It’s Not About Looking Good

I’m trying not to be “all wedding,” all the time. But because we’re less than a month away from my baby girl getting married, it’s consuming a lot of my head space.

As a contemplative by nature, an ISTJ on Myers-Brigg, and a 5 on the Enneagram, I’m quite comfortable spending time in my head.

thinking

Checking off details in my mind can be a good thing (and even better when I get them onto a to-do list!).

But when an anxious thought follows up each detail, that is not a good thing.

So while I’m there in my head, I’m asking why I’m anxious. The wedding plans are actually running smoothly—all major decisions have been made; Jenna is an easy-going bride; friends and family are helping.

It must be this:

  • I’m still too caught up in pride.
  • I still wonder too much what others will think.
  • I still want everything to go perfectly, when I know the only perfect thing in my life is how Christ loves me.

Once again I need to ask God for forgiveness.

And replace pride with humility.

Humility is the only soil in which the graces root; the lack of humility is the sufficient explanation of every defect and failure.
– Andrew Murray

God is eager to help us in our weak spots. I want to be eager to receive his help. (Is it any coincidence that our worship ministry is beginning a new study together this month on Humility? Excellent timing, God.)

As I was praying over my theme for September in my year of Welcome,—see each month’s themes here—God dropped this on me and I’m praising him for it:

Welcome love. Let go of judgments.

And wedding planning is a perfect place to practice this.

When I start to get anxious, I want to remember the wedding doesn’t need to be flawless (although we do want it to be smooth and lovely for Jenna and Trey). But it’s about starting their marriage off with the right foundation: love for God, love for each other.

No, the wedding won’t be perfect. Neither will their marriage.

But both can be evidence of love, of grace, of God.

Because it’s not about looking good.
It’s about loving well.

It's not about looking good

* * *

How do you deal with your anxious thoughts? Is perfectionism a problem for you, too? Please share in the comments.

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34 thoughts on “It’s Not About Looking Good

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      So I’m guessing Godzilla is the answer? Good one, Andrew! 🙂 It even stumped Jeff, who is much better at riddles than I am.

      “Right-ho, good enough” is an attitude I would do well to adopt more often.

  1. blankMichele Morin

    Arrgh. I remember it well from my son’s wedding. I kept having to remind myself:
    We’re having wedding because they’re getting married — they’re not getting married just so we can have a wedding.
    It does take center stage in our lives, and it’s such a sacred occasion. Blessings to you and the crew as you revel in every lovely detail — and pray for the beautiful joining that the occasion marks.

  2. blankDiana Rockwell

    I wish I could tell you I give them to Jesus all the time but I don’t. I am better than I used to be. There is a sign I saw that worry is sin. So I try to stop worry in its tract. Enjoy the wedding is my best advice. Make a list of the photographs that you want. I didn’t get one with my oldest son. Stopping by as your neighbor. Remember God is in control. I am claiming Romans 15:13 for you. Blessings Diana

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Jean. God deals with us in whatever situations we’re in, right? That’s what I’ve learned about myself with worrying; it’s not the circumstance per se–it’s how I’m reacting. So I want to lean more and more on Him, regardless of the details.

  3. blankLux G.

    Pride can really steal away our joy and peace, right? Ugh. I just wish it’s easy to get rid of it.

    Beautiful read. It’s inspiring.

    And wow, congrats and best wishes to your girl’s wedding. Good luck on the preps. I’ve heard it can get toxic sometimes.

  4. blankbethany mcilrath

    What a time to think about humility! I don’t think many people recognize how much pride can play a role in event-planning. Someone I was listening to recently said “hospitality does not impress, it welcomes. Welcomes people in love, welcomes people to God’s goodness instead of our own. Weddings are certainly an occasion for welcoming others into the blessing of a new marriage- a new family! Hope the day is wonderful and so thankful for your humble and humbling thoughts today!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Those are beautiful thoughts about hospitality, Bethany. So important, too. We often mix in so many motives and end up turning our hospitality into something difficult (I speak from experience, ha). I appreciate you sharing this here!

  5. blankBetty Draper

    We have two children so three weddings under our belt. I say three because our son remarried his wife and I can tell it was the best wedding of all. Weddings can sure bring out the flesh in us. But Jared second wedding was such a visual picture of the grace of God working in a prodigal son heart and so many were touch by that very thing. By the way Lisa, Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for the anniversary wishes, Betty! We celebrated 24 years on Sunday.

      This phrase: “Weddings can sure bring out the flesh in us” is so true. What a joy that were you were able to see that tangible grace with your son’s remarriage! I love hearing stories like that.

  6. blankBetsy de Cruz

    Oh Lisa, this is just so beautiful. You’ve spoken a word that is EXACTLY what I need to hear: “Welcome love. Let go of judgments.” I love the idea of your writing a “welcome” for each month.

    And yes, I never thought about the wedding/party/event angst as being rooted in pride. Yes. Love, forgive me.

    (You made me smile with spending time in your head. I’m an introvert and do that too.)

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Betsy. I have the “welcome” note at the top of my digital calendar each day so I am forced to read it. I often wonder how many judgments I issue against myself each day, not to mention other people. Sigh. Lord, have mercy! Glad you understand that time in the head thing, too. 🙂

  7. blankSusan Nowell @ My Place to Yours

    Oh, my, yes… Perfectionism, anxiety, pride. I know them all too well and fight them constantly. I’m better than I used to be, but you know what they say about old habits. Thankfully every day (an occasion) is another opportunity to try with God’s help to stay focused on only things that really matter.

