12Not that I have already attained this—that is, I have not already been perfected—but I strive to lay hold of that for which I also was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: forgetting the things behind and reaching out for the things ahead, 14 with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are “perfect” embrace this point of view. If you think otherwise, God will reveal to you the error of your ways. 16 Nevertheless, let us live up to the standard that we have already attained.
I’ve been thinking a lot about perfectionism lately.
Maybe it’s because I’m living in a historic part of Orange County that differs drastically from the usual manicured, master-planned communities of the OC I’m surrounded by. I’m used to seeing the same 25 palm tress per block with birds of paradise lining their trunks on the ground complete with a trash can and doggy bag station before you cross to the next street where the exact same can be expected.
While I have always loved and even craved that uniformity, since living here in Old Town, I have come to enjoy something different. Yes, I miss the predictable granite counter tops and shopping on every 3 blocks, but I am really enjoying walking with Sadie through a neighborhood that has unique and different homes to look at. And I like that my own home has its quirks, but it fits the bill for what our family needs right now in this phase of our life.
What the World Says:
- You must have the perfect home with the perfect landscaping.
- You must be 80 pounds. And have a fake nose. And fake chest. And an insured booty. Two weeks after having a baby.
- You must act like you have endless amounts of money and spend accordingly no matter what you’re real financial status is.
- You must put up a good front that shows everyone you have it all together. Especially if you’re a Mom.
- You must buy something you like immediately because you “need” it or “deserve” it.
- You must be a “do it all” person who has a picture perfect family, has a admirable career, and bakes 2 dozen cookies while simultaneously folding the laundry and doing the dishes and mopping the floor. Picking one or some of these things is nothing special.
I’m thinking back a ways and can tell that many of the bullets above are silly traps I have fallen into time and time again. I’m definitely an all or nothing kind of a person. So if I haven’t measured up to the world’s “standards” for my life, then I have to fight off telling myself I have yet again FAILED.
What a waste of energy!
So, in light of the Thanksgiving season I am going to be spending the next couple weeks focusing on areas of perfection in my life that I have self-imposed and replace it with either realistic goals or modified expectations so I can give myself a little more grace and being more thankful that I am God’s “work in progress” (Phil. 3:12-16) and have not even come close to arriving at my final destination of perfection that I won’t see on this side of heaven.
- Body Image/Health
- Home Making
*What are some areas of your life that you have self-imposed perfection? Stop feeling all the pressure and join me in the freedom of knowing that you have not yet arrived and weren’t meant to arrive yet thanks to God’s work in your life!