My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

Why I Don’t Have A Bullet Journal

For a long time I didn’t set goals. Even in a sea of bullet journals and planners and New Year’s Resolutions I couldn’t find my way to concrete goals. Not because I didn’t know what I wanted, but because I was so afraid of putting them on paper and then failing. In many ways I still am.

Fear of failure isn’t a reason to stand still.

Yet, that’s exactly what I found myself doing: standing perfectly still in my life. Not in real life of course. In real life, the part you see, I was doing the things I’m supposed to do. I was taking care of my family and showing up at church. I bought birthday gifts and smiled at holidays. I was doing life.

But there were things inside. Things I longed to do. This type A girl wanted to set goals and check them off. I wanted to have resolutions and keep them. I wanted to be the one who got it all right. And the idea that I could possibly get it wrong paralyzed me.

I was living life as a statue because I was so afraid that I'd move the wrong way. Click To Tweet

Lest you think I’m kidding let me tell you about my relationship with bullet journals. I know, I know this seems shallow, but stay with me.

I love the idea of a bullet journal. The ones on Pinterest look so beautiful and perfect. Especially with the grid paper. What more do I need to get my life all lined up in neat little boxes?

I longed for my life to fit in a bullet journal. #bulletjournal #bujo Click To Tweet

Feeling inspired, I would start thinking about what my bullet journal would look like. It would be beautiful. There’d be sections for my day and meal planning and kid activities and books I want to read and books I’ve read. There would be habit trackers and writing brainstorms and business plans. And of course all of it would be artfully decorated and lovely. My life in neat squares with illustrations. It sounded perfect.

But then I got to thinking. I’m not really artistic. Actually, I’m not artistic at all. Coloring in the lines is stressful for me, nevermind freehand designs that would perfectly illustrate my perfectly boxed life.

And what about those boxes? What if I missed one? What if I set a goal and didn’t get to color or check or mark that box? And how was I supposed to mark it anyway? What were the rules?

Suddenly, the idea of bullet journaling took my life from squared away to chaotic indecision. And the Lord knows I don’t need any help in that department.

I was so busy dreaming of what I wanted and my imaginary failure at achieving it that I never did anything. I stood still like a child’s staring game just hoping that everyone else blinked before I did.

And I was tired.

So I’m blinking. I’m moving. I’m letting these stiff bones do something, anything. Even if it’s wrong.

No goals will make you perfect and no planner will transform your life. Only one thing can do that, and even in all the perfection seeking, goal fearing, indecision, He already is.

How is God transforming your life today?


Sharing words at #raralinkup and with these great writers today!

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About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I’m here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

8 Replies

  1. I’m not artistic either, so I just pour out words, and trust God to keep me moving toward the goals that coincide with His thoughts toward me. I have found that words of thankfulness for what has already been given are key to moving forward into what I’m hoping for.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Such good advice Michele!

  2. i love this, Becky –>’my life all lined up in neat little boxes.’ there’s some sense of order, purpose, peace.

    until God comes in and rearranges all those plans. then … the faith kicks in!

    1. Becky Hastings

      That rearranging is hard! But it is the best place to grow faith!

  3. Oh good words!! “So I’m blinking. I’m moving. I’m letting these stiff bones do something, anything. Even if it’s wrong.” Yep – me too.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Isn’t it freeing when we realize it’s okay to get things wrong?! So grateful for grace!

  4. V

    This is just stupid. There’s two different kinds of billet journaling. There’s artistic and productive. You set it up the way YOU want to. You don’t need to keep track of every single aspect of your life. You can’t be afraid of screwing up because then you won’t get anywhere in life. Life is about taking chances and learning through trial and error.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Hi Vicki, I want to start by saying I’m grateful for your comment. That may sound strange considering the way you started off, but you make good points…some of the same ones I often make. Your reminder to take chances and learn through trial and error are so true; we can’t wait to live a life of perfection as it will only pass you by. I only wish you had started your comment in a kinder way. At any rate, I’m glad you’re here. Have a blessed day

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