Once upon a time, long long ago, I had my own web design business for many years. Having been a blogger since 2006, I began designing my own blog within a year, and very soon I started receiving requests from others for a design of their own. My premise was always to create a design that uniquely reflected each individual blogger or mom-business it was for. It was so much fun, and I truly was heartbroken when the business came to an end.
So what happened? It was as if I woke up one day and the entire atmosphere behind blogging had changed. Gone were the fun, unique designs that were aesthetically pleasing as well as easy to navigate, in their place I received requests that were virtually impossible to fill and had never been on my list of options. Bloggers no longer wanted “fun” and “kitschy”, now they wanted very monochromatic, professional looks that had functions and features that are not innately natural to blogs and would take programming entirely out of the scope of what I enjoyed or wanted to do.
Sometimes, they wanted the impossible. They wanted a front page that did EVERYTHING at once…. for free… yup. Every once in awhile I would offer my services to a mom for free, the most shocking thing about these designs, is that almost always the woman on the receiving end was more exacting and demanding with higher expectations than the ones that paid $250+. It was absolutely confounding.
Being the absolute non-confrontationalist that I am (yes, I know that’s not really a word), I tended to simply tell them that maybe I wasn’t the best fit and that there was likely someone more qualified out there. But what I was offering was FREE. It was insane.
As I look back on that “other life” that seems so far in the past, I realize that in almost any area of life, this can be the case. Whether it be blog designs or just everyday things we participate in, both at home and even to bless the community, there’s always going to be some who complain… no matter how free the event is or how much of yourself or your time you’ve given. We only have so much to give and we need to know when a request has ventured into the realm of impossible… or even, “not for me”.
It’s part of life. In many ways it’s part of serving. And I think it’s a way of reminding us to stay humble and realistic. To possibly nudge us out of our comfort zone in learning to say no (for those of us who struggle with this).
There will be many people in life that want the impossible. It’s up to us to learn and grow and know how to handle them and remain true to who we are and who God wants us to be.