    So excited for your daughter and her upcoming wedding! Deep breath, Mom… You’re making memories, so be sure they’re rooted in trust so they’ll end up looking like smiles, laughter, and calm. 🙂

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for the wise words of advice, Susan! I appreciate that and will return to it as this month goes on. I do want to have happy memories from the wedding day, not anxious ones. With my first daughter, I was able to do just that: I have such good memories of how relaxed we all were on her wedding day. I want the same with Jenna’s special day, if possible. Blessings to you for helping me.

  8. blankBill (cycleguy)

    I’m pretty easy going for the most part Lisa. I am not a perfectionist but there are times I do want things done right. However, I have also learned that because people are involved I need to allow for human error. Therefore, it will get messed up. I also need to be flexible in my expectations. And above all remember that I, myself, am not perfect so don’t pull that card on others.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I can be envious of your personality type, Bill. 🙂 Even though I’m not a hyped-up person, I wouldn’t mind a tad more easygoingness. Your take is good: be flexible and don’t expect perfection. Definitely great advice for a wedding, but also great advice for life in general.

  9. blankPam

    Lisa, I so much remember being at a very similar place in September of 1994 when our only daughter was getting married. Try as I might to squelch all the push to make the day “perfect”, I couldn’t seem to quite accomplish it. Looking back now my daughter and I recall so many things that were indeed lovely, but the most priceless moment was one not planned. The morning of the wedding my daughter was dressing in the bridal suite of the hotel near the college campus where she would be married. She called and invited me to her room as she was working one her makeup and then we called my mother to come up to the room as well for just a few minutes. My mother and I stood there encircling my daughter and felt led to pray for and bless her in those few moments. They are our most precious moments. It was not quite a year later that my mother went home to be with the Lord. Let the Lord delight you with unexpected moments on that precious day!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      What a beautiful memory from your daughter’s wedding, Pam! I love that. And I appreciate that advice: let the Lord surprise us. I know he will; he always does. But watching for it will take the pressure off of having things go exactly as planned. Thank you.

  10. blankHorace Williams Jr

    Amen Lisa… thank you for sharing this heartfelt post! This past Summer in planning my 50th birthday party for last month, I was consumed with everything being just right. I must admit it has taken a few weeks to clear my mind and decompress just a bit since the party. I was pleased that it turned out so well and everyone enjoyed themselves. However, there were times in the process of planning when God stepped in to remind me of His presence and to focus on showing His love to all who attended. That is what is most important in every situation we find ourselves. We need to be a reflection of Jesus! I know everything will turn out well for your daughter’s wedding. Thank you again for sharing your heart with us. Have a fantastic weekend and may God continue to richly bless you and yours in all your preparations for the big day!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Yes, this is it exactly, Horace. “God stepped in to remind me of His presence and to focus on showing His love to all who attended. That is what is most important in every situation we find ourselves. We need to be a reflection of Jesus!” Amen. Thanks for sharing what helped you with your 50th; it will help me with the wedding. Blessings to you!

  11. blankBarbie

    My daughter had a “thrifted” but beautiful wedding. It’s what she wanted, and what we could afford. I too had so many anxious thoughts about it all, and what others would think. I’ve come a long way in my perfectionist thinking but I still struggle with fear of man. This was insightful. Looking forward to hearing all about the beautiful day!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for sharing about your own daughter’s wedding, Barbie. My daughter definitely isn’t into traditions, so there won’t be much traditional about this wedding. The trends seem to be going against the old way of doing weddings anyway, some for the good, some just different. 🙂 All the more reason to stay focused on the main thing!

  12. blankLori

    Oh, Lisa, my mother and sister are always concerned about what others think, but me, not so much. While I don’t understand why they worry so much, they don’t understand why I don’t care as much as they do. Maybe when my son is older and preparing to marry will my worry and concern kick in. 🙂

    I love this! Because it’s not about looking good. It’s about loving well.

    Thanks for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Be grateful that you’re that way, Lori! It’s a gift to not care as much what others think. I’m probably middle on the scale of it, so I’m grateful I’m not more toward the edge anyway. ha.

  13. blankLori Schumaker

    I love the wedding talk, Lisa! My daughter’s former respite care provider (and precious treasure in our lives) is getting married on October 8th. I wonder if it’s the same weekend? Selah is going to be a flower girl in the wedding! We are so looking forward to it!

    And yes, it’s not about looking good, it’s about loving well!
    Thanks for sharing hope with me at #MomentsofHope!

    Blessings,
    Lori

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Oh, congratulations to your friend, Lori! Our wedding is the weekend prior to hers. They’re both coming up though! Yikes. ha. But I’m ready and definitely looking forward to it as well. I know Selah will be beautiful. Jenna is having two of the grandmothers be the flower “girls” in her wedding! Can’t wait to see that. 🙂

  14. blankJune

    Yes, I have to admit to a bit of perfectionism. But I’ve come a long way, through hard-learned lessons. Directly from God’s hand, I’m sure! So excited for your family!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, June. We are excited too…excited for the wedding to get here as well as for the day after! ha. My house has turned into wedding central with piles of stuff everywhere. But I know it’s only for a season. That perfectionism has to be drilled out of us through many circumstances. 🙂

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