thank you so much for sharing that story! That’s what my Bible looks like! My 2 year old tried to eat to once. I just told my husband; Sierra is really get ‘feed’ from God’s Word.

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