26th March 2014

Danger of perfection.

My hands are up and I’m guilty. The very thought of this word eats right through me and I find myself spinning my little wheels as fast as I can and lay my head on my pillow, more nights than not, only to feel a sense of utter failure. Sure I may have waken before the sun, worked a 10 hour day, responded to all of my personal emails, may have even whacked out a blog post or two, updated my social media accounts, Facetimed home, squeezed in a quick workout, whipped up a dinner, tidied up and had a convo with S to catch up on our day and life in general, and yet I fall asleep feeling completely unaccomplished. I mean the laundry wasn’t touched, I didn’t have time to call and catch up with that friend, my to-do list still looks like a brainstorm, my closet looks like some kind of war zone, things at work are still looming over my head, my blog needs nurtured and could use an update and lets be honest the dinner was much less than a 5 star steakhouse. Woosh.

Lets face it, life is chaotic and with social media + this fast paced kinda mentality all around us the word perfection can seem so easy. Just flip through that insta feed of yours and instantly you’ll find your modern day portrait of a susie-homemaker meets Martha Stewart, meets Oprah, meets Miranda Kerr in one little insta bundle. But is that real? Is that sustainable? What is reality? It all seems so blurred, if she can do it surely I can.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. I. am. guilty. I’m guilty of outwardly expressing perfection but internally feeling burnt out and utterly exhausted and for who? Is it for my husband? Somewhat. Is it for my friends/fam back home? Kinda. Is it for my new friends here? Sort of. Is it for my bloggy readers? Partly.  Is it for my Jesus? Not if my heart isn’t in the right place. Is it healthy? No. You will burn out.

A friend sent an article to me and within it this quote struck a chord.

“We are the girls with anxiety disorders, filled appointment books, five-year plans. We take ourselves very, very seriously. We are the peacemakers, the do-gooders, the givers, the savers. We are on time, overly prepared, well read, and witty, intellectually curious, always moving… We pride ourselves on getting as little sleep as possible and thrive on self-deprivation. We drink coffee, a lot of it. We are relentless, judgmental with ourselves, and forgiving to others. We are the daughters of the feminists who said, “You can be anything,” and we heard, “You have to be everything.” – Courtney E. Martin’s

I keep hearing God whispering the same thoughts over and over – stop doing and juggling all of these different plates and focus on the few which I have called you to and be excellent at those. Stop striving for perfection, do you not realize that this journey you are on is just a sweet as the destination? Do you not realize that the ultimate goal is to glorify me and love others. Stop being so busy that you miss this mark. Stop worrying and consuming your mind with thoughts of doubt and fear and replace them with my promises that I will never leave you, I will never forsake you and the promise that if you choose to deny yourself daily and follow me your paths will lead to perfection. Not necessarily the worldly accolades and perfection by the worlds definition but a rather an internal prize far better than that,  crowns are stored up for my children in heaven.  And let’s rewind back to that honesty thing – this chic loves some royal treatment. It’s true.

This scenario reminds me of our Martha [Luke 10:38-42]. The woman, who while in the presence of her creator opted to clean, tidy and busy her herself instead of worshipping him. She neglected the Savior’s presence and the blessings he brought right in front of her.  I believe this story was illustrated in the bible for those, like me, to show us that busyness and exhaustion wasn’t what was intended but rather to stop & love. This scenario also reminds me of another piece of advice that I once heard on how to tackle a day and it was about taking each task as it comes and simply ‘doing the next thing’. We don’t have eight arms. We have two. We must complete one task and then move onto the next, or as S says, “eat the elephant one bite at a time’.

I encourage you today to remember these promises, and amongst our crazy lives instead of getting wrapped up in perfection, consider the journey and always choose love.