I’m not Perfect…
by Tracy Goddard
I hosted a women’s Bible study in my home for years and it was madness trying to get the house, my family and snacks to a level of perfection that I want everyone to believe is always achieved. Maybe you know this scene: Thirty minutes before my friends arrive, I’m barking orders at the whole family to clean up and throw things in closets and drawers just to get them out of sight while I’m knee deep in food preparation.
The doorbell rings and I take a deep breath and answer the door with a beaming smile as though I’ve just returned from a relaxing spa treatment. I welcome my guests and invite them into my seemingly perfect home all the while praying that the hall closet and its spring loaded contents won’t come spilling out on everyone as they pass by.
My friends rave about the beautiful presentation of snacks and little do they know, I have spent days pouring over Pinterest to find the perfect recipes and hours carving strawberries to look like roses for garnish. But of course they wouldn’t know that because I tell them I just whipped it up, no big deal, even though I really only had time to throw out chips and dip. And my friends deserve a little more than chips and dip. That’s what I would tell myself, but the truth is, it had nothing to do with my friends and everything to do with my drive to create the illusion of perfection. To be the one woman who had it all together.
We do a great disservice to one another when we pretend to have it all together. As I have aged and hopefully grown wiser, the Lord has shown me that my need for perfection has left other women feeling less than. Instead of my friends being impressed with how together I am, they are left feeling insecure and discouraged.
But I don’t have it all together! I’m not perfect and you’re never going to be either! We have to stop sabotaging one another, cut our poor families a break and get real. We are an imperfect people who thankfully serve a perfect God and this side of heaven I’m never going to have it all together. It doesn’t mean I stop trying–the Lord tells us to present our best–but it does mean I have to come to terms with what our best is. And some days our best might just be getting the people we love fed and the tornado that has become our living room will just to have to wait for another day.
Has the drive for perfection started weighing you down too?
- I encourage you to be real with yourself and your friends and stop allowing the world’s views to set up your expectations. Share with one another and you’ll find out you’re not alone. Invite a friend over with her kids for a playdate and don’t worry that your house isn’t perfect, hers isn’t either.
- If you’re a reader, try All I Need is Jesus and a Good Pair of Jeans: The Tired Supergirl’s Search for Grace by Susanna Foth Aughtmon.
- And of course, always go to the Source, the One who created you and find out what He has to say. Present your best, but don’t strive for perfection.
Some of my greatest, most uplifting conversations these days are spent with my girls over lunch & dinner sharing stories and laughing about how we just can’t get it all right. We talk about the mundane menu planning that needs a boost and we share recipes. We talk about the struggles of balancing work, family, teenagers and everything that comes with that. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry and on a perfect day, we laugh so hard we cry.