The Perfect Club

Confession: I am a perfectionist.
{Sorry, random, out of no where, post ahead}
For those of you who know me personally, this might not come as a shock to you…or maybe it does?! ha. Anyway, I like things perfect, and even if I never attain what I deem “perfection”, I am always holding myself up that idea in my brain of what is “perfect”. It’s been something I have struggled with my whole life.
For example:
A “perfect” mommy always disciplines her child in a calm, cool and collective manner. Never screaming or   threatening to paddle their behinds, or running after them when they are attempting to escape their discipline, or threatening to give them away when times are tough. Nope. The “perfect” mommy never behaves that way.
A “perfect” friend remembers every birthday, every exciting event in your friends life. Their kids birthdays, their anniversary, their celebration of when they got engaged, etc. A “perfect” friend would never call a friend on their birthday, blab away about their life and it’s frustrations, hang up and go about their day and never even wish their friend a happy birthday. Right.
A “perfect” wife always loves and cherishes her husband. She remembers what time he is arriving home and has dinner set on the table. She folds his clothes the way he likes, she makes sure the whites have been washed so he can have clean undershirts and the darks are also clean so he can have clean underwear. A “perfect” wife would never give her husband a blank stare when he walks in the door and wonder what in the world he is doing home. A “perfect” wife would never suggest that her husband go commando for the day because she forgot to put the darks in the dryer after she washed them last night. Right again.
A “perfect” Christian prays daily, for at least 30 mins. She fasts at least once a month. She reads several chapters a day. She smiles at church at the right moment, raises her hands at the right song, claps at the right time, and always prays for others at altar call instead of herself. She never seems overwhelmed or tired. She never confesses to lack of faith, frustration, feeling alone, wondering where God is, or professing to not understand His will. A “perfect” Christian never shows her weakness but always portrays her faith and victory.
See, when you are a perfectionist, you always have a higher goal than what you are attaining bouncing around somewhere in your mind. You can never be satisfied with who you are or what you are doing. You always think you should be better, that you aren’t good enough, or that, as I like to say, you are a “loser”.
That’s what being a perfectionist means, at least to me.
Last month I attended my church’s Ladies Retreat. I went with a couple friends and we stayed together in a room. It really was so much fun, I enjoyed every minute of it. But at one service in particular, we were asked to gather in groups of three and confess things that we felt we needed prayer about. We were supposed to be HONEST. Hmmm…something a perfectionist is taught they are NOT supposed to be.
When it got to my turn, I thought, “What do I have to lose?” so I blurted out, “I feel like I am a horrible youth pastor’s wife. Please pray for me.” As I said it, all the youth services I have missed, the girls I have promised to get together with but never did, the youth functions I skipped out on flashed before my eyes.  Never mind that I missed all of those things because of sick kids, my now very busy job, or just the conflict that daily life brings….the perfectionist in me has been kicking myself for it for months.
We prayed together for a while and then off in the distance I saw a group of my young youth girls in a circle praying for one of the younger girls. She was crying and weeping. She was bent over practically double and giant tears were dripping off her face. I went over and put my arms around her. I knew why she was crying. She was so young, but had given herself away to another guy at school. I knew what she was thinking. She was not tiny and together like the other girls. She is tall, about twice the size of her friends. Her hair was never perfect, clothes always a little off. I understood.
She was feeling like she was not part of The Perfect Club.
And boy could I relate.
At that moment I started crying. I saw how much God loved her, JUST AS SHE WAS. I understood that He was standing in front of her with His arms out and was saying, “I love you just the way you are. Why are you not allowing Me to get close to you just because YOU think you aren’t perfect. You are perfect in MY eyes.”
I stood there in the aisle and held her. We cried together. We prayed. And we thanked God. That we didn’t have to be perfect. That sometimes life hands you things that you don’t think are meant to be, but God knows why they are there. Sometimes we aren’t meant to be the best, or the most ideal. Sometimes not being the best or ideal IS the best and the ideal for us.
Why say all this?
Well, the last couple months I have felt so frustrated with myself. I wish I could do so much more as a youth pastor’s wife, a mother, a friend, and a wife. I wish that my house wasn’t always a wreck, or my hair disheveled, or the laundry never done. I wish that I didn’t have to miss youth staff meetings on Sunday so that my kids could nap. I wish I didn’t have to stand in the hallways with my kids while my husband preaches. I sometimes even wish I didn’t have to work on hoodies 24-7 and take young girls out  to coffee instead, or visit their schools and hang out, or maybe even just have a phone chat with them.
I wish.
But that is not what God wishes for me.
Right now God is ok with my house, my kids, my ministry, my marriage. Because God knows that He has put me right where I am for the perfect timing. And the worst thing I could do right now is run. Because whatever I THINK is perfect never really is.
So I encourage you, if you are out there, and you feel like me. Perfect is not about how much you pray. How perfect you dress. How perfect your hair is. How impeccable your house looks. How well behaved your kids are. How wonderful your marriage is. If you are out there and you feel like you aren’t perfect because you look around and see all these people who are TRYING so hard to be perfect, stop looking.
Perfect is being in the PERFECT WILL OF GOD. And when you find that place, don’t fight it. Relax in it. Enjoy it. TRUST. Because someday down the road you will look back and realize that it really was the perfect thing for you at that time.
Because God doesn’t make mistakes.
Thank you Jesus.
And here is why I know that God doesn’t mind imperfections…my precious girl Evy. I gave her a handful of frozen blueberries, silly me, not thinking the damage they might do. She is definitely not perfect in these pictures, but she is soo sooo darling. Perfect in every way to me. :)

