I am not the perfect anything you guys….
I know big shocker. That is why I am so thankful that I’ve learned the truth – perfection is nice in theory however, I’m not sure that its actually obtainable. Can I be honest with you? I have been chasing the idea of perfectionism across a myriad of categories for the last 13+ years (perfect wife, mom, homemaker, baker, friend, sister, daughter, dieter, athlete, etc. I could go on and on) and have fallen flat on my face I can’t even tell you how many times. Within the last 2 years I’ve really delved in to the concept of grace. The concept that in order to be happy I do not have to do things perfectly has changed my life… slowly. I’m still very much a work in progress.
So what the heck is grace anyway?
Grace according to Mirriam-Webster (2017) is,
“unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; a virtue coming from God; a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance.”
The idea that in order to be successful at something I have to do it perfectly has controlled several different areas of my life. To say that I’ve struggled with this is a little bit of an understatement. It’s beyond silly because who actually has a “perfect” life? Sure there are going to be areas in our lives that are pretty perfect but let’s keep it real… there’s always room for improvement right? Whose house is always perfectly in order? My house is typically clean… the downstairs level anyway. Whose children are perfect all the time? Not mine. Most of the time they are pretty darn good though. Perfect, perfect, perfect… That word has become the bane of my existence.
So at this point I’ve basically come to terms with the fact that I should probably strike the term “perfect” and all its variants from my vocabulary and thought process…
Let me say that again, I’m not perfect at ANYTHING. So why in the world am I holding myself to such an impossible standard knowing full well I will never satisfy this desire to be a perfectionist? Who sets the bar for what “perfect” actually is? The more frustrating realization is the fact that I’ve been chasing perfection when perfection means something different to everyone… what the heck?!
For Christmas we decorate 2 Christmas trees. The big tree in the front room is our “family tree.” Brian, the kids and I purchase a live tree and decorate it together. This tree is filled to the brim with snowflakes, sparkly red, green, silver and gold bulbs. This tree holds our first ornaments and special ones my children have given us over the years. The second tree is the “Charlie Brown(esque) tree” that I bought in 2016 and has been deemed the “kids tree” also known as “Lukey’s tree.” We bought the cutest little decorations for this little tree. There’s bears, bunnies, red buffalo check fabric bulb ornaments for this tree.
I cannot even tell you how many times over the Christmas season Lukey has decorated and redecorated his tree each time deeming it “perfect.” Perfection in his little eyes were ornaments all clumped together at the front of the Christmas tree. You know what, it WAS perfect because it brought him PERFECT JOY! He was so happy and so delighted in his work.
All along I thought I was supposed to be teaching my babies “all the things”… and here I am learning life lessons from my 3 year old.
My life is so much better now that I’ve begun to grasp the concept of grace. Perfection is elusive and conditional – based on standards both spoken and unspoken. What would happen if we delighted in our journey as we seek the approval of God and not of man? What if we sought out PERFECT JOY and made that our standard? Just some random thoughts today…