Purposeful Faith

Undoing The Need to Be Perfect

What do you when you find your 6-year-old son’s drawing of a long-haired woman with a mean, massive frown?

You consider it’s you, of course. You consider you’re a cruddy boar, a horrible attempt at a caring, loving, and generous momma. And you wonder if underneath his smiles and bedtime hugs he might hate you.

Could this be possible?

You think of all the times he’s repeated, “Mommy, didn’t I tell you that already,” “You don’t listen,” and “You don’t cuddle with me.”

You recount that you do indeed cuddle, but you also think of how at the end of your day you’re very tired and this cheek-to-cheek (or as he does, it cheekbone on top of cheekbone) business can’t go on forever.

But still, the thought persists like a gnat.

What if, you’re not good enoughAnd worst of all, what if he’s busted you for it? 

Ever felt this way?

…Like no matter what you say to your spouse, he’s really thinking you don’t match up to the wife he wanted?

…Like no matter how hard you try at work, your boss still isn’t happy?

…Like despite your encouraging words to the woman, she still is cold with you?

…Like you can’t escape being the little girl who let people down?

…Like no matter how hard you try, you can’t win?

Of course, I understand. But what I also understand is this: The goal to perfectly “win” all the time is a warped one. It’s not only warped, but impossible. It’s like keeping a sparkly, gold trophy shiny. The second you clean it, fingerprints arrive again and you’re back wiping again. The only problem is that you can never step back and enjoy the prize, because all you’re doing is keeping up facades. Every flaw sucks you into yourself, and you miss the whole point.

I’ve been there. I am there.

Yet, I suppose I see a little better after writing all this: I can’t love my son when I’m fearing him. Nor can I enjoy him when I’m critiquing myself. Nor can I connect well with him when I’m not setting boundaries.

In the space of accepting my imperfections, he’ll learn to accept his own. In the space of seeing me growing with Christ, he’ll discover how he can grow with Christ. There’s some sort of non-speaking, God-testifying wisdom that will speak here.

What about you? What over-emphasized flaws have stolen the feelings of joy in your moments? What grace have you not afforded yourself? What over-trying attitude is stealing your peace? What new approach could you take to conquer these annoying feeling of self-doubt?

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Kelly, a fun-loving, active and spunky mom of two rambunctious toddlers, spends her days pushing swings, changing diapers and pursuing the Lord with all her heart. Called a "Cheerleader of Faith", Kelly's greatest desire is to help women live passionately, purposefully and unencumbered for the Lord.

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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Kelly, what a powerful post! Yes, I’ve been in the place of feeling like I’m always failing. Your words offer hope. I used to do whatever it took to be accepted so that the rejection wound deep in my heart could be protected. I’ve realized the futility of this. And, God has graciously taught me the beauty of resting in the fact that He has already accepted me. He already loves me completely. 🙂

    Loved your words today!

  • Kelly,
    I’m learning how to not get “sucked in”. Hope you KNOW how amazing Daddy knows you are! <3 Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Praying you have a blessed week.
    ~Sherry Stahl

  • I have a tendency to fall into this trap as well. Especially with my boys getting to big transitions, I find that I weigh myself in the balance (“How am I doing here??) and find that I’m wanting in so many ways.
    Thanks be to God that there is grace for our failures.

  • Being good enough, for certain. It started back in my school days then evolved into my days as a mama lacking confidence. Your words above resonate, my friend.

  • Amen, Kellie! Let me say that I’ve broken up with perfectionism countless times. But sometimes I find myself on a blind date with perfect during a weak moment in my life. 🙂 Love these lines, for they say it all: “What over-emphasized flaws have stolen the feelings of joy in your moments? What grace have you not afforded yourself? “

  • Grace for ourselves. So hard but so needed. I just wrote a blog post on wanting only for my daughter to know I was for her but constantly finding myself saying something like, “why can’t you do better”. Ugh. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone in the struggle. laurensparks.net

  • I has to write about being perfect, I’ll post it soon, The only way we are is because He is. There’s a level of rest to get you there.

  • I have just finished a post about this too, that I will post this Friday!
    Feeling not enough, especially as a Mum or grandmother…

    Its also fueled by the enemy, it is good to take stock of our behavior of course & correct what needs correcting but to constantly lament & feel inadequate is from the enemy…as we lose precious time in doing so!

    Remember you’re always welcome to drop by for a cuppa!

  • I struggle with feeling like I’m never really good enough for some people in my role as a pastor’s wife. I’m learning to not let that bother me. I used to be heartbroken over these things. I guess it should break my heart, but now I’m trying to focus on how God sees me and on continuing in love and serving the Lord even if there is no return of love. It’s really hard for me and has put me face to face with my insecurities and fears. It’s also been good for my walk with the Lord!

  • It seems guilt is a prerequisite of motherhood, doesn’t it? There are so many things I wish I had known when my kids were younger and there’s a tendency to think I should have known. There there is our big family. I wish I could give each grandchild and now great-grandchild the time I gave the first couple … and on it goes. But I have to remind myself that God has sovereignly overseen it all and He is just asking me to be faithful. We need the truth of the gospel every day, don’t we?

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