It doesn’t have to be perfect…

IMG_9065“It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” The Nester 

Sometimes (most of the time) I like to think I will have it all figured out one day soon. I’ll be the best mom and wife ever who is able to stay home with her child, sew all his clothes, grow all the food we need, invest in the lives of a million women, have the cleanest house alive, study the Scriptures inside and out, make the most fabulous meals, look and dress amazing, eat perfectly, etc. etc. etc. You catch what I’m saying here. “I’ll be perfect one day very soon” – I lie to myself almost daily. In the  midst of breaking down about the dirty floors, needy child, untouched text messages, sugary snacks, starving chickens, piles of laundry, empty fridge, etc. I give myself the hope that I will figure it out very soon. If I just try harder, life will get more beautiful, easygoing, manageable, put together. But we all know this isn’t true – IT AIN’T EVER GOING TO HAPPEN. and, really, should it be the ultimate goal?

I’ve been wanting to blog about my frustrations for a while now. There is a lot bottled up inside of this heart and mind. These frustrations aren’t new though. Motherhood has just amplified them – just as becoming a wife did. These are long held hopes and dreams of perfection that I have carried on since childhood. But with each new role, new season of life, my unrealistic hopes are weighing me down and weighing me down and weighing me down more and more and more. My perspective of my worth and value can easily become entangled in how well I decorate my home, how clean my house is, how many items I have made or grown by my own two hands, how well I have eaten, etc. I’m not trying to sound like the stereotypical woman. I’m very serious in saying that I struggle, sincerely struggle, with not judging myself by the quality and look of my home, my creative output and my physical attributes. I often feel better about my day if it has resulted in clean floors than if it only resulted in an encouraging conversation with a friend. This is slowly killing my spirit.  I need a reality check and a heart change. One that lets it all go and focuses on what really matters. One that tells myself in the end it won’t matter how clean this or that was, how beautiful my house looked, what crafty thing I  made, how many vegetables I grew in my garden, but how well I loved those around me. How well I loved and enjoyed my little one. How much I showed love and respect to my husband. How well I opened my heart and home to friends and those in need. I’m failing at the most important things and sometimes it doesn’t even affect me because I’m too focused on the temporal, stupid, minimal aspects to see the weightier, eternal, life-giving ones. But, honestly, just wanting to change my heart to a better direction feels like one more added frustration because I fail at that every single day.

What I am saying isn’t anything new. It’s being said  by women and men all around me. I have probably read a dozen plus blog posts in the past few months that essentially express the same thing I am saying here. I just need to get this out of my head and into actual written/typed words while I secretly hope to encourage at least one other someone who may be feeling the same frustrations inside. I want you to know, “Me too” – I feel like a failure, like I can’t figure it all out, that I’ll never be good enough. You can put my name down along with  many other women who feel the exact same way.

But how do we not just remain in this constant state of disappointment? Atticus isn’t going to be the only baby (Lord willing) so what the crap am I to do when there isn’t just one child at home but 2, 3, 4 plus? I’ve got to come to some sort of peace with my imperfection because the LAST thing I want to do is pass such frustration onto my children.

Well…I don’t have an answer to making it all perfect at this very moment. But I do know the one who does have the answer to moving past the frustrations, imperfections, stresses and worries. Jesus. I say his name not as the cliche, Sunday school answer to everything but as the sincere, hope-filled, life-giving name that it is. Jesus. So much is put into perspective when you read about what He did and said in Scripture. He points us, sometimes very blatantly, to what really matters in this world. He entrusts us with the job of doing His will on this earth – being satisfied in our Maker and making Him known to all peoples – though we are imperfect, messy, stress-filled, selfish beings. He gives us His Spirit to accomplish what we are unable to do on our own. Obviously, in the day to day, I forget this. I forget how beautiful He is, how lovely His words are, how many life-giving things He has for me to do through Him. In the end, it all boils down to where I focus the eyes of my heart when I wake in the morning. Are they on Him and His purposes, plans and desires? Or are they on things of this temporal life? They are almost always situated on the here and now. On what culture says I should or should not being doing. On comparing myself to the moms around me. On focusing on my wants, needs and desires. On what I can’t do. On how I fail at so much.

What if I instead woke up and focused on what I can do in Him? If I turned my eyes to what He tells me matters? As a follower of Jesus, I l know that how a day will turn out can simply come down to where I have fixed my heart’s gaze throughout the each moment. Lately, I have finally begun to really understand the purpose of prayer and reading Scripture on a daily basis. It’s not God’s chore list for us. Life pulls us in a thousand different directions from the moment we wake up. I need His words and a time of speaking/listening to Him in order to keep my head above water, to keep my heart focused on Him. I need prayer and Bible reading to stay constantly in tune with Jesus because, honestly, my heart and head aren’t going to do it for me. I’m so easily distracted, so easily misled, so easily convinced that XYZ is the next best thing for me that I have to constantly remind myself through prayer and reading that He is the answer, He is the best thing for me, He tells me what really matters. This is an ever growing area in my life so please don’t think I spend every day in prayer and reading. Right now, it’s a rarity but it’s so life-giving when it actually happens.

If this Jesus isn’t someone you know or you think is a load of crap, I encourage you to open a Bible to the book of John and start reading. Seek out a church or a Christian and ask questions. Lots of questions. Hard questions. Pray. Ask God to open your eyes and heart. Message me if you like. I trust that if you truly and wholeheartedly seek Him, you will find Him and that your heart will be changed even if you always thought Christ followers were the crazy ones. We all worship something with our lives. We all believe we have the truth. What truth do you live by? What do you worship?

I am encouraged. I hope maybe one other person is too. I’m glad I sat down to write this post, even though my child is slowly taking apart the humidifier before my very eyes and dinner is going to be quite delayed.

It doesn’t have to be perfect…