Lately, I’ve been blessed with some extremely kind comments that I cannot ignore. I don’t know about you, but there are some blogs I no longer read because the women who write them seem to live in a different strata than I. I don’t think these people are lying or deliberately hiding the gritty reality of their lives. I just don’t think they realize they put their best foot forward, and only their best foot, introducing thoughts of shame and guilt to the “rest of us”.
It makes me wonder if I’m doing that too. My desire on this blog is to always be me – the real me, not the ideal me. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I want people to read this, and say to themselves, “Really!? Me too!!!”
Does that make sense?
So, in the interest of helping you see that I’m not anywhere near perfect (or even good, for that matter), I’ve compiled an incomplete list of things I do or do not do that miss the mark. The purpose is not to disparage myself. I’m not sitting here, all despondent, trying to run myself down. My self-worth does not come from any of my abilities or my performance each day.
My self-worth rests solely in my identity as a child of God, fearfully and wonderfully made in His image, saved by His grace, indwelt by His Spirit, and equipped for every good work. All the following is just dross, which will eventually be eliminated from my life, leaving only pure, refined, gold.
Some things on this list are not moral issues, just weaknesses. Some are more serious than others. All are shared in an attempt at honesty. I know my strengths just as well, so I’m not looking for compliments. I just want you to know that I walk the same difficult path that we all do. There is nothing in my life where I “have it all together”. Even the strengths and the good I manage to do are short of perfect.
And I’m okay with that. The Lord Himself is chiseling and chipping and refining and pruning and trimming. (Mixed metaphors, I know. Work with me, okay?) He’ll complete the work he started in me. That I know.
Without further ado – stuff that I screw up:
I do not garden, for I kill things. I don’t mean to. I blame Colorado.
I do not buy all-organic everything. In fact, I buy almost nothing that says “organic” on the label. It’s simply too expensive. I do what I can with what I have. I figure that’s why we ask God to bless our food, right? So, if we’re eating something less than ideal for our health, we’re covered.
I do not take my kids to the park on every nice day of the week.
My kids are not involved in a ton of outside activities – if any – and I wonder how badly I’m depriving them. (Again with the money.)
I spend too much time on the computer. Even if I check a myriad of items off of my list for the day, I somehow manage to be in front of the screen too many hours of the day.
I put my foot in my mouth a lot. It happens when one talks as much as I do.
I only dust rarely. It just doesn’t seem that important when I’m
herding raising children all day long.
I don’t cuddle with my kids as much as I should.
I usually manage to yell at them at least once daily, though I try so hard NOT to.
We probably watch too many movies, though we watch almost no TV.
I’m dreadfully inconsistent with time management, though I try. I go in cycles.
I get discouraged easily when it comes to housework, homeschooling, and a few other things.
I’m too conservative for many. Not conservative enough for some.
I fight my inner Pharisee, and my success varies from day to day.
I eat things with refined white sugar and/or flour.
I’ve slacked off on some of my frugal practices in grocery shopping, and now find myself needing to cut about $200 a month from my budget. We’re not over budget, I just need that $200 for something else.
My first thought when I hear of some dreadful thing someone has done is usually one of judgment – forgetting that “There, but for the grace of God, go I”. This is also known as “pride”. The sin that is the basis for all other sins. It’s a very conscious battle I fight.
I’m short on grace when it comes to my husband. I don’t cut him enough slack. I don’t know why he puts up with me.
I have a lazy streak. To put it nicely.
I procrastinate to my detriment.
I think I know everything. Well, I know better, but I don’t always act like it.
I don’t take a vitamin everyday, nor do I stay as hydrated as I tell everyone else to. Ahem.
I am a space case, and forget important things. Sometimes even if I’ve written it down.
I often speak when I shouldn’t, and keep silent when I should speak up.
I over-analyze just about everything, forgetting that I can never really know someone’s motives the way that God can.
Sometimes, I assume the worst of people.
Sometimes, I allow worry or fear to drive my decision-making.
I have lied to make myself look better.
I’m a terrible listener unless I make a very physical effort at it.
Okay, are you starting to get the picture? I screw up. We all do. Again – I’m not running myself down here. Just stating facts. Facts I face daily. Sure, sometimes I beat myself up, but I get over that pretty quickly most of the time, because I know better.
So, instead of focusing on performance, I focus on grace. When I do that, my performance instantly improves – at least for the moment. God’s grace motivates me to do better, that I might not cheapen it, out of my love for Jesus and my desire to please Him – because He loved me first, and gave Himself up for me.
“The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” ~Romans 5:20 – 6:2 (NIV)
Take heart, imperfect friends! Do not look to me as any kind of standard. Look to Jesus. Compared to Him, even the good things I do are like filthy rags. Only He holds the standard of perfection. No other man (or woman) does.
That’s all I’m really trying to say. In far too many words.
May the God of peace reign in your heart today, and help you see the Truth about who you really are. You are loved by the Creator of the Universe. Why not walk with Him?