People Pleasers Who Hate Pleasing People

It’s a dilemma. A HUGE dilemma. I love defying expectations and hate doing things just so that so-and-so can be happy / comfortable if those “things” don’t make any sense, but I am in complete shambles if someone doesn’t like me. I mean, it is the WORST if someone doesn’t like me.

So I am very confused.

What does a people pleaser do if they hate doing things just to please people? They freak out. All the time. About everything. And they argue with themselves a lot. I mean, it’s a real mess up in here.

For example: Family coming to visit this weekend was a HUGE meltdown waiting to happen. (Okay, it happened, twice. Or maybe more, but who’s counting.) On one hand, I want to make sure that they have a good time, that all of their expectations and needs are met, they have the food they like, the activities they enjoy, the air temperature they prefer. But on the other hand, why do I have to bend over backwards because they need GREEN apples, not red ones. Butter, soft and unsalted. Hawaiian Punch to drink, because water/lemonade isn’t right. Oh, and that loaf of bread? It looks weird.

I woke up at 4 AM the first night, paranoid over expectations and feelings. The pizza took 55 minutes to get here, did they even WANT pizza anymore? I should have picked different pizza!!! What do we do tomorrow? Will it be too hot? If it is, then what? Oh my gosh, do they hate it here? Do they regret coming? Who cares anyway, I’m doing the best I can and that’s all I can ask. So what if my bread doesn’t look the same as their bread. GET OVER IT. But I want you to be happy, and for what I have to be ENOUGH for you!

I just want to be enough.

BOOM. I just want to be enough, and I hate not being enough. If you aren’t happy with me, or what I have to give you, I feel like I am not enough for you. So I try to make you happy because I NEED YOU TO SAY that who I am, what I am, is enough. That you don’t need a constant smiley face, the perfect response, or the perfect brand of cheese.

And therein lies the dilemma. I hate pleasing people because I just want them to be satisfied, and say, “it’s okay, what you have here is enough.” But I don’t feel like enough, so I want to please them so they’ll say, “wow, what you have here is enough.”

The crazy thing is, this all goes back to something I already know, and I already tell myself over and over. Humans are flawed and damaged. (Hell, I’m flawed and damaged.) I cannot, under any circumstances, seek my sense of approval from other people. THEY will never satisfy my unending need for love and approval.

So why do I keep going back to this? I obviously haven’t learned how to receive my worth from the right place yet.

Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you”. And Paul prayed in Ephesians, “that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” 

Filled to the measure. No worry. Sufficient. Yes, I want ALL OF THAT.

I learned an important lesson today, and that is that I haven’t yet learned how to receive my identity and His son/daughter. What a tough lesson to learn, and what a difference it will make when I do! I pray that this sinks in, the God continues to show me how high and deep His love is, that I learn to receive that as the source of who I am, and not the opinions of other people. That I would have the grace and love to extend to those who come against me, and to walk in the freedom of knowing that I am flawed and equally loved.





Holland Family Visits Michigan

First of all, the HOUSE WAS FULL. And it was great. Lots of people, lots of love, lots of laughing. Even though they were only here for a couple days, it was enough to get that I-feel-full feeling that comes with good company. 

We visited 4 parks, went downtown, ate out A LOT, went to 2|42 for church, and stayed up late watching movies. It was a good time.

We took some quick pictures before they left, and every single group picture was ruined by one person or the other. Some day they might look back and wish they had something to remember things by, pictures that are FOND and not idiotic, but that day is not today. So, we take deep breaths and stick with what we’ve got. Image



(Clearly the only normal ones)




As Carson would say, “embrace the weird”. 

And we do.

Why Blog?

I haven’t blogged often. But for the small amount of posts that I write, I sure do think about them a lot. (Which consequently keeps me from actually blogging.) The questions that run through my mind a lot are, “Why write about (insert subject)?”, “What’s my motive?”, “Will that turn out any good?”, and mostly, “Will people think I’m an idiot/prideful/arrogant/weird?”.

But you see, the thing is, I am all of those things.

And, I’m always trying to remind myself that that’s okay. Most days I am realizing what an idiot I was yesterday, I have to constantly fight to put off pride, I have to remember who I am DAILY to not succumb to arrogance and/or false humility, and I am always and very much so WEIRD.

