Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart... Jeremiah 1:5

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Perfection. In moderation.

Over the past few weeks a few things have really come to my attention regarding who I am as a person.  I have realized that I strive to be perfect in everything.   I have been striving to do "everything" "right" without "failing" and doing so without any help.  For some reason I have fallen into the trap to think that I need to do this whole living life thing all on my own, without help from anyone in my life or even from the One that created me.   In fact I would even say I have been prideful on the days that I feel like I have gotten it "right."  And for every day that I have gotten it "right." I have gotten three days "wrong." As hard as it is to be completely honest and genuine I really want to convey that on those days that I got it "right" I felt like I was on top of the world and for some reason even felt like I was worthy of love more.  But those days that I have missed it, those days that I didn't accomplish everything that I wanted, those days that I left the laundry piled high, or the days that I didn't get to play with Addisen as much as I would like and she was entertained by Little Bear or Olivia, or the days that I was short and crabby with those that I love the most those were the days that I couldn't believe that anyone would care or that the Lord could possibly still love me. I have grown up in the "church" and in my brain I do know that He loves me regardless but still find it so easy to fall into earning His love, His affection, His safety, grace, knowledge, security, peace, etc.

I am very blessed and fortunate to have many different friends that have such high qualities in their lives.  For instance I have a friend that is just the greatest "friend."  She is the one that no matter what she would drop whatever she was doing if you needed it, she would rearange her schedule to be there with you if you needed it.  I have another beautiful friend that is just gorgeous on the inside and out and makes everyone around her feel special.  She is trendy and graceful and honest.  She shows me how to just play with my kids and make them feel special.  Another friend literally just loves life so much that she is always happy.  She is a perfect example of how God views us-she loves everyone and doesn't judge.  She has fun no matter what she does and lights up every room is she is in.  Finally, another friend of mine is very financially savvy.  She finds all the great deals, and blesses me with her knowledge of budgets, coupons, etc.  And she does it all with amazing wit.

And then there is my family.  They are all such amazing examples of life in different ways.  One of them does her best to believe the best in everyone and doesn't judge.  Another sister does amazing things every day and has such goals and dreams it is just fun being around her because you feel like anything is possible.  Another sister is sensitive to everyone around her and my brother is such a protector.  My parents as well as Josh and my extended family are full of grace and love and only want the best for those in their life.

Anyway, I say all this to  say that I was trying to take every one of those qualities in those close to me and be exactly like them.  I was trying to be PERFECT in every area that I felt that my friends and family were.  And then when I realized that I might be decent at some of them, but not completely perfect I would feel as if I failed.  Like completely failed.  This was really bothering me because I know that I am not perfect, nowhere near it, and although I am not saying that my friends are "perfect" or don't have faults but I was finding that if I wasn't at the same level as they were then I wasn't even special, or didn't have anything to give to anyone.

After really thinking about it a lot I realized that the Lord has placed those people in my life not to show me where I need to improve, although they do teach me many, many things and give me inspiration to be better in certain things, but also to show me that I have gifts too.  So, I might not be the trendiest person in the entire world or that my coupon book has it's own style and organization, and I might not even be the person that is there when you need someone at midnight or the girl that can stay up and chat all night.  That just isn't who I am.  However, the Lord has placed gifts in me and I would not dare say I am near perfect in anything but I have realized the past few weeks that I have gifts.  For instance, I have the heart to entertain and be hospitable.  I love writing cards, notes, and letters (an unfortunate habit that far too few people do these days if you ask me).  I love being a mom and I love my girls with my whole heart and I do believe I was handpicked to be their mom.

So, I say all this to try to point out that we don't need to stress.  The laundry will be there tomorrow, the dishes will too, and you might not get your list of "to do" done.  But you know what?  You lived another day.  He has given you gifts too to share not only with those close to you but also those out in your city, your church, even your family.  Don't be afraid to be who you are.  I am learning that it is okay to be me.  That not everyone will necessarily like me but maybe, just maybe, I have something that I can bring into their life.  And honestly, if it is just to make them smile that day or bless them with an uplifting word then you know I don't care if my list gets accomplished or if my closet needs a major overhaul-I have lived.  Life isn't about perfection.  In fact, sometimes I think it is the imperfections that make life, well, entertaining.

 I don't need to be perfect every day to be loved and that it is OKAY to reach out for help because there are people out there that are willing and wanting to help and be a part of your life.  So, if I have learned anything these past few weeks it would be to let people in and realize that you are special and have something to impart into everyone around you.  And you never know what those around you need.  Don't hesitate to do something big, or small, to encourage your friends, family, or even the stranger in the Target check out line.  It could change a life.  YOU could change a life.  So smile more, laugh more, and just let go more.  Don't think of it as failing, think of it as being perfect. In moderation.

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