I read something today on one of my favorite blogs that really got my attention. Suzanne McMinn, the author of the blog, said, "One of the surest paths to unhappiness is waiting for life to be perfect."
That sentence nearly knocked the breath out of me.
For some, it is a feather in their hat.
For me, it is almost a curse.
In some ways, that helped explain the mood I have been in lately.
That one word has debilitated me over and over again. I find that as I get older, it gets worse. When I was young, the pursuit of perfection is what drove me, motivated to be the absolute best at everything. If I didn't think I could be the best at it, I just didn't do it. Because I only had 'me' to take care of, I could keep perfect control of my life, and do everything the way I wanted.
Then came the (precious, wonderful, beautiful) children.
Nothing will spin you out of control like birthing four children.
Add to that one child with severe ADHD and a mood disorder, one child with a life altering illness, one little bonus blessing 11 1/2 months after the precious one with the illness, raising support to go into full-time ministry, trying to sell your house in the worst market ever, moving across the country away from everyone you have ever loved and held dear, and add to that all the regular craziness of life....I just about quit living. I could not/cannot keep my house perfectly. I cannot be the perfect wife. I cannot be the perfect mother. I cannot the perfect daughter/daughter-in-law/sister/friend, etc. I cannot balance my checkbook perfectly. It has been enough to make this crazy perfectionist, well....crazy!!! It has definitely made it harder to settle in here....you should see all the boxes I still haven't unpacked!
The truth is, it is all a lie. A lie from Satan to rob me of the joy that comes from knowing Him as my Savior and Lord. A lie to keep me from enjoying life's greatest blessings....Jeff and the girls. A lie to keep me from the joy of this ministry He has given me....wife and mother. And in true Satan fashion, it came on gradually so I could not notice it.
I cannot say that I will wake up tomorrow and no longer be a perfectionist. I cannot promise that Jeff will no longer have to say, "Honey, you're being too hard on yourself." I cannot promise that I will not be tempted to allow the condition of my home/wardrobe/etc...to determine my worth. Also, I cannot promise that I will not retreat from a mess that seems impossible to clean up perfectly.
I can say that I am now aware. From this moment on, I will march forward as a child of the King, let Him pick me up when I fall, and realize that I can do NOTHING in my own strength and what I do does not have to be perfect. Perfection has only come to this earth one time. My prayer is that the One who is perfect will live through me, will be visible to all I encounter, and will be the strength that allows me to persevere in trials.
Please keep me accountable. :-)
A quick update on Clara:
When we were in Georgia over Christmas break, Clara's geneticist wanted us to see a metabolic bone disease specialist that could look at all of her test results and x-rays and help us figure out what exactly is going on with our sweet girl. We don't know if they will replace her mitochondrial disease diagnosis or add to it. It is possible that she has a form of dwarfism, has some type of thyroid disease, or has rickets. All of her symptoms do not fit neatly into any of these possibilities. Please pray we get answers. Clara is such a little puzzle. I know God knows....I just want Him to let us in on some of her secrets. Hmmm....I wonder if He is challenging my perfectionism? :-)
Please pray that all of the details of the visit will fall into place, as well. We were able to get an appointment for this Friday (we just made the appointment today) because they had a cancellation. Otherwise, it would have been months. While it is great that we are getting to go so quickly, that is a fast turn around to get all of her x-rays, especially considering that no one would answer the phone today. I don't know if they were closed due to MLK, or just swamped from the bad Georgia weather. I think we have arrangements in place now for the other girls, and the hospital at the University of Michigan took care of our sleeping arrangements. I thought that was awfully nice of them. :-)
So, once again, a long post. If you are still with me, I pray you have a blessed night!