So if my blog reflects anything differently than those truths and those struggles, well then, it’s not much of a blog. It’s more of a strange kind of fiction blog. Which is weird, and not in a good way. It’s weird in an “I’m pretending to be authentic by scouring over and over all the things I say/write in order to gain the most approval by the most people.” And that kind of “authenticity” is exhausting.

All that to say, I’ve thought about all this a lot. WHY DO I WANT TO BLOG? Well, I want to blog because I love to write. That doesn’t  necessarily mean that I’m really any good at it, trust me, there will be grammar and spelling and run-on sentence issues all over, but I still love to do it.

And I love to write about a lot of different things. With our families being spread out all over, I like to write about what we do; I love to write about what God is talking to me about, I love to write about the funny things that happen in our lives, I love to write about the things I like because I love sharing stuff that is awesome, and did I say that I just love to write?

If other people read it, and actually LIKE IT, well that is a whole heaping of ice cream on the brownie. (I don’t much care for icing/cake.) And if they don’t like it, then I’ll put on my big girl shoes and shrug it off (also a huge FEAR of blogging/easier said than done). But, it’s not about you, and it’s not about you liking me or what you think about me. (Ouch, that hurts me to write, because naturally, I care about that A LOT.) BUT, alas, that’s not what it’s about and I just need to get over it. It’s about me doing things that bring me joy and peace and closer to Jesus.

Even if I suck at it. The point is that I’m DOING it.

So there.


Me being weird. Actually, if there are deer antlers, it would be weird to NOT pretend to be a deer. So, here’s me, being normal.

My Wedding

ImageMy Wedding was beautiful and it was sweet and simple and lovely. But a part of me wasn’t THERE for my wedding. I have, what can best be described as, a kink in my emotional connections. Even after only being married for less than a year, I already look back at my wedding and think it would have been different if I had been different. If I had been more present emotionally, perhaps I would of had a different experience.

None of this has anything to do with the man I married. Or, perhaps it has everything to do with him. He is the most wonderful, loving and loyal husband that I could ever ask for. He is a GIFT to me and I have no idea how or why he chose the broken mess that is me, but he did, and I am so BLESSED because of it! But part of my story, part of what I am walking through is this irrational fear of abandonment and my (seemingly) innate ability to literally “disconnect” emotionally when I fear it’s possibility.  At the time of our wedding, I wasn’t even aware that I did this, and that what I was feeling (or lack thereof) wasn’t normal. I wondered why I didn’t have that boisterous enthusiasm that I’ve seen in so many other brides. I thought perhaps it was nerves or just me. Yeah, I think I thought it was just me. I WAS UNABLE TO BE EMOTIONAL and I felt so abnormal because of it.

I made a lot of decisions mostly because I didn’t know what to do and the thought of making decisions entirely on what I wanted was overwhelming. I mean, how was I supposed to know what I WANTED? I didn’t even know who I was. I knew how I wanted people to see me, so that is what I did. I chose themes and images and decorations and songs based on how I wanted people to see me. Sure, I liked most of it, but it definitely wasn’t UNIQUE to me. I didn’t feel like it had that quirky part of me in it. It was safe, and presentable.

The funny thing is, it took getting married and it took this wonderful man who confronts my crazy to realize the deep rootedness (rootedness?) of these things. To realize that I struggle A LOT with being vulnerable and sitting in that vulnerability. Vulnerability makes me want to hide or run. Preferably both. and I was making this choice to open up my whole life, forever, to someone that is promising to never leave me. That takes a lot of trust and believe you me, A LOT of vulnerability and it was terrifying. At the time, the only way I could handle it was by disconnecting. My heart mourns for the wedding that could have been had I BEEN there.

But, I have to have peace. I can look at those pictures of us and see a huge mark in our story. The day that I began to find myself. The day that I chose to drop my fear, or at least hold it with my hands open and say “I can’t let go just yet, but I know that I don’t want this.” It marks the beauty that is marriage and the holiness that is the fruit of marriage. I remember being told that marriage isn’t intended to make you happy, it’s intended to make you Holy. Sounds scary, but me being more Holy is me being more like Jesus, and there is nothing more satisfying than that.

So, although my wedding day wasn’t exactly how I expected it would be, I know that I WASN”T how I expected to be. But because of that day and the vows that were made, I am different. It was like diving into the deep end and being strengthened by the struggle. I regret nothing except that I would have found freedom earlier. But that is a very slow and very tedious process for me; one that I’m happy to have Geoff on the journey with me for. I am thankful for that wedding day, and I am thankful for the journey it began.