Perfectionism is not a fruit of the Spirit, but joy is.Unknown
I don’t know if I’m the only one, but if I accidently mess up a clean piece of paper, I have to tear it up and start again. I hate that I can’t just move on with a mistake and not think about the imperfection, but sometimes my brain won’t let me. It screams out the mistake over and over until I give in and start again.
I’m the same way in my day to day; if something about myself or others isn’t just right, it screams at me and I can’t find peace. Sometimes this pressure for everything to be perfect in myself spreads out to those I love, and I try to fit them in the same “perfect” box and get disappointed and frustrated when they don’t fit.
I find myself getting irritable, aggravated and sometimes naggy when I believe this lie of Perfectionism. I told God recently that I don’t want to live this way anymore. I’m so tired of walking daily in this lie of Perfection. It’s a heavy weight to carry.
Yesterday I was feeding the baby and he was getting his oatmeal everywhere! Every bite he would take, he would rub his mouth and then the rest of his face, and then the high chair. I was trying to chase after every spot of oatmeal with a wipe and getting frustrated at him. At yelled, “Gosh John can’t you just eat clean???”
And I stopped myself (or God stopped me) and thought, “He is eating like a baby eats; dirty, messy, imperfect.” And I started to cry because I realized if I don’t change myself then I can pass on this attitude to him. And I don’t want him living in the lie that everything has to be perfect all the time! So I gave him another spoonful of oatmeal and I let him spread it all around . And then I even made myself wait to clean it up for a while after he was done.
I let that basket of laundry sit in the corner of the room for a little bit while I played with John and watched his face light up at new discoveries.
I let the dishes sit in the sink after dinner so I could cuddle with my husband before bed on the couch instead of feeling pressure to get it done immediately.
You may be different, but the way I combat this lie on my mind is to fight against it. I don’t have to have it done ALL the time. And that’s okay.
I lived under this pressure that if everything wasn’t picked up, cleaned up, in its right spot, then I was failing as a wife and mother. But in reality by focusing on a false perfection I was ignoring life in the moment to finish tasks that could wait.
Laughing with my son, slow kisses with my husband, rest for my mind and body, were all passing me by as I rushed from task to task. So I have learned to stop and enjoy. Those things will be waiting, but my family is growing and living and moving so quickly.
If you live in the lie of perfectionism, you can be free of it. It takes renewing your mind and knowing your worth is in God and not in your works. It takes self control to say no to your brain when it is yelling out your daily tasks instead of enjoying the moment with your family. It takes you dropping pride and realizing you will never reach perfection. Ever.
And I’ve realized that messy life is beautiful; because it means life is being lived. When a home is too busy trying to be perfect, often it stops being what we want it to be, home.
So what if my living room has toys in it and no longer looks like a magazine cover; that’s where my family laughs, eats, grows, and lives.
So what if my bed isn’t always made or there’s bath toys strewn all over the bath tub. That means we got sleep and a little boy had a blast.
So what if there’s a sink full of dishes. That means my family was blessed with some food!
So what if my belly is a little soft from having a baby and I didn’t lose my pregnancy weight as soon as the baby came out. My husband loves me and my body and that’s all that matters.
I’m not living with pressures to be perfect anymore. Its not worth the stress, weight, or exhaustion.
Enjoy your families. Enjoy your homes. Enjoy yourself, flaws and all.
Let your family breathe, play, laugh, and make sure you are letting yourself be free too.
And when it comes down to it, perfection is not a fruit of the Spirit. It’s usually a fruit of our flesh ruling, pushing us towards a self outside of relying on the Lord. An attitude of, “I can do it all.” And we can’t do it all. You can’t do it all.
I hope this helps you break free from the lie of perfectionism and just relax! Go have fun and as always, happy homemaking.