I struggle with this desire to be perfect.
I hold these expectations for myself that are far from obtainable. These expectations put on my shoulders by the worlds’ standards oftentimes leave me feeling like a failure.
A failure to look a certain way.
A failure at being a certain type of mother.
A failure at being a trophy military wife.
A failure career wise.
A failure in general.
It is something I struggle with very much. I used to think it was a form of OCD. Now, I realize, it’s that I’m a perfectionist. There, I said it! My name is Lacy and I’m a perfectionist!
It took me almost having a nervous breakdown from hosting a holiday party recently to come to this conclusion. Ok, does sitting in my kitchen bawling from being overwhelmed count as a breakdown? If so, then I had a full-blown breakdown!
I was overwhelmed by this need to have my house be a certain way. In addition to wanting it clean and tidy, I also wanted all of the clutter gone. I wanted it fresh and beachy feeling. I wanted it to feel welcoming. I wanted it to be worthy of having company over.
Most of all, I wanted it to look in real life,
how I pictured it in my head…perfect!
I called my mom and a few of my closest friends and cried out for help! Not cleaning help. Rather, “talk some sense into me because I’m losing it” type help. The one thing they ALL said, was, “Lacy, it doesn’t have to be perfect! Your home is always welcoming and beautiful. It’s probably party ready right now in fact. Calm down!”
My sister sent me a text with this picture…I took it as a hint that I needed to lower my expectations a tad bit!
I took a few breaths (probably 47822 to be exact). Said a prayer to God to clear my mind and refocus my heart.
This made me realize I needed to do something because this desire to be perfect was starting to make me go crazy.
I wasn’t myself.
I had lost sight of my usually happy “see the good in everything” self.
I was starting to focus on the things that stressed me out rather than the good things.
It was in this moment,
I was reminded that God didn’t create us to be perfect for a reason.
It’s in these moments where I feel I’m falling short,
that I need to come to Him for strength.
He can fill the gap of my imperfection.
When life gets messy, I need to ask myself, “who am I doing this for?” My kids? My husband? Is it to impress someone? Is it to make me feel like I didn’t fail today because I “totally crushed it” by baking those cookies to pass out? I need to be doing this for God-not anyone else!
I need to refocus my thoughts. Instead of thinking my life is defined by meeting a certain standard thrown at me by Pinterest or filtered Instagram photos, I need to focus on living my life in a way that others can see Christ.
I feel God is growing me as a person through this.
Imperfection does NOT equal failure.
It just means I am human. It means I’m growing-just like everyone else. We will always be imperfect. We will never be “enough.” But, as long as I keep focused on carrying out what God desires for my life, I AM ENOUGH!
This time of year, I’m reminded of the night baby Jesus was born.
In a barn!
In a manger.
Was this perfect?
Not at all!
Mary leaned on God to make a far from perfect setting into one we still to this day are learning from.
Mary didn’t need a Pinterest worthy living room with beautiful wooden floors and soft throw pillows and blankets to welcome her baby (our savior) into this world.
She didn’t need scented candles and “Jesus” monogrammed on baby blankets. She was able to look past her surroundings and focus on the beautiful miracle taking place.
I feel I missed that with the party I hosted. I focused so much on making the setting “Pinterest worthy” (and there were even comments from the guests that it belonged on Pinterest) that I lost sight of what the party was supposed to be for. I’m ashamed and embarrassed to say this (and I’m so sorry to any of those guests who are reading this now.)
Perfectionism is a real struggle for me (and I know I’m not alone!)
It’s not that I AM perfect. I’m far from it. Rather, I want so badly for things to BE perfect.
I’m learning to shift my thinking.
I’m learning to put this on Gods shoulders and let Him help me carry the weight.
I’m learning to embrace imperfection…
one day at a time.