P is for…

Perfectionist. Does this word describe you? I used to think I wasn’t a perfectionist. After all, I am a world class procrastinator. I have trouble putting things away when I am done with them. I can even be termed messy. Disorganized for sure. But a perfectionist? Aren’t perfectionists neat and orderly? Don’t they always want things picked up and put away? Don’t they have a place where everything goes? Don’t they care enough about their work to make sure it is done on time and then gone over multiple times to make sure it is perfect?

Well, it turns out I am a perfectionist. It has taken me a long time to accept and understand this view of myself. I just didn’t understand how I could possibly be a perfectionist and not have a clean house and have everything put away in a neat and orderly fashion. It turns out, God created us all differently. And my perfectionism doesn’t have to look like someone else’s. Instead of spurring me into action, my perfectionism is paralyzing. I am afraid to even start something for fear of it not being done perfectly. And so instead of taking a small step towards beginning, I just stay still, out of fear. Instead of taking a small step towards cleaning up my craft area, I think about the fact that I would love to have it cleaned up. It would be so wonderful to have that nice little space to work on projects. But I don’t have the time to go through everything. I don’t have the time to get it all cleaned up right now. And so all I do, is think about how nice it would be, but don’t actually take any steps towards making it happen.

Copyright RosesatDawn 2018
Copyright RosesatDawn 2018

This is very frustrating. It is frustrating for me and for those who have to live with me. I am constantly struggling to keep the counter cleaned off, and usually fail more often than I succeed. (You don’t want to see it right now…trust me!) I have finally come up with a somewhat successful laundry routine. As long as I remember to nag, I mean ask, the children often enough to fold, that part runs pretty smoothly. Which is a good thing considering there are many people in this house who need clean clothing! But the other parts….like keeping things picked up, organizing items, making a permanent home for things that need a place, those are the things I struggle the most with. I would much rather toss something down on the counter to deal with later than take the extra two minutes and put it away now. Why don’t I take those extra two minutes? This is something that I don’t completely understand about myself. This is something I am still trying to come to grips with and overcome. Just put it away! Just do it now! But, there is always something else that needs to be done that obviously needs my attention right this second. Or at least, this is the constant battle in my mind. It’s not true. I know it’s not true, but it takes time for me to overcome old habits. It takes longer than I would like and I often get discouraged. See, there is the perfectionism again. I want to be better now! Not later. I don’t want to take time, I want to be the “perfect” woman right this very minute.

1 Peter 3:3-4

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment

such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.

Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a

gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight”

Does that sound like the spirit of a gentle and quiet woman? I already know the answer. I struggle with the answer. It trips me up time and time again. How can I be gentle, quiet, kind, patient, etc., until everything is lined up? How can I be like that until everything is perfect? How can I get anything done until the house is cleaned up? How can I pick up the house if I don’t have a place for all the stuff? How?

Galatians 1:10

“Am I trying to win the approval of men, or God?

Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men,

I would not be a servant of Christ”

Well, right there is my answer. Everything in life doesn’t have to be perfect in order for me to journey closer to God. I don’t have to do x, y, and z first. I just have to try and seek God’s approval. Everything else will follow. If I am seeking God’s will and approval for my life, then I will be making a forward journey. I will become the woman God is calling me to be. I will be gentle, quiet, patient, kind, etc.

Proverbs 31:26

Her children rise up and call her blessed;

Her husband also, and he praises her:

That’s what I want my legacy to be. I want to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. I want to be her now. But I’m not. I am still on my journey. I am still struggling to “get it right” (ie perfect). But here’s the good news. Here is the positive in all of this, I have a God who loves me. A God who wants me to succeed. A God who is with me every step of the way and who picks me up every single time I stumble and fall.

Lamentations 3:22-23

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed,

because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning:

great is thy faithfulness.

Every day is a new day. Every minute is a new opportunity for me to put my faith in God and follow Him wherever He leads. I just need to choose to do so. Life doesn’t have to be perfect for me to follow our Lord. I simply need to follow.

 

Are you a perfectionist?

