The Illusion of Perfection

I fight the thoughts of perfection as chocolate smoothie falls onto my white top. I try to remind myself of how far I have come from the grips of anxiety, self doubt, and the second guessing. Those reminders can seem like mere whispers among the shouts of the world… You’re not good enough!!

As I listened to another woman’s fears and saw her tears earlier this week, I saw my own fears through her words. I was reminded that we are all broken people fighting a battle of some sort.

I attended another Casting Crowns concert this past weekend, and as I listened to the lyrics of the songs, I did reflect just how far I have come in just a few months since I heard them in concert in October. 

From their song God of All my Days…My seasons change, You stay the same.

Despite my circumstances and feelings, God is the constant in my life. When the anxieties of not being good enough creep up, God is constant. When the fears of failure knock at my heart, God is constant. He stays the same through all my changing seasons.

The illusion that everyone else has it together but me is just that…An illusion. I remember the first time I visited one of the other soccer mom’s homes. You couldn’t see her kitchen table. She had a stack of reading books by her bed. A huge stack. Her kitchen counters were filled with packages of food and a sink with dirty dishes. I remember sighing a huge sigh of relief inside…I wasn’t the only mom who didn’t have it all together. It really was OK.

I have been really reflective the past few weeks. Perhaps it is related to the passing of my dear 95 year old friend. Her life left such a legacy.

As I think about success and what it means, it is not about having it all together. How do I define success? What do I do well?

I would like to believe that I love people well. 

Instead of cleaning the stacked mail and clutter off the table last night, I spent some quality time with my son. He will remember that much longer than he will a clean table.

A few things to remind you mid-week…

Perfection is an illusion.

Success is defined individually by what matters most to us.

We are all broken people in need of each other.

God is constant. He never changes.

Loving Difficult People 

It’s easy to love people who love us. 

It’s not so easy to love “difficult” people…those who jab at us, put us down, demean us, ridicule us…

I have had some very challenging situations the past couple weeks with some people I would be quick to label as difficult. Each conversation and interaction, I have prayed for His guidance in the words coming out of my mouth. I definitely needed wisdom on when to listen and when to hold my tongue!

I feel God asking me to love this difficult person. And this difficult person. And this one. You get the drift.

The reality is…

We have never walked a mile in their shoes or even a step. These people we label as difficult have stories. Is it right the way they are treating us? No, usually not, but I have found it helpful to remember I do not know their story.

Instead of being bitter and resentful, I am praying and extending grace towards them. God has extended grace to me time after time. I know He is asking me to extend grace and show love. 

In this post-election aftermath, I am sure you have heard hateful remarks. You may be dealing with your own difficult people. Pray over the situation and pray for them. God truly can and will move mountains, but we have to be willing to open our hearts to loving those difficult people.

I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true self, your God-created self. Matthew 5:44-45 the Message 


Made Perfect in His Time…

God’s timing truly is best…

As we wait, as we wonder if He hears, if He cares,

Sometimes what we think are “no” answers

are simply lessons in trusting,

trusting that He knows best.

Five years I prayed,

Five years   I waited,

What I thought was a “no”

was really a wait, My child, I have something better in store

Halfway around the world

big brown eyes searching, longing

for someone to call mom…

Thank You, God for Your perfect

timing as I celebrate yet one more year,

his adoption day, my blessed son,

Your precious gift in Your perfect time.

PicMonkey  J

Faith, Hope, Love, & Food….Explained

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

It’s one of my favorite passages in the Bible.

Faith…in God, family, friends, and that goodness still exists in the world. Hope…in things greater than I can see. Love…of God, family, friends, my country…and food!

So what does food have to do with these three words? So much! Food…truthfully, I love good food….homemade, healthy, and wholesome food enjoyed with a cup of coffee and with great company.

Food is also the source of a lot of turmoil in my life. After a lengthy battle with my health, I now live with a host of food allergies and intolerances. I went from super skinny (due to unplanned weight loss as part of my illness) to being just normal. I’m human-I love chocolate, and I overeat sometimes. I have “fat” jeans, and I don’t always like what I see in the mirror.

But…I am learning that God loves me as I am. He cares about the big issues in my life and the small issues in my life. My illness has forced me to re-evaluate my life on so many levels. I am learning to trust God, to trust that He loves.

Join me in this devotional journey. Together as women of Christ, we can truly learn to embrace the women we are in God’s eyes, not the world’s definition of the ideal woman. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and join me!

Coffee

Devotional thought for the day:

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31

Wow….God really does care about the little things in our lives. Everything we eat, everything we drink….should be for the glory of the One who loves us. The Bible talks about our bodies being temples…we shouldn’t put things into them that damages our bodies. But what about looking at it another way? We should enjoy eating. We should enjoy fellowship with others over a good meal.  (Really, really looking forward to Thanksgiving!) The pressure I  put on myself to be the same size as my “sick self”  isn’t fair to me or the One who created me. He healed me of my scariest  health ailment so why am I wishing that I was that Hollywood stick thin size? I  want to honor Him in all I say, think, and do. I am definitely a work in progress, but I will enjoy my turkey, sweet potatoes,  gluten free pumpkin pie, and cranberry salad this Thanksgiving  with my family!

Any thoughts?