Friday, December 30, 2016

Here's to 2017

When I was in seminary, all of my friends would head out to our church's gym on Monday nights to play volleyball. Being the social butterfly that I can sometimes be, I caught a ride to the church only to park myself on the floor and watch everyone. I always shrugged it off as not being very good at volleyball, not wanting to disappoint my friends who were definitely better than I was. I failed to try many things because I wasn't sure if I would be any good. My risk assessment of a new activity and whether or not I would participate was solely based on how well I would perform at the given task -- If not well, then I disguised it as looking out for the other person or "it just not being my thing." Can you see the trend here?

At the beginning of the month I decided to take a step away from Facebook in hopes to diminish the many comparison traps my mind plays. Though much of that tricky little Newsfeed contributed to stealing me of joy, I'm convinced the Lord was using this to show me a deeper heart issue. Enter: perfectionism. Now truth be told, I've always known this about myself. I've prized it in academia. I've applauded it when I've set my mind to running certain goals or limiting specific foods in my diet. I'm all in. What I failed to realize until now is the perfectionist tendencies have really pulled the plug on any sort of abundant life the Lord has given me.

If you know me at all, then you may very well know that I'm always tired. For a time I just thought that was "go to" response in a dull moment of conversation. However, I'm not too easily convinced of that anymore. I'm tired physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually because I'm always striving or just surviving toward this standard that I've set for myself in all areas of my life. I've recently begun reading Emily Ley's "Grace Not Perfection" and felt a moment of shout-it-from-the-rooftops freedom as she pointed out the fact that no where in the Bible does it tell us to have size 4 jeans, a homemade meal on the table at 6, with clean floors. THIS. This is what I have been after my entire life. I laughed because those size 4 jeans are where I'm sitting and had a moment earlier that day where I was at peace with that size. Whew. I've also never been one to even know what relaxation looks like. Every roommate and now permanent roommate can attest - I can't sit still. Ley says something to the effect that we feel like we aren't measuring up when we are not busy. Yes and Yes! But to what end? Why do I need to be busy? Who said dinner had to be ready by 6? [Jeremy certainly hasn't.]

I hold myself to this standard of perfection that has never been forced upon me. No one has said things have to be the way I assume they must. It's all in my head. The Lord has sufficiently and abundantly provided all that we have needed. He does demand our perfection - this is why Christ was provided. Yet, the Pinterest worthy outfits, A++ meals, neatly pressed shirts or dirt free floors are not a part of that. He calls us to holiness. He calls us to walk by the Spirit- denying the flesh- living according to His Word- but realizing our sanctification is not a one-time moment but as we continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him.

With the beginning of 2017 only hours away, I am looking forward to thriving in this opportunity the Lord has given me. No longer striving... no longer just trying to survive, but thriving. He will give the grace I need when those perfectionist tendencies rear their ugly head and my "perfect imperfectionist" doesn't happen the way I desire. That wears me out just thinking about it! ha. Here's to 2017!

May we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!

1 comment:

  1. Great post, girl! I've been struggling with some of those thoughts lately and realized that I'm never okay with resting because I'm always trying to be perfect. It is exhausting and those around me feel my fatigue and strain as well. My husband has now encouraged me to truly honor the Sabbath and take a day of rest - no working allowed! Just requested that book from the library! Love you, friend.