 

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30 thoughts on “P is for…

  1. You are so right. Being afraid to start a project because you’re afraid it won’t be perfect is a type of perfectionism. I have a little of this. I have trouble dealing with stuff that I don’t know where it should go. I’m not good at using shelves and boxes and containers. I’ve gotten better by focusing on one step. Just put this ONE thing away. Just tackle this ONE small area of the counter. Btw, I’m good at laundry, too. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is what I have been trying to focus on. Just doing one thing and getting that ONE thing done. But then I lose steam, because I still want it all done now. Someday I WILL get there….eventually, lol! And at least laundry is taken care of…people need clean clothes 🙂 God Bless!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This describes me to a “t.” I have never seen it put quite that way. But God has been working on me to time block, leave some things undone, and keep it moving. It eats away at me that I cannot keep my house clean and my to-do list manageable, but I have been able to better keep my sanity throughout this learning process.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Time blocking is a great management tool. I have yet to really find what works for me. I’ve tried several methods to help me out, but eventually fall off the wagon. So far, trying to assign different tasks to different days has helped me to meet a small (and I do mean small!) amount of success. But there are inevitably some tasks that don’t get done, and I let it discourage me. My to-do list is ridiculously long. Life is a learning process 🙂 I’m just thankful I have God to help me through it because I would never make it otherwise! God Bless!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh how this post speaks to my heart! I did a wonderful study called Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer that talks about how the enemy gets to us and how God has armed us with all we need for defense. I realized during the course of that, that distraction can be a major tool of the enemy to keep our eyes off of God. And what better distraction for people like us than perfectionism?! I love the scripture you’ve incorporated in this. Take heart- God has already overcome the world and together you can overcome this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen for that! If I didn’t have God on my side I would be in a terrible place 🙂 Distraction is a very handy tool for the enemy. I think this may be another reason I get frustrated. When I am distracted, I often feel like I “don’t have time” for God. Another great reminder to keep our eyes focused on our Lord and Savior. God Bless!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh dear, I think I’m more the constantly trying to keep everything clean…though not completely. It’s more I have an endless to-do list sometimes. But I think I can relate! I’ve had to tell myself that living each moment, spending time with my family, etc. is more important than having everything done. But alas, the struggle is real!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You ask if I’m a perfectionist, to which I must answer No. The reason I’m personally not a perfectionist is that I have not one example of what perfectionism is, as I am not perfect, nor is anyone living on the planet earth today. I can be and do my highest and best, but that is all. With being and doing in this way, I am content. I can move on to do other things in a more efficient way because of this contentment. No stress. No worry. I can find nothing wrong with it from a perfectionist point of view, because I don’t have that idea in my reality.

    This post also causes me to think of the alignment of the planets, the moon, the stars, the placement of the sun, and HE who created the Earth. I can only imagine how disorganized the Universe would be if God hadn’t taken a mess of something, and brought order to it. Even though His time is not our time, He still accomplished this order at some point, saw that it is good, and I further imagine was thoroughly satisfied with His work because then…”There was Light!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s part of the problem with “perfectionism”. There is no such thing 🙂 So really, I am trying to reach an ideal that doesn’t even exist. I am working on enough being enough, it is a life long process! Thank goodness God is better at order than I am or we would be in deep trouble.. 😉 God Bless!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I believe learning, growing, and accepting when being enough is actually enough, is the best life long process you can be experiencing. Thank goodness God created us in His image. We are His ideal. I’m good with that. You?✨

        Liked by 1 person

  6. This is me: “Instead of spurring me into action, my perfectionism is paralyzing. I am afraid to even start something for fear of it not being done perfectly. And so instead of taking a small step towards beginning, I just stay still, out of fear.” So perfectly said. Great post. I’ll be sharing this on my blog page because I know a couple friends of mine who need to read it with me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the share! I’m glad it resonated with you. I really think a lot of “messy, disorganized” people are actually perfectionists. We just don’t realize it because we have been called “lazy, messy, etc.” and so perfectionism can’t possible have anything to do with us! I hope it helps some others realize that it’s ok to not be perfect and to just do our best. God Bless!

      Like

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