Monthly Archives: September 2015

Battling Perfectionism

I’m tired.  For three hours today I wrestled with technology just to create a 2 minute video clip for my mission.  This happened after two intense days of studying, chauffeuring, meeting new people, starting our fall Bible study, helping with homeschool, fighting traffic/construction, helping/organizing/leading whatever, and trying to sleep.  Honestly, there were moments in this technology skirmish where I wanted to yell, kick, and throw my computer against the wall. Instead, I fought back tears because I didn’t want to look puffy on camera. And I still don’t know if what I finally created will work.   Whenever I get this worked up over something not going well, I have to process what’s going on in my heart.  And often, I find the same heart struggle showing up in a brand new way.

I want to be perfect. This is not to be confused with the perfection and holiness that comes through Christ. I do want that, too, but it’s not the subject of this post (not yet, anyway).  THIS desire comes from wanting people to be pleased with what I’ve done, wanting my work to be without blemish or mishap, afraid that what I make will not be enough.  It’s pride, and it’s a desire to please that is rooted in a love of self.  It’s ugly, and it’s exhausting.  And I’m tired.

So, what to do?  It’s time to cry out to the One who has delivered me from this battle every time I’ve asked.  It’s time to rejoice in how, although I struggle with this pride and fear, I am getting victory too.  I have walked through countless situations where I am now able to choose Christ’s perfection over my own perfectionism willingly and joyfully!  Whenever a new situation comes along that shows this battle in my heart, He lovingly reminds me that He is working within me to will and to act according to His good purposes.  It’s not about what I can do – It’s about how I can rest so closely in Christ, with my heart recalling His promises and my mind focused on His purposes, that He moves in and through me.  That’s amazing!  And it is a gazillion times better than trying to do it on my own.

So tonight, I remember this: you-are-my-hiding-place

And I’m asking for prayer.  Because what I REALLY want is to hide in the Lord and let him preserve me and surround me with songs of deliverance.  I want to live in this surrender, every single moment of every single day.  Would you pray that I will?

P.S. You don’t know how many times I wanted to delete this post and walk away.  But if God can get some glory and give some hope because I am willing to say that I am not perfect, and that without Christ I am a hopeless wreck, but WITH Christ I have victory, joy, refuge, and deliverance, then I’m willing to let the post stand.

Life- On Whose Terms?

Jn10

16 years ago, I was asked (along with other Seniors in High School) where I saw myself in 25 years.  Here’s my reply, which made it into the yearbook, ensuring that I and all my classmates would be reminded about who we thought we were going to be:

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When a former classmate sent me this pic of our yearbook, I was amazed by two things.  (1) I looked REALLY young as a 17 (almost 18) year old and  (2) In some ways, my life has been very predictable, but in other ways, it looks nothing like I thought it would.  I’ve taught both Speech and Drama, along with many other Lit classes.  I have ONLY taught in South America, except for student teaching and subbing.  And I’ve loved it!  God has given me that desire of my heart and used it in ways that only He fully appreciates.  I am so thankful.

And I have a larger family than I’d ever imagined.  It looks very different from how I intended.  My plans were to get married in my early twenties, like almost everyone else I knew.  Instead, I have had many years to learn how Jesus’ love and guidance are more than enough to fill the longings He has given me.  When they aren’t enough, it’s because I don’t let them be.  I thought I’d have three kids of my own by now, but God has given me classrooms full of students who needed another adult who loved them, believed in them, and refused to let them quit.  Not only do I have my Adia, Ming Hong, and Elie, who make being their Auntie one of the best roles in the world, but I also have lots of missionary nieces and nephews who remind me that being their Aunt is pretty fabulous too.  I am loved, treasured, and needed by my biological family and my missionary family. It is a beautiful thing to Belong…

God knows I would still love a husband and children of my own to love and cherish, but He also knows I’ve given Him that desire for Him to use as He sees fit.  That is a step I hadn’t taken as a High School Senior, but as I look at my wording, I think God was already leading me toward it.  In the yearbook, I said, “I see myself as a Speech and Drama teacher.  Hopefully with a family. I also plan to be teaching in South America between now and then.”  The two certain statements were grounded in what God had already shown me.  My uncertain hope of a family (as I planned it) hadn’t been promised to me.  It still hasn’t been promised to me.  But, what has been promised to me has also been promised to every believer.

“. . . I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” – John 10:10

I have seen the Lord’s abundance.  Life isn’t easy, but that’s true with or without Jesus.  I’d rather have His promises, His plan, and His provision, even when it doesn’t look like what I intended.

So what about you?

  1. In what ways has Jesus shown you how His life for you is far better than anything you could give yourself?
  2. How has life gone as you intended? How has it gone differently?
  3. How can we encourage people this week to accept Jesus’ abundant life?