Resolutions and Perfectionism

I don’t know about you all, but Christmas has got me feeling a little bit over-indulgent. Funny how New Years and resolutions come right after the holidays. I don’t think that is such a coincidence. After a few months of more sweets, more gifts, more parties and shopping, everyone is ready for less. Diets, spring-cleaning, and creating a better financial plan so “that doesn’t happen again next year,” become the focus.

I have to say we are guilty of all of those resolutions for the New Year. We’re going back to the Paleo diet, we created a new budget, and I spent the day after Christmas “purging” our closets. But while I have high expectations for 2014, I know that we’ll stray from eating right all of the time and have to get back on track. I know we’ll buy something frivolous only to regret it later. I know that my idea of purging is getting rid of 70% of our stuff, but I’ll only get rid of 5%, and I’m getting better at being okay with that.

It used to bother me when I couldn’t fulfill all of my plans 100%. I wanted to be a perfect wife, parent, friend, and have everything around me looking perfect too. In case you couldn’t tell, I have this little problem called “perfectionism.” God has been using parenthood to show me that he wants me to let go of trying to make everything perfect all of the time. It is not wrong to want to do things well, or to enjoy a good life. The problem comes when we only feel accomplished and peaceful when everything is “just so.” If achieving all of my New Years resolutions, or any kind of ideal, becomes the way that I validate my importance, or the only way that I feel strong and confidant, that is not okay. It means that I find strength in the false perfection of a flawed and selfish human instead of in a perfect God.

If you struggle with perfectionism like me, you understand that letting go is like spilling coffee on freshly mopped kitchen floors, and LEAVING IT there. It kind of makes my eye twitch (or maybe that is the coffee…). It doesn’t always make sense in our minds to leave things alone or to be confidant in ourselves even when we haven’t accomplished our to-do list. But time and time again, He has proven to me that he is more than capable of taking care of me when I let him have full control.

So I will set goals to improve my health and our cost of living. But I will no longer define myself by the successes and failures I will experience while working toward them because God doesn’t define me that way. I will pick myself back up when I inevitably slip because I am not perfect. I will let things go and I will give up control. And even when I don’t handle failure well and I forget that I am not strong on my own, there is still grace for me, and I can keep moving forward.
Happy New Year!

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