14 thoughts on “The Perfect Club

  1. 1
    Monica Hassas says:

    LOVE this post and LOVE you JUST THE WAY YOU ARE! So blessed to have you as my friend! Oh, and Evy is too stinkin adorable! Hugs

  2. 2
    The Hyams Life says:

    Your post was Perfect!
    Thank you for being transparent.
    Love, Tabitha

  3. 3
    JewelsHud says:

    Your honesty is refreshing and so needed! I too share in this "perfectionism" trap and relate! Sometimes being still and just appreciating our weaknesses is all he really wants us to do!! :)

  4. 4
    Mande says:

    Amy, I love you!! You are the best mom and like you, I am always trying to live up to everyone's expectations of me…..but in reality it is 9:30 am, I am blogging while my kiddos eat Eggo waffles, and I will be in my pj's until about 11:00 when I get the kiddos ready for the day.
    You are wonderful!! We are not supermom's- even though perfectionists want to be. Reality prevents it from happening sometimes. Love you so much girl!!! Wish we could get together & let these babies have a play date while we enjoy coffee and some "perfect mama time".

  5. 5
    Jennifer says:

    This post was perfect for me! LOVE and HUGS !!!!

  6. 6
    Kelley says:

    Smile! You are lovely! POST-IT NOTE THAT!

    And your compassion and love for others gives you a window through which you see how God views you, loves you.

    When He looks at you, you beautiful creature, He rejoices in the way HE MADE YOU– perfectionism and all. Cindy Miller told us at General Conference to thank God for giving us His best for our lives. If that's our temperament, so be it.

    As a firstborn perfectionista– HA! Talk about both barrells full. That's how I 'ran' my life. God lead me to read Florence Littauer's books about personality assessment, temperament and being Spirit-controlled. What an eye-opener! I began asking myself, "What is it like to live with me?"

    And I will be honest, now I have two perfectionista daughters. *sigh* But God gave them to me to be raised by me. We're all three learning to chill out– for which my husband/our kids' father is grateful!

    Bless you for your transparency. kjd

  7. 7
    Mrs.LifeAccounts says:

    what a cutie! I am one that always strives for pefection as well and obviously I am constantly falling short… I try to tell myself that there is no fun in being perfect but somehow it never stops me from trying to reach that unattainable goal, thanks for the encouraging post!

  8. 8
    Audrey says:

    Amy, I cried! I completely understand all of the emotions that you described. I wish I had the answers. I admit, there are times I am jealous of you. I think you are gorgeous, talented and amazing. Thank you for your transparency & encouraging me to accept GOD's will in my life. I love you! Praying for you. Remember you are loved by MANY. xoxo

  9. 9
    Kristy says:

    Oh Amy…I completely understand your struggles…I am a perfectionist at heart…if I were perfect, I would communicate much much better! :) Thank you for your honesty. I loved it…very encouraging! Love, Kristy

  10. 10
    Anonymous says:

    wow this was a beautiful post.. appreciate your honesty and can relate in so many ways, on many levels. God bless you.

  11. 11
    Collecting Moments of 3 Petites Dames says:

    Loved it, for so many reasons. One just for simlpy portraying that God is a loving God. Thank you Amy for being that kind of christian I want to be. Real, honest & down right loving. For understanding the broken paths that make some of us what God wants us to be. Thank you for always being a true friend to me & being a great example in all you do. Forever your faithful fan. Loves.

  12. 12
    Jenni says:

    i felt like you were writing everything that has been swirling in my brain lately.

    thank you for this post. it was much needed.

    love you lots.

  13. 13
    Charity says:

    You absolutely blessed me today in ways you will never know. Thank you for allowing your imperfections to be aired on your blog….I don't think someone has every 'spoken' into my life in a more direct way than your blog post did just now. Blessings on you and your day!!

  14. 14
    Jake and Mandy says:

    Love this post. & sometimes I wish I was a perfectionist. ha.

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