Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oh, to be Perfetc...(oops!)

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a perfectionist, but ooooh to be perfect.

I never realized how hard I used to strive to be perfect- until I was too worn out from trying. Before I was married I would wake up at 5:30am have Bible time, have a light breakfast, get ready for work, work like a dog all day and into the night and be in bed by 9pm each night.
                                  (don't make fun of me--trying to be perfect takes alot of energy-I was sleepy by nine).
I remember once I was in bed and reading my Bible at 8pm. my sister called and asked me what I was doing. I told her and then described how absolutely exhausted I was. She then asked, "Well, then, why don't you just go to bed?" My reply, "I have my dignity."

After marriage I continued in my schedule while adding his needs to mine and life still ran smoothly. After my first two children life really never skipped a beat. House was always clean, kid's baths were done on schedule, meals great, and I was still skinny. I guess things started to get harder with babies three and four. I was still trying to have house and family beautiful without any out side help. I worked like an animal to keep up my idea of "perfect." With baby five and six-well, we have a schedule, but lets just say it gets alot of grace. So, not house beautiful and sometimes the kids are smelly.

I would love to be regimented with my diet and exercise. Restrict white sugar from our food and exercise at least three times a week. I would love to have perfectly folded clothes in my dresser, as well as in my kids dressers. I would love to have every closet in my home in complete and perfect order. (I just dare you to open a closet in my house - if you do, let me warn you that you will probably get bonked on the head with some unstable object that got chucked in it and the door forcibly shut after it). And oh how I would love the massive amounts of toys to somehow respond with the snap of my fingers like they did for Mary Poppins. Oh, to be perfect.

I need like an "Alice" from the Brady Bunch. Golly, she did everything-(not too sure what Mrs. Brady did), but Alice- man, she was great. She cooked all the meals, did all the dishes, the laundry, the vacuuming, even had time to talk to the kids and plan to get a special locket for Jan. Or maybe I need a secretary-no I'll take an "Alice." So, how can I do everything?

I asked a friend once how she had her house in such immaculate order. She started with a stern and annoyed 'Can't believe you don't know this yet' voice: "Get up at 5:30am, make beds, get kids dressed, wash down the bathrooms, make breakfast, clean up, and out the door." So, I stupidly asked, "But how do you keep everything so perfect?" - meaning-aren't there days where you just don't care? Days where you are just too tired and days where the other people in the house are feeling the same way?  (When I tell you her house was perfect-I mean perfect. She showed me her closets!)  Anyway, she said, "Ellen, stick to the plan."  Well, that didn't really help because I can't force myself to be perfect anymore. I am just too tired of all that.

I know my heart. My heart loves my family, my friends, people. I love to play games and laugh, watch special movies and pop popcorn the old fashion way. I love date nights, love throwing baby showers for friends, love Bible study, love gatherings, love talking with people, love ministry. My heart...BUT there's life to attend to. How do I balance it all?  I can't seem to have it all. Perfect house and heart content- if I clean too much-I don't have the "people" time I want and if I have too much "people" time, my house suffers.

I'm still working this out, but I have found that being disappointed in myself for not having house beautiful is not what God would want me to do. Feeling like a failure is not of Him. being upset with my kids because I stepped on a Lego piece, or upset with my hubby because the mail is left out, or upset with myself for... oooohh too many things to list- just can't be good. and on the other hand- not being a good steward of the things (home, toys, clothes)  He's given us isn't good either. balance might be the key...but i have's really not. I've tried the tight-wire balancing act of balancing home, family, friends -I fall every time.

The true answer, I think I have found is knowing that God really loves me no matter what. Sounds so simple that it actually sounds stupid. But truly, if I really believed that God loved me no matter what-I'd be a different person. Just think:
House clean-He loves me. House a wreck-He loves me.
Time with kids-He loves me. Time alone-He loves me.
Over-eating- He loves me. Eating healthy- He loves me.
Closets crazy -He loves me. Closets in order -He loves me.

I'm not giving credence for myself to have a house that's a mess, or even socializing too much- I'm seeing that the problem is the motive. If I'm feeling bad about myself and condemning myself because I didn't succeed at being perfect then that's where the problem really lies-the problem is thinking that God is disappointed in me-and that can never be.

To be assured of His love. To know that He really delights in me. To be at peace in His love and acceptance sounds great doesn't it?  But I gotta say that most times I'm running around too stressed out, and worried to settle down long enough to know that He is pleased with me before I've even started my day- before I even write down my "to do list." He's pleased with me whether I accomplish the list or not.  I'm His daughter and that's what makes Him happy.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)
...and for us moms, -neither clean house nor dirty, neither chubby nor skinny, neither socializing nor being a loner, neither reading your Bible every minute of the day nor having dust build up on it, neither well behaved children nor strong willed children, will ever separate us from the love of God.

If He is pleased with me no matter what, shouldn't I be pleased with me no matter what?

Lord, my prayer is that I start my day knowing and believing that you are delighted in me no matter what and as I go through my day You help me to accomplish the task that are right for the day-not too much, not too little. I love Jesus.

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