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PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION

I read a story recently of a renowned pastor who took eight months off to do some self-reflection, to look for areas of sin in his life. I don’t know about you, but it wouldn’t take me eight months. 🙂

I think self-reflection is a good thing. Not to beat yourself up, but taking an honest look at yourself can be healthy. I’ve been taking stock of my own life lately and I have news that won’t surprise anyone  – I am not perfect! In fact, I am not even close to being perfect. One of my favorite quotes that I say a lot is from Mary Poppins. She is measuring the children and then when the children ask how she measures up, her answer is, “Practically Perfect In Every Way.” I usually say this as a tongue-in-cheek response when someone asks me how I am doing.

Striving to be better at every aspect of my life is something that I have done for as long as I can remember. You would think that I would be better at almost everything since I have been trying for so long. But, instead, I still see the need for improvement in almost every area of my life.

There are a couple of defining words that sum up my life. Some of the major descriptions are daughter, wife, mother, and child of God. Even as I sit and stare at those simple little words, I can see the joy and also failure in all of them.

My early memories of my childhood are that I was a “fairly” good girl. I had my moments of rebellion and disobedience like everyone else, but overall, I didn’t cause my parents too many sleepless nights. Now, as a grown woman, I know that I need to call my parents more. I know that I need to make the time to travel back to their home and visit. But, I seem to let the demands of the day soon take a hold of me and all of my plans slip away.

Unfortunately, the same is true of my performance as a wife. I don’t take the time that I should to show my husband how much I love him and appreciate him. I take him for granted and put him on the back burner. My reasoning is that he will understand that I am busy. He knows that I have a lot on my plate right now and surely he can take care of himself for a little while. I am pretty sure that my marriage vows did not have the words “take care of yourself when I am busy” in them.

As a mother, the list of failures could go on and on. I don’t even like to think about all of the things that I did wrong in raising my kids. I tried to be a good mother but I would not say that I was anywhere close to “practically perfect.” I am incredibly proud of my children and how well they turned out in spite of my inadequacies.

One of the areas that I am most inadequate in is my relationship with my Lord and Savior. Striving to be a better Christian is a daily struggle. There are times when I find myself saying, “Jesus was the only perfect person to ever walk this earth so I am not the only one who needs help in this area.” It is like I find comfort in knowing that I am not the only one who struggles.

I recently heard someone ask a question that made me look at my struggles in a different light. They said, “If the person you were last year could see the person that you are now, would they be proud?” Wow! That shook me to the core. There are very few areas of my life that I can answer that question with a yes. I see so much that needs to change.

So, I have decided to start with a very small change in those areas. I know that to make a BIG change in anything that I need to start with the SMALL details. Making a phone call to my parents and children at least a couple of times a week is a small “do-able” change. Putting away my laptop and phone and having a nice dinner with my husband once a week is a “do-able” change. Refusing to open my computer or turn on my phone until after I have spent time with the Lord daily is a “do-able” change.

I will never be perfect. I will never even be “Practically Perfect.” But, I want to be able to look at myself a year from now and see progress. If I can see progress in different areas of my life yearly I will be happy.

Have A Blessed Day!

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19 Comments

  1. I so enjoyed reading this post. Several years ago I took an early retirement allowing me to have last few years home with my daughter and allowing me to do work a few hours a week for. Y husband which he needed. Because of that, I stRted getting up before household for daily time with the Lord. Best thing I could have done. As I have studied His word ,He has changed me, revealed more truth and yes shown me where I am really weak. Daily bible study and prayer is priceless.

  2. Wow this is probably my favorite post! Thank you for being so candid, I simply loved it. Gave me pause and a gentle nudge to look at myself.

  3. Such a thought provoking message.
    I look proudly at our daughter and smile and think to myself that we must be doing and have done something’s right as we see her grow into a kind, considerate , hard work I g and confident young woman. X

  4. Charlcy Green says:

    You are amazing because you are constantly striving to improve and you openly admit it to all of us! I’m proud of you!

  5. Plan a weekend get away for you and your husband, then reread your “fashion in the bedroom” blog. (Wink, wink)

  6. beth byrd says:

    What a great post today, Tania! Lots to think about here! Thank you.

  7. Boy you hit the nail on the head today! You can get caught up going through motions of the days demands and forget about the people in your life that need you. Even just a phone call. Thanks for another inspiring Sunday post.

  8. J'Laine Bradley says:

    Much needed word today ?

  9. Great thoughts here. I want to look back next year too and see how I did. Thx!!

    1. Deborah Nygard says:

      I loved the post. Many times I compare myself to others. What a great idea to look at growth of myself from year to year in the many facets of our lives.

  10. Well, this was timely. I was having practically all these exact same thoughts this morning. It is reassuring to know I’m not alone. Thank you!

  11. DANA SMATHERS says:

    Your Sunday post is my favorite. Today’s message is just what I needed. I, too, can make a few more phone calls and pay attention without distractions. I’m starting this week!

  12. Thank you for this, I feel like it was written specifically for me! Small changes can make a big difference over time.

  13. Amen! A good way for all of us to reflect on the change we need to be! I am so busy I neglect so much that is valuable to me including myself! God Bless…Kathy

  14. The scripture ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ comes to mind. Without Him I know my efforts will not bring the results I want. Remembering to rely on Him and invite Him into my effort to change is work for me too!

  15. Cheryl peffer says:

    Such a good thing to take time for self reflection. We don’t always like what we see. On the other hand we may be surprised at what accomplishments we made, spirituality or what have you. Most importantly , don’t be hard on yourself.

  16. Such good advice, and a newcway of looking at self improvement. Thank you Tania!

  17. Now that is so good it would work for a New Years blog. It is inspiring and gave some actual ideas as to what sort of things can be done to get the plan going. That quote about seeing yourself a year later and looking to see if you liked what you had done with yourself is very much the eye opener. Thanks again for such insights.

  18. Connie r. says:

    Very thought provoking. I am reflecting to as I read your post and I realize I struggle with so many of these issues too. I find myself with my day defining me and just going through the motions of life. I pray as I read this that I will strive to be better in all areas. Time is something we can not get back and I want to make the most of mine. Thank you for this reminder. I want to take a step in a more positive way this week even if it’s 5 more minutes of devotion. God wants us to be proud of our life. I want to be better a year from now. Have you thought about an online faith group. You would make a great teacher. Love all your posts but especially Sundays.