The Farm Team
The year before I got married my now husband and I played together on a co-ed church softball team. Prior to that I hadn’t played softball since an unfortunate game one summer at my grandmother’s church picnic. I was in middle school at the time and wanted to play with the high schoolers and adults. Adrift in the outfield, I remember hearing the crack of the bat and looking up. Suddenly, I had an out-of-body experience as I heard myself shouting “I got it.” I didn’t. I didn’t have it that is. Instead, the ball had me. It landed squarely on the bridge of my nose with enough force to knock me down and start a gusher of blood. Truth be told, I wasn’t good enough to be playing with the “big kids”. My insistence that I could “hang” with them resulted in me getting hurt, a significant fear of balls heading in my general direction and a man on base. All this because I couldn’t admit I wasn’t good enough to play. I most certainly wasn’t good enough for the “big kids” team and it’s doubtful I would have even qualified for the equivalent farm team. However, what I lacked that day in skill, I made up for with enthusiasm and insistence. There was enough enthusiasm to warrant a couple of black eyes and watching TV the rest of the day from grandma’s couch.
Striving for Perfection
That desire to be better than what I really am has never gone away. “Middle of the road” has never been my thing, I am not that kind of person. Many times I have come in ‘second’ or less than ‘perfect’. Frankly, it bugs me. It frustrates me to no end – especially when that thing is something that to me seems less than difficult. I don’t want to be “less than” — I want to be perfect.
I want to be the perfect wife, the kind that lets no unwholesome or complaining word from her lips.
I complain. I’ll confess it, I also nag. Sometimes more than I should.
I want to be the perfect mother, the one you find in Proverbs 31 whose children rise and call her blessed.
Completely failed this one when my oldest was about 4 years old and I warned I would spank her for refusing to say her prayers. That’s right, winner, winner, chicken dinner for WORST mother of the year.
I want to have the perfect figure — the perfect BMI. I want the perfect ability to resist the food in front of me and that which is hidden in the pantry – especially after a less than perfect day.
The pants in my closet range from a size 8 to a size 16. I haven’t fit into the 8s since before I got married. I stress so much about my weight and getting on the scale that at the doctor’s office I always send my BP up near the high border for normal. I am certain the doctor is going to judge me and then go from feeling bad to worse.
I want to have the perfectly trained Labrador Retriever.
If you come to my house there is a good chance you will be accosted by my 80 plus pound lab (for which I experience guilt because he is overweight) and if that wasn’t bad enough, his affections will likely involve his tongue on your mouth. That’s right, channel your inner Lucy.
Perfect or Perfector?When we strive for perfection we forget we need a perfector. #Grace Click To Tweet
Why are we so quick to demand perfection of ourselves? Why are we constantly moving the finish line for what is “good enough”? If our God can extend grace to us then hasn’t He set the example for what we must do?
His grace is not merit based, but unmerited and undeserving. It is not offered begrudgingly, but generously and cheerfully.
We should do this because this is what He did. This is what He does. This is the example He set.
Grace over all of it. #BeQuickToMoveToGrace Click To Tweet
A past that haunts you — GRACE.
The number on the scale — GRACE.
The children you’re sure your failing — GRACE.
The marriage that is failing — GRACE.
The budget you can’t conquer — GRACE.
The school that never got finished — GRACE.
The mouth that gets in your way — GRACE.
Grace over ALL of it.
Let’s stop setting a goal line that we can never make. Let’s stop the shame and condemnation. Let’s stop throwing rocks at our own houses.
We HAVE a Savior, because we NEED a Savior.
God doesn’t expect us to be perfect because He sent us the perfector.
If you are battling feelings of being not good enough, not perfect enough – stop. Stop them now and make those thoughts captive to God. Walk today with your shoulders back and chin up knowing that God knows you exactly the way you are and HE loves you in spite of yourself. Our Jesus didn’t come for a perfect people – He came for a messy people.
Give up on being perfect.