grace not perfection

The past few weeks, I’ve been mulling something over and am ready to share my thoughts about it. First, I’m going to just start with saying that this post is in no way meant to be negative or a woe is me cry. In fact, by the time I’m done writing this post, I want to be able to have a different, positive mindset. Also? I’m totally preaching to myself and no one else with everything I’ve written.

It all started with this lock screen from Emily Ley, which I’ve had on my phone now for two weeks. I can’t get this phrase out of my mind.

I will hold myself to a standard of grace not perfection.

{here is the original post from Emily Ley}

There are so many thoughts jumbling around in my head lately. We are moving in 1 week. This pregnancy hasn’t been easy. Why is the house such a mess? Oh, we’re moving soon. Our toddler is testing my patience and limits beyond what we knew was possible. I haven’t had time for myself. When was the last time I showered? Ugh, my attitude has been horrible. Why can’t I just fall asleep already? And it goes on.

Tell me I’m not the only one? All those thoughts have made me feel guilt and shame. It’s the guilt that comes with being a stay-at-home mom and feeling like I have nothing to show for when an entire day goes by and the dishes are still piled up from the night before. The guilt when I feel like I should have taken a shower, done the dishes and a load of laundry during my son’s nap, but instead I spent most of it reading a book or catching up on emails and texts. While I fully appreciate the miracle of pregnancy, I feel ashamed that I haven’t enjoyed this pregnancy as much as I should. There’s also shame when I lose my temper at our son because he’s having his tenth tantrum of the day and I just don’t want to deal with it, again.

Here’s the thing and this is nothing groundbreaking or new I’m about to say. I can’t let these thoughts and attitudes continue being a part of my life. It’s simply not healthy and certainly not productive. Being someone who loves to excel at everything I do, this whole mom (and if we back it up some, being a wife) gig has proven otherwise. There are just too many balls to juggle, too many hats to wear to even try and get any of them down perfectly. It cannot happen because I’m a flawed human who will never be perfect.

As badly as I want to excel and be the perfect wife, mom and the list goes on…I keep coming back to this thought of choosing grace and not perfection. That is so easy to write down and even say to myself throughout the day but much harder to live out. So, what does giving myself grace actually look like? This is what I’ve been hashing out the past few weeks.

-Knowing when to gracefully accept help.
-Knowing when to say no.
-Knowing when to take a deep breath and let it go.
-Letting go of guilt.
-Stop comparing myself to others.
-Not striving for perfection.
-Choosing contentment over happiness.

See? It’s nothing groundbreaking or new. But I just need to remind myself of these things, time and time again. In my heart, I believe this theme of choosing grace and not perfection is going to guide my year. It is my biggest cry and prayer.


p.s. Along this very theme, I’m going to be taking a short break from blogging though may occasionally still post on Instagram. Hope to catch you guys there or here, when I come back. Thanks for reading along! I love y’all.

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7 thoughts on “grace not perfection

  1. thegrommom says:

    Oh I think most of us understand every bit of what you feel! One thing I think I am learning is that instead of clinging to old standards or goals, (a clean house, to-do lists scratched off, etc.) as we grow in this season (namely, motherhood) we ought to have a different set of standards to determine the quality of our days…If we keep our eyes on the old goals, it will only frustrate. If we set new ones (did i teach/train/parent well today?…Have i kept my child(ren) safe and secure today, haha but really.) Anyways, it is maturity to begin to look to new standards for what makes a good or not good day. And we’ll still never be perfect but at least we can appreciate more the things we DO do well, and stress less over the rest.
    Just my thoughts for this afternoon-and yes, I still struggle. 😉
    XO aloha!

  2. mom says:

    There is a light at the end of the tunnel….I kept saying that to myself during 3 back to back pregnancies…also I remember a feeling of resignation. I am 57 and many times I feel I have nothing to show for all these years of living on this earth. Being busy yet not gainfully employed doesn’t help my mind set either. But then I think, “What matters to God? Does he want us to accomplish in human terms? or is his idea of accomplishment different from ours?” and then I feel consoled to just take one day at a time, do my best for the present day, take opportunities as they come. I used to think I had to be the Proverbs 31 woman, but grace is so much better than perfection.

  3. ali grace | cookies and grace says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I definitely struggle with this too… wanting to be the best at everything and be perfect. It’s exhausting and IMPOSSIBLE. Grace is always best. Jesus was perfect so that we don’t have to be. Yay for choosing grace over guilt!

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