I just read yet another post from the blogosphere bashing Pinterest. If you spend time in the blogosphere you know what I’m talking about, but if you don’t let me explain.
Someone will write words along these lines: “Dear woman who didn’t have time to shower this morning, know I love you and you are great. I know you don’t feel it because you spent some time on Pinterest today. Pinterest is a black hole that will suck you into a deep depression because you didn’t put happy faces on your child’s sandwich or create a life size Mickey Mouse out of toothpicks to announce your upcoming vacation. Trust me dear woman you do not suck, Pinterest does.” There are a lot of such posts out there, even some humorous pictures, which people are, ironically, pinning.
I have a different perspective on Pinterest. If you are ‘following’ me you will see that I have over 2,000 pins, (Don’t you have better things to do with your time!) And I probably pin something new every day. (Someone needs to hold an intervention!) My husband has been sucked into many a second-long conversation after I’ve said “Oh Cool”, or “That’s funny” or “You have to see this” while scrolling on Pinterest. (What do you mean that’s not quality time?) And my children know that when I say; “What do you want to do for your birthday/Christmas/Anything” they get to pull up some couch and sip a drink while we browse on the laptop. (Party planners are too expensive anyway.)
Earlier this week a verse in Scripture caught my attention and held it, still has it really, and it goes like this: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap.” Luke 6:38 This verse is pretty much the poster child for ‘donate to my ministry and you’ll be rich beyond your wildest dreams’, but that is completely out of context.
This verse comes right after warnings to not judge and to forgive. The context is attitudes, right attitudes to cultivate and the blessing for doing so. Pinterest is like a visual reminder of this Scripture for me. (I just lost you, didn’t I?)
I think it’s fair to say that most things on Pinterest fall into the time-suck category versus the time-save category; at least at first. Let’s use school lunches as an example. Going to the grocery store and picking up Snack Packs, single Yogurts and cheese strings is a time-save. Making quinoa salad with flower shaped cucumber and freshly squeezed goat’s milk is a time-suck. And as the Pinterest bashers point out, ain’t nobody got time for that.
Yet obviously a lot of women have time for that because there are 4.2 billion pictures of what these moms are packing for lunches all over Pinterest and it’s not pre-packaged processed foods.
It represents a shift in attitude. In the not too distant past we treated raising children like something that we needed a solution to. There just wasn’t enough time to cook foods from scratch or learn to mend clothing or spend 10 minutes reading with your child. And now we’re seeing a generation of little people who think they are entitled to whatever they want whenever they want it. Our attitude kinda backfired. The measure we gave was instant and easy. Guess what we’re getting back?
The pendulum is swinging the other way now, granted way too far in some cases, but now we want to teach our children vintage values. The importance of a family spending time together. Giving private school quality education to public school children. Using our resources wisely instead of using them up. Instilling confidence and work ethic in the next generation. Knowing where your food comes from before you eat it.
And that’s what Pinterest does for me. I want to raise up a generation of creative, self-sacrificing, explorers who are not satisfied to just live life but want to live it to the full. Pinterest helps me shake off the cobwebs of convenient and piques my thought process when I’m stuck in a rut. Doing things differently takes more time- at first. But then it re-awakens in you this childlike place where you wonder what else you could do. And that childlike place brings with it energy..(now if I only I could bottle that and sell it.)
If I could write an encouragement to that frazzled mom who didn’t shower this morning, (oh wait, that’s me) I would say: “Dear woman who fell asleep without getting undressed last night, I know that you want to get that home office decluttered and put a fall wreath on the door and you just need someone to tell you siblings who fight do not become serial killers. Take a second and think honestly about what you want your life to look like, where you desire to invest your limited energy. That. That part you want to shine, it can. Don’t try and re-invent the wheel. Find someone else’s idea, find something inspiring, pin it, do it. Then share it. You could be inspiring to someone else.” It’s not about comparing or keeping up with the Jones’, it’s about inspiration. About all kinds of regular people deciding to give: extra time, attention or giving things outside their comfort zone a try.
It’s amazing what will be poured out into your lap. More energy, more ideas, more creativity. When we truly give we receive back the capacity to keep on giving, not a desire to get. I am a huge fan of Pinterest, unabashedly so, I’d encourage you to give it a try.
Granted I was pinning before it was trendy. Anybody remember these?