Jackson Five Friday: The Devil is in the Ideals

Hey Friends,

I don’t know where the phrase “the devil is in the details” came from but as distracting as details can be, the real devil is in the ideals. The persistent perception that others have attained or are living out an ideal is not only wrongheaded, it’s a joy-robbing scheme of Satan. No one has it together. I certainly don’t, and despite moving around and making wonderful friends in various places, I’ve never met a single person who has it all together. Not one. The few who project having figured it all out bear the exhausting burden of trying to keep up appearances.

Yet I often get the impression that many believe in a perfect wife, husband, child, house, marriage, or even life. As if perfection exists, here, on this earth!?! And it’s not like this misconception is just a benign delusion, just a laughable little lie. No, in reality it’s terribly destructive because if people believe perfection exists, they want it. Perfection becomes the expectation, and that’s a foolproof recipe for a miserable life.

Where are you looking for perfection? Where are your expectations most divergent from reality? There is nothing to be gained from holding ourselves or those around us to an unattainable standard.

I think the real issue is one of pride. Maybe we don’t want to grow old or admit we are flawed. Maybe we derive identity through keeping an immaculate home, or staying in great physical shape. Maybe our worth is wrapped up in a career or in being the superstar parent. Or maybe we extend grace to ourselves but burden the people around us with expectations. But freedom is knowing that we can’t earn God’s love, nor can we lose it. And our calling is to love the people in our lives just like God loves us.

If you know Jesus as Lord and Savior then your identity should be wrapped up in being a child of the One True King. As His child, you have His Spirit. And so do I. May our lives and how we love be evidence of this truth.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35

With Love,


Jackson Five Friday: Blah Remedies

Hey Friends,

Hope you’ve had a great week. I’ve been feeling a little aimless. I had that weird week in Orlando for Dub’s swim meet and close on its heels–just three and a half days later–Dub and Nate kicked off Spring Break. Then Sam’s break only overlapped theirs for Good Friday and Easter Monday. So I’ve been mostly home for weeks, with a couple quick trips to Atlanta, and it’s felt like an absurdly unproductive stretch. I don’t do well with unscheduled life, especially if the weather is uninspiring. In the absence of adventure, sunshine and routine are my good friends.

Of course, there are remedies for blah days, but it can take resolve to put them to work. Exercise helps. Counting blessings helps. Preparing a yummy meal helps. Cleaning the kitchen until it’s spotless, then lighting a candle helps. Even making your bed can be the first step in the right direction. But reminding myself of God’s promises helps the most, and the Psalms are like a poetic anthology of promises. You can hardly help but be encouraged.

Today I read this one:

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭130:1-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Every word speaks to me, but what an incredible illustration of waiting on the Lord — to be more anticipatory than a watchman for the morning. Yes! May my soul always thirst for God like that!

With Love,