Perfection. It’s one of those things we have all aimed for at one point or another. We all want to have the perfect body, the perfect house, the perfect children, the perfect everything. We compare ourselves to others to see how we are measuring up, and it’s exhausting. We never can seem to get it all right. Comparison is a thief.
Comparison and striving for perfection leaves us feeling inadequate and less than. It’s not healthy. Perfection isn’t attainable. The only one who’s ever been perfect is Jesus. While, yes, we should strive to always be more like Jesus, perfection is not the life we are called to. We are, instead, called to do the best we can with what we have – to be good stewards of the body, the people, and the things we have been blessed with. That’s a big job in and of itself.
But when we make the decision to be purposeful with our lives – to plan and try do our best, we receive so much grace to allow us to do it. When we let go of perfection, some things may look messy. It may look unaligned and not good enough with our human eyes, but I can assure you God is smiling.
So can we let go of this idea of perfection?
Last night we came home, and the toys needed to be picked up. Several things were out of place. The kitchen was a mess from dinner, and the kids needed baths. We could have spent our evening cleaning until bedtime, and it still would need some help probably. But instead, we put in our Frozen soundtrack, had some living room karaoke, and then we worked on doing handstands in the living room. Lawson said with excitement, “Let’s work on these every day until we get really good at them!” And I’m just thinking that this is awesome – We’ve found something fun we can do together. I’ve been working on this for a while myself with CrossFit, but how cool would it be for him to learn it with me?! (And Linkin is just a natural – he makes it look so easy!)
So I had a fun evening with my children while we waited for Daddy to get home from work. He came home, ate dinner, and took over with the bedtime routine so I could get the kitchen and main areas tidied up. I’m not saying all this to brag. Honestly, this is not my normal habit – but it’s something that I’m learning and I’m working on. It’s why “Read aloud to my children” was a habit I worked on last month, and “Play” is something I’m working on this month. I’m trying to be present. I’m learning that these relationships are more important than any routine or rule I could ever have. While I’m trying to be excellent in keeping our home managed and in order, I’m also trying to steward the hearts of these little people God has given me. Do I want them to look back and remember me as the neat freak who always made them clean up and tidy and put things in order? Well, yes – order is something that I’m teaching them too, but I want them to remember our fun times – the times I wasn’t too busy to sing with them or try to learn something new with them.
Here’s the thing – no two rooms in our home are ever clean at the same time. Seriously I can’t remember the last time. The only way that would ever happen is if my children weren’t here, and that’s obviously not something I want. Instead, we’ve embraced “Clean-ish”, and we try to tidy everything up about twice a day. That’s become good enough for me. I’ve noticed that if I clean up one room, it becomes an invitation to come and play in there. I’m laughing in my head as I write this because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made up my bed, just to have two little boys come in and wrestle on it, climb the headboard of it, and jump on it. I feel like I should also insert #BoyMom right here. I clean up Layten’s room, and Linkin asks if he can bring in his toys and play in there. We clear the living room, and that big rug is so inviting – it must be time to build a train track that fills the entire room! I honestly would not have it any other way! Let me sneak in a quick vacuum of that rug since it’s clear, and then I will help you build that track. #Goals That’s the mom I want to be.
I’m letting go of perfection. Want to try it with me?