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.





Modern Woman

I had a rough realization this morning. I AM NOT AT HOME. But, how can I be “at home” when my life demands that I be elsewhere?!

Let me explain my lingo. We are going through a “journey” at church called “A Journey Home.” It’s a series designed to help us understand how we view God and how we view ourselves all through this idea of feeling at home. The first week, we listed places that made us feel at home, like being surrounded by people we know, being with my husband, being alone in the woods. When you feel “at home”, you feel peaceful, known & loved, fully dependent on God, joyful, patient, trusting, building into friendships…When you don’t feel at home, you feel anxious, jealous, judgmental, power driven, manipulative,worried you’ll run out, passive aggressive, insecure, abandoned, alone.

This morning, Geoff had to prepare our crock pot meal while I was getting ready for work. The morning ran by fast and I just didn’t have time to put everything together. I stood in the bathroom feeling terrible. One of my GREATEST desires is to be a wife and a homemaker. Geoff gets to provide by working hard, paying for our home and providing physically. I desire to provide for our family by making meals, keeping up our house and making it into a home. But I can’t do that if I have to spend 9 hours of my day sitting at a desk in some stuffy office that makes me feel uneasy. I certainly do not feel at home here.

It is SO FRUSTRATING to feel like my only purpose right now is to pay for my student loans and I can’t do a lot of things that bring me joy. I never thought I’d say this, but I actually love cooking meals. I like learning about seasonings and how to prepare different types of food. I love being able to eat and enjoy what I prepared and seeing the look of satisfaction as my company enjoys what I made. I hate getting off work and feeling too exhausted to wipe down baseboards, do laundry or even cook dinner. How do women do it all?!

Maybe I’m just not superwoman. Maybe I’m weak or incapable of working and keeping a home. But I certainly feel like I’m failing at what brings me the most satisfaction. I know that staying at home and practicing home-cooked meals is not the fire that burns in all womens hearts, and I get that. But for me, this has been a very new and very real discovery. I see Ree Drummond ( and think about how BEAUTIFUL that life is! She LOVES to cook for her family and take pictures of them, soaking in the stories and moments that just happen. And she was even able to find a way to provide for them by doing so! Seems like a wild and crazy fantasy.

I want to be in a place that feels like home. But, I don’t know how to do that when I feel required to be somewhere else. I feel required to be in a job that pays well but doesn’t necessarily feed ME. If I do what I love or what I would like, then we crash financially. I’m sure there are lessons to be learned in this, but I’m mostly waiting for it to be over. Hospitality fuels me. And I feel forced away from it. Like I’m looking at this delicious apple pie and being forced to eat crackers.

There’s a lot of holes in my thoughts and a lot of things that I think / feel that I can look back on and offer my own “wisdom.” Like when Paul said that he was content whatever the circumstances. Or in Phillipiannes, when it says to be anxious about nothing, but rejoice in everything. Or when God tells us that if we delight ourselves in Him, then He will give us the desires of our hearts. Those are all the things I know, but they are not what I FEEL. I’ve always wanted people to see me as a woman who was close to God and sought his heart. Full of wisdom and knowledge. I’m kinda getting over it. If I’m never REAL, then I’m never going to be able to work through the ugly. And then it just get’s uglier. I am NOT okay with that. So, here it is, my UGLY.

I feel abandoned. I feel like God blesses all these other people and opens doors for them that help them feel satisfied and fulfilled, and I’m swimming against the current to keep my head above water. I wonder if God will ever allow me to be in a place of pure contentment; If I am worthy of providing help to people. I feel like I have to EARN EVERYTHING and if I have SOMETHING, if I don’t keep working to pay it off, it will be taken away. So this morning, I was angry at God because I feel like He is holding back on me.  I don’t feel good enough to eat the Apple Pie.

A comment was left on my blog yesterday by my WONDERFUL mother-in-law that just came to mind. “When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions; wait for hope to appear.” Lam 3:28, 29. And the scripture in Luke, “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.” Yes, God is good. I believe that He will give me hope and satisfy me. I need to lean into Him a little more and a little more often.


***P.S. If you’d like to check out more of this “Journey” I’m babbling about, you can view it here: