Am I the only one who has unrealistic ideals about what their life should be or how it should look? We see all of these pictures, articles, pins, facebook updates, and even blogs (hehe) about how all the people around us are living a “perfect” life. Their kids wear adorable coordinating outfits. Their dinner parties have the best food and perfect decorations. Their houses always look like something from Martha Stewart magazine.

Please don’t think I’m trying to say that it’s wrong for people to share about their life or accomplishments. I just think it’s interesting that we spend so much time trying to put up a mirage about our lives. Life isn’t perfect, it’s messy. At least mine is. Granted there are moments, when I catch glimpses of the ideal in my everyday life. I try to find simple ways to bring it into my life. Fresh flowers on the kitchen table, a lit candle on the coffee table. However so many times the rest of life crowds it out. Why is it so hard to realize the ideals that I have set before me? Does anyone else struggle with this? Am I the only one who feels like they are failing? Like they are missing the point?

Perhaps, just perhaps, what I have set up as my ideals, are the wrong ones for me to be looking toward. In his word, God puts ideals in place for me. Aren’t these the ones I should be striving toward?

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
– Colossians 3:17

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 4:4-7

What do these verses mean? What are these ideals? The ideals that speak of peace, joy, thankfulness and prayer. A deeper look into the phrase “this is God’s will for you” shows me that it’s God’s gracious design. His design is for us to pray without ceasing, to be in communication with Him. To rejoice and give thanks.

To do what I do in the name of Jesus, and give thanks. Not to worry but to pray and give thanks so that we might have peace.

What do my ideals that I put up give me? Anxiety, stress, worry, a need to “keep up”. What do God’s ideals offer me? Joy and peace. Maybe it’s time I stopped looking to keep up with the rest of the world, and I start simply following the plans Christ has laid out for me. ┬áMaybe once I change what my “ideals” are, then life, the race to keep up, the cloud thata covers the day, will also change. Let’s give it a try.