How to Invite God into Your Mess: Combatting Perfectionism
I have been trying too hard.
I have been trying to be the best mom in the world. I have been trying to have the most desirable website in the world. I have been trying to be the best wife in the world. I have been trying to make sure I have the best course in the world. I have been trying to make sure I know everything about everything in order to be the best I can be at everything.
But, my constant result is complete and utter overwhelm, burnout, exhaustion, frustration, and despair.
Every time I decide, today is the day when I am going to succeed, inevitably I fail.
It is time to recognize a reality. I’m not perfect. I’m just me. I can only do what I can do, nothing more.
And THAT’S OK!
In fact, it is GOOD!
So no more pretending. No more Mary Poppins for me. I can only do what I love and what I am good at, and HE gives me permission to do so!
And He doesn’t just give me permission to do so, He says, “What took you so long to figure that out!?”
He made me just as I am and said, “It is very good!” (Genesis 1:31)
So what if I can’t get all the dishes done without my husband’s help! So what if I can’t vacuum every week! So what if I don’t like reading Daniel Tiger books! So what if I’m not a tech guru. So what if I don’t do millions of dollars in sales (or even $1).
I can stop stressing about what I can’t do, and focus on what I can!
I can snuggle with my babies and write a blog post once a week. I can cook like a genius and sing clean up songs to get the kids to help with picking up toys. I can read Daniel Boone, Swiss Family Robinson and Little House on the Prairie till the cows come home. I can share what I love with people I care about and be organic about it. God will do whatever He wants with it from there.
Meanwhile, I can share with you all the ways I have learned to:
Invite God into your daily mess.
The biggest thing is – STOP WAITING TIL THINGS ARE PERFECT TO INVITE HIM IN. We are human, nothing will ever be perfect.
Invite Him in – to your work
Pray before you do everything! Ask Him for His guidance. Ask Him what to say and who to say it to. Tell Him about what worries you, what frustrates you, and what is hard for you. Ask Him for inspiration, and trust it (even if you aren’t sure you understand it). Thank Him for all thing things you love about your work. Thank Him for the opportunity to work. Thank Him for giving you your work…. Or if you don’t feel that He gave you your work and that it needs to change, ask Him for the grace to take the leap of Faith necessary to step out of the boat and walk with Him on the uncertain waters.
Invite Him in – to your home
Place physical reminders of Him around your house, a cross here, a picture there, a handwritten mini-prayer scribbled on a post-it note and stuck to your cupboard door. No holds barred here. Remind yourself of His presence everywhere, never let yourself forget Him. This means reminding yourself of His presence in the bedroom, the kitchen, the hallway, the garage, and yes, you can even remind yourself that you can talk to Him in the bathroom (Admit it, you talk to other people there, don’t you? – what makes God any different?)
Invite Him in – to your relationships
Talk to Him about your friends. Talk to Him about your spouse. Talk to Him about your strained parental relationships and your sibling rivalries. Ask Him for the grace to forgive and the grace to apologize. Ask Him to help you see how to be more loving, more caring, and more positive. Talk to Him about what worries you, what you are grateful for, and what you need help with. Ask Him if certain people are good for you or if you need to make changes in your life. Ask Him for the grace to lovingly make those changes. Ask Him to be your friend. Just talk to Him like a friend. He is waiting for you. He doesn’t need complicated color coded Bible journals to be your friend…. And he will never be unavailable for a chat.
Invite Him in – to your entertainment
Don’t be afraid to laugh or cry with Him about your favorite shows, celebrate your team’s most recent win, or bemoan that you just can seem to pass that one level of “Candy Crush”. It’s ok to be like, “Oh my Gosh! And then THIS HAPPENED!” with God. Note that as you invite Him in more to this area He may challenge your entertainment choices and make you question if certain things are good for you. Also, you will probably find that as your relationship with God grows, your need for entertainment proportionally drops. But don’t be afraid, this doesn’t mean that you still can’t enjoy a good show or a game once in a while and share a good laugh or shock with Him, just as you can with any other friend.
Invite Him in – to your life
God doesn’t care if you are Martha Stewart, He just wants to be part of your life. Talk to Him as you clean and chase your kids. Talk to him as you brush your teeth and make your bed. Roll your eyes with Him at the crazy person on the road, in the grocery store, at the office, or hanging on your legs. Laugh with Him at the insaneness of your day or the funny things that happen. Plead with Him for patience and mercy as someone crosses you for the 15th time today. Rejoice with Him in the little every day victories, and cry in the closet to Him when things get too hard.
He doesn’t want you to be perfect. He just wants you to be real.
#ParticularlyCALLED #togetherinthetrenches #IamCALLED
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