I’m Vicki and I’m a perfectionist. I can’t do anything by half, I’m an all in kind of girl. I gain no pleasure from a job done quickly but which is rough around the edges.
Motherhood has given me many opportunities to express my perfectionism, be it washing Terry nappies instead of using disposables, cooking everything from scratch, making dressing up costumes, making cards or Christmas presents. I love to grow, pick, prepare and eat our homemade produce all the while passing on these skills to our children. For years it seemed I was doing quite well, holding it all together.
And then we moved to the country, we built a much bigger house, fitted a new energy system, had another baby, got livestock and we’re still not finished. Everyday is different, perfectionism has become impossible.
My perfectionism is dying by a thousand tiny cuts, a thousand letting goes, a thousand moments of grief. Each time I see a drawer full of unfolded clothes I wince, or books on the floor, or shoes left out, or a vegetable garden hiding beneath the weeds.
Caring for my family brings me so much joy but I’ve realised that my desire for perfection is stealing that joy.
Thankfully, but painfully, God won’t leave me wallowing in my pride, taking pleasure in my achievements. He’s calling me to something deeper.
He wants the deepest parts of me, the parts that lie beneath the achievements everyone sees, to let go and to let God do all that I can’t do. I’ve spent years believing that through sheer effort of will I can make everything beautiful. Who was I fooling? Certainly not God. He’s bided his time, allowing me to enjoy the temporary satisfaction of my labours and then he’s swooped in, pulled the rug from under me and I’m still falling.
I know I’ll keep falling until I stop looking at the unfinished jobs around me and start looking up, up to the One who has given me all these tasks.
I know in my head that God doesn’t expect me to do everything perfectly this side of Heaven, so why do I expect it of myself? I think it’s a heart issue, it’s asking myself the question, is my joy found in my achievements or is it found in God? I’m learning that I need to let him into the mess, let him see what he already sees, and admit I can’t do it.
Admit my failings.
That’s hard to say and the difficulty I have saying that, shows my pride. I often think that I’ve done that, told God how hard this is, but I’m not sure the deepest part of me has fully relinquished everything to Him. I need to only do that which I can do, all the while praying to the One who will multiply my efforts and create more beauty than I could ever dream or imagine.
‘God is the God who makes all things beautiful in his time’ Ecclesiastes 3:11, He is the ultimate artist, the perfect creator.
I love to create beauty in everything, from my words to the children’s clothes, hairstyles, soft furnishings, homemade gifts, home cooked meals or cakes. I know that the desire for all of this beauty comes from God, but I suspect I am looking for beauty in all the wrong places.
I was out taking pictures for this blog post when I happened upon the raspberry canes. I thought they were finished for the season and now it was just weeds and thistles taking over but on closer inspection there were multiple sweet raspberries just waiting to be picked. I’d been so busy looking at the weeds that I almost missed them.
I think that’s the lesson God wants me learn today. He doesn’t want me to look at the mess, to focus on the big picture, he wants me to see the beauty that I’m missing whilst I’m stressing about the mess. I suspect that beauty will be found in the faces of the people living in this home. If I can pause long enough, I might just see what God sees and I know that will bring me real joy.
Sending blessings to you all, Vicki
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