I remember when I heard her say “Perfect” and stopping dead in my tracks. When you have a child that has speech delays, you celebrate every word!! But I wasn’t stopping to celebrate. I thought instantly to myself, she’s heard that too many times.
And she’s absolutely Perfect, make no mistake!!
Ask my 17 year old her weaknesses, she’ll never tell you the ones I see. She will tell you she’s a perfectionist. I see it in my oldest and definitely in my 11 year old. And that time Mia uttered it, I knew it was God telling me I needed to evaluate and change this area- QUICK!!
I have been a self proclaimed perfectionist my whole life. This has meant that in almost all areas, if I wanted something done- I did it myself. I didn’t take the time to show anyone how because it needed to be done right and with urgency. I thought for most of my life this was actually a great strength!!
But what I didn’t see until she said that word… I had robbed a lot of opportunities for failure. For risk taking. For joy that comes from failing, but trying again and getting it right. For the discomfort of experiencing vulnerability. The chance to be brave and secure, no matter what we try and fail. What if they wouldn’t fail, what if I or they could have done it and been hugely successful?
The last 5 or so years my job has required perfection to some degree… I mean I wouldn’t want anyone to not love their pieces that I painted… Painting out tiny details requires patience and perfection… So, it had fueled my belief in the strength this whole perfection thing was for me to seek.
Parenting, doesn’t require perfection. It does however, require a lot of grace on both sides. So many of the roles we play in different relationships don’t want our perfection, they want our presence. Let that soak in. Wanting us to offer them grace and love right where they need it. Authentic, genuine heart-felt presence. Oh it could change everything for us.
So, I have been working ever so hard these past few months within my own heart and for outward expressions to be grace filled. I want each of my children to know, that even though we often want things to be perfect, life rarely is. And the love of God comes with a whole lot of grace around here. So I am Giving up perfect for His Grace. Because friends, his grace is sufficient. Do you know the freedom that has given not only to myself, but how it allows me to respond to others? Sometimes I truly felt like trying to be perfect was hindering the plans that God had for me. I couldn’t walk in obedience, when I was worried about making it all perfect before I walked out what I knew he was asking of me. And if my greatest craving is to be totally surrendered and extraordinary for God, I cannot be crippled by perfectionism. He doesn’t want us to wait for perfect circumstances, or until our homes are completely the way we envision them to invite people in…
We have been through a pretty hard season of life experiences these past few years. I am allowing God to fill us with grace and His love to use those hard times for His Good. Digging into His Word and finding healing in His love. He wants to transform all of us from the inside out, to have growing passion to know Him deeply and to experience Him in each of our daily lives.
Ephesians 1:2 says Grace to you and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Strong’s Concordance: Grace is Charis in Greek- graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life. I love this… because truly most things that we fight against- are matters of the heart. And when we are accountable to that knowledge, taking it to God in prayer we can let him work within us. We can ask him to cleanse our hearts, reveal to us the areas we are not aligned with Him. OH it’s not easy all the time. But the importance of that transformation is for relationship with him. It is worth a little discomfort today. God’s grace is the free gift of love and acceptance that I often don’t deserve. Releasing me from the bondage of my sins through His Son. Allowing me to be who He created me to be. Listening to the soft whispers of the Holy Spirit is guiding me to those places He calls. Getting out of my own way and following His.
That verse doesn’t just say grace. It also says He gives us peace.
Whether it has been about our daughter and her struggles or working through the my brother and sister in laws loss of a baby, I have been searching for what true peace means for us. Daily lives are hard enough with schedules, but when you experience earth shattering events, you want to feel and know his peace. My definition of Peace may be a whole lot different than yours. God’s peace is a quiet shield over the chaos and war that go on in my heart and mind. Peace is the ultimate Grace that God offers to me. That’s what I want my home to feel like for all who enter. That’s what I want to feel in the deepest areas of my soul. I want to be that shield for my children and let them know it’s God’s gift to all of us. This peace comes from giving up trying to be perfect and giving into to allowing him to fill me up to the top with His grace. Soak it in friends. It’s yours.
One of my favorite verses is found in 1 Corinthians 12:9-10 He said to me,”My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
When we apply this to our daily lives, it allows us to stop holding other people to such ridiculous standards. It allows us to look beyond tattered and tired from what life is handing people, and see the true beauty hiding in their hearts. I see broken smiles all around me. People who must not know they too are loved by a BIG God. People who must not know that they are worthy of such a love. Seeking God with all of our hearts, so that we can have hearts that live to be more like Him, allows us to afford His grace and love to any and everyone we meet. Can you just imagine if this was happening within everyone around you- oh the JOY that would be seen and felt. Can we even just extend it to one broken smile today?? It comes with challenges and it comes with risk…I know!! But when we think about the ultimate risk and sacrifice made for me and made for you on that cross; and think how can we not give up looking for perfection in ourselves and others, so we can truly begin to love like He loves us??!! Friends that is Grace!!
So, when you walk through our doors. You will be greeted with all the kindness and love one can give. Not every area will be perfect- clean but not perfect. It will have lots of old furniture that I adore and love, but it’s far from perfect. It will have laughter and life. Projects that seem to be halfway done, but add character not stress. Mostly when you are welcomed into our home… You will know you are welcome, not a burden. That around here we do a whole lot of Grace and whole lot of LOVE!! I want you to feel Jesus right here. Through authentic relationships because He dwells here, deep in my heart!!
See you again soon!!