I’m not sure if it’s my personality or if one naturally tries carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders once they become a mom… But perfection is too often my enemy. I have these visions of who I need to be as a mother and as a wife, and – when I fall short – I label myself “failure” and hang my head in silent shame.
I try, again and again, to measure up. To be that Proverbs 31 woman who rises early in the morning to manage her families needs, to care for the poor, and to secure the praises of her husband. But where I succeed in one area, I find another falls short. And instead of working on shortcomings and celebrating my strengths, I have too often focused with laser vision on wherever I haven’t succeeded.
And let’s face it, as moms, we juggle so many responsibilities that sometimes priorities get jumbled; and we confuse what’s even important in the first place. There is so much pressure, opinions, and social media swirling around us to give us a false sense of what’s best or necessary. And so a weight is added to the guilt that we already place on ourselves.
I struggled with so many feelings of inadequacy last year. But God has really been reminding me as of late that He is perfect… not me. And that as I continue to shift my gaze and to seek Him more, that everything else will fall into place. My attitude, my actions, my priorities…
My goal for perfection should be my journey to be more like my Creator.
And throughout that journey, there is pain, disappointment, and heartbreak. People let us down… Circumstances are scary… We don’t measure up to what we think we should be…
But just like clay being formed into beautiful artwork, we are not finished yet. We are being molded, shaped, and perfected through fire. And while it’s so easy to focus on where we are now and to dwell on our shortcomings, we serve a God who has already given us the joy and the victory to move forward. To celebrate what we are through Him. And to continue striving for betterment.
We can want (and try) to do better without focusing on what we have not yet accomplished. We are in a marathon. But we are not failures just because we have not yet crossed the finish line.
In so many ways, this is my mantra for the year. Because while I so often felt like a failure last year, I am so encouraged to focus on the positive this year. To see where I started and how much God has brought me through, as a mom, a wife, and even as a woman.
Sometimes I say or do the wrong things. Sometimes I find myself dwelling on the difficult. But I am so thankful that I am not yet finished. That God has a plan for my life.
And I’m thankful that I am – even while a work in progress – a masterpiece in His eyes!