Desiring Perfection in a Messy World

Snotty noses, time targets missed, beds wet, dinners late, messy floors, messy closets, messy kitchen, messy clothes, messy hair, messy hands, messy…well, life is just messy sometimes. (I’ll even admit it, I have not had a shower in three days. Gross, right? I would take one right now while the kids are sleeps (phew), however, my goal is to mow the lawn tonight and enjoy a shower after the kids are in bed and the house it quiet).

This has been a tough week. Tough with a capital hard! I feel like I have to keep fighting back the urge to just explode. Or in some cases I have not fought well and the explosion erupts. Then feelings of failure and self-loathing (dramatic, but true) begin to take the place of the rage.

What a great way to  exist. Not.

This morning I began to pray that God would help me today; that He would help me not be so angry  and short tempered. I prayed that things would go more smoothly and that the kids and I would have an enjoyable day together. But as I was praying I felt Him push me in another direction. My prayers changed. “Lord, help me to be okay with messiness of life. Help me be okay with things not going well.” This was a small prayer, but it’s huge for me.

When you have two little people in the house, things just don’t go smoothly. Fact. There are going to be diaper blowout, temper tantrums, snotty noses, dirty socks, toys to trip over, plans to adjust and adjust again and again.

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I need to see that life is not going to be perfect. Nothing in this world ever is, and toddlers are a daily, hourly, minute by minute reminder of this. They require flexibility and consistency at the same time. It’s a balancing act. Losing my temper when life just does not look perfect helps nothing and no one.

Perfection is something I have always struggled with. I want things to be fair and right and well, just plain perfect. But when that is what I demand, I am asking something of myself and others around me that is unattainable. I am putting pressure on myself and others that cannot be withstood. No wonder I feel like I’m going to explode sometimes.

Wouldn’t it be nice if by just saying that prayer this morning all my perfectionist pursuits would vanish. But that would only happen in a perfect world and didn’t I just say that this is not. Today, I’ve lost my temper, the kids and dog sabotaged my 15 minutes workout (only 15 minutes folks and I could not get it done), Seth cried through most of lunch because he wanted a spoon that Bridget was using, Bridget has already gone through three outfits and I may have eaten quite a bit of chocolate to help survive this all.

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So I’m going to have to rest in the promise of God, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” There’s the perfection we can rest on: Christ Jesus. He’s not going to leave me alone in this mess of motherhood. He is going to help me through the dirtiness of long days.

And maybe I’ll even get a shower tonight 😉

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