Thursday, July 19, 2007

Perfectly Imperfect

It’s been a couple of days since my last post, but to be honest, I’ve been living life and loving it. Our friends, Mike and Cindy Heiniger, left on Wednesday to head back to Illinois, and I’m already wondering when we will have the opportunity to get back there to visit them and their church family. We were so incredibly blessed by their visit and their friendship, and I thank God that through His Spirit we are able to stay close in heart even though we are serving in different parts of the country. I feel like the Lord has blessed us with a most precious gift in them and their friendship, so I give Him praise for yet another blessing that He has bestowed.

This evening finds me alone at my sister’s home, sitting in her beautiful living room with the most wonderful breeze (this is July, isn’t it?) flowing through the open window beside me. I had been feeling anxious about my next school year and schedule, so my sister offered her home to me so that I could bring all of my school materials and texts to sketch out the coming four quarters of year. I have some new materials that I’ve needed to go through and study, and I am just not able to do that at home with the kids and their schedules. My husband suggested that I go away overnight so that I could focus on my work and then be able to put it behind me. So, while my sister is gone with her family for a couple of days, I’m spending tonight at her home by myself, and I must say…’s wonderful! I am the type of person that craves alone time, but that hardly ever happens, so this night away is fulfilling two desires of mine: planning time and alone time. I spent this afternoon doing schoolwork; I’m taking a dinner break right now, and this evening I plan on spending some much-longed-for extended time with the Lord.

I am tempted to feel guilty about needing this time away, but I truly know that I will be much more at peace once I’ve finished some of this planning work. I had started having dreams about being unprepared for school, so I know it was heavy on my heart. In case you haven’t guessed, I’m a planner and perfectionist, so order, neatness, and efficiency are important to me. I’m sure you are shocked, right? This is an area in which the Lord continues to teach me, and it is quite a struggle for me. I must continually remind myself that imperfection is okay, even in myself. The standards I set for myself are usually much higher than what I would set for anyone else, and this causes me to often feel as if I don’t measure up and am not enough.

In my head, I often find that I am telling myself, "If only………I could write more encouraging notes to others; I could keep the house clean; I could keep up with the church staff families better; I could do better at menu planning and meal preparation; I could stay on top of things better; I could keep up with people more and have people over to our home more; I could share God’s love more; I could be a better parent; I could be a better child of God. What I’m really saying is…”If only I could be PERFECT!” I know that realistically that’s not possible, but I unconsciously live so much of my life striving and laboring to be something I can never be.

My daughter's friend used to have her myspace name as, "Perfectly Imperfect ___name___." I love that because at such a young age, she is embracing the fact that she can't be perfect and that it's okay. I would love to have learned that lesson as a young person because I find that I often still am operating under this heavy, unconscious burden of trying to be perfect and to be all things to all people, because that of course, would make me valued, worthy, LOVED. I know that the answer to this longing is found in my Savior and in the truth of His word, so since I find myself feeling this way, I had better get to that “much-longed-for extended time with the Lord!" It is obvious that I need to adjust my perspective this evening, and an encounter with Jesus through His word is the best way for me to do that.

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