I have a confession to make.
My name is Tracye and I suffer from "Perfection Infection."
I know that I can't be perfect. I know that my kids don't need a perfect mom (after all, they can't be perfect either...so they don't want or need perfect!). My husband definitely doesn't need a perfect wife and he most certainly isn't going to get one. He married me. My home isn't perfect. My body is far from perfect.
Yet, perfection is what I strive for. I'm infected. I don't truly want perfection, but perfection is STILL what I strive for. Who really needs that pressure? But oh boy----do we moms EVER put that pressure on ourselves and others.
Learning to let go of that is a journey worth taking.
Have you ever fought and battled with your kids/spouse getting out the door for church? Sometimes a scenario like this *might* happen in our house on a Sunday morning:
You're already running behind because someone hit snooze too many times. Someone took too long in the shower and didn't leave sufficient time for the spouse to have a turn. Child one can't find his shoes. Child two can't find his Bible. Child three: are you planning on wearing that? The fighting between the kids over something insignificant rises a few thousand MORE decibel levels. Looking in the mirror, all you can see is that your muffin top is no longer a muffin, it's like a multi-layer cake now! The "gut-sucker" no longer holds you in. The "girls" are definitely not shaped the way they once were. The gray hair is no longer hidden. The husband tells you to quit being so hard on yourself that he truly loves you as you are. Yet, you just nod and smile while inside you are screaming "yea right, I have eyes and can see!" Then you are finally ready to leave and you walk out of the bedroom/bathroom and see the mess that has been left in the living room and you come unglued. After all, what if someone comes to the door? Oh yes, that spirit of preparing for worship has gone out the door because Mom is livid....and if Momma ain't happy, nobody's happy! Once everyone is loaded in the van, someone realizes that oops they forget it was their day to take the dog out. By the time you arrive at church, you are far beyond stressed, steam is literally rolling from your ears, you've got the "mom" look down to a science, and then.....
The door on the van opens and suddenly there is this magic smile on your face!
Yep, the infection bit. By all means, you can't go into church being REAL. You want to feel as put together as all the other moms appear to be!
It's an ugly war.
Just this morning, I was getting ready for church and I have a GIANT (talking Godzilla size) zit looking back