About to drive to pick up my sister and head to the airport and our final destination, a beloved blogging and writing conference called Allume, I have everything planned.

Getting up early, I plan to sneak quietly out of my house, so as not to wake anyone else up. Putting my bathroom supplies in my suitcase and scanning my lists one more time, I feel comfortable that nothing has been missed.

I pull out on the open road, seeing very little traffic at 5 a.m., and tamp down my excitement for what the weekend may hold.

As I near my sister’s house, located half an hour away from my own, I suddenly realize that I’ve forgotten something. Despite my lists, I’ve left behind my pants. All of them. I picture them in my mind, lying on the chair in my bedroom where I’d placed them the night before to finish drying. Still there.

Crap, I think.

Walking into Kristin’s house, I sheepishly tell her what I’ve done. We giggle together as we tiptoe to her room, determined to find a pair or two that will work for me. Kristin, always the gracious sister, is also smaller and shorter than I, and we laugh at my effort to pull her super-cute-but-a-bit-tight pants up past my rump.

Too short? No problem, I’ve got my boots to cover them. A little tight? Okay, I brought loose, flowy shirts to cover any Muffin Top that may appear.

We stuff them in her bag as we hurriedly rush out the door.

Arrriving at Allume, we feel a bit overwhelmed and yet loved all at once. We find bloggers from our home state (yay!) and hug others we’ve connected with online, so excited to be meeting for the first time in person.

We feel at home.

And I start to forget about my missing pants. No small thing for this girl, who loves to plan and prepare. The weekend ended up being beautiful and encouraging. We met so many wonderful people in the publishing world, had so many helpful conversations, felt more than blessed.

We were given new ideas and the determination to implement what we’d learned.

And as I’ve returned home, I have thought more about those forgotten pants and how often I can let small things ruin my day, my attitude, or my plans, spiraling my thoughts into a place of negativity and defeat.

Can you relate, friends? How many times do we hold back when we should move ahead? Thinking that we’ll wait until things are perfect, circumstances just right, until we’re just right, before pursuing a dream we have or a goal we’ve set for ourselves.

Maybe it’s time we throw our pants caution to the wind and just do that thing we’ve been meaning to do, in all its uncomfortable glory.

Maybe it’s time to forget about the minor irritants (like a little Muffin Top) that hold us back and just go for it. I’m learning that God shows up in my imperfection. He doesn’t wait or even expect everything to be just right before he’ll use us, or encourage us, or even love us.

Lately I’ve wondered, What would I do if I fully believed in God’s love for me? What would stop me from pursuing all that he has for my life?

The answer? Nothing.

I want to start believing it now, don’t you?

And who knows what great things await us?! All it takes is one small first step… even in pants that may be just a little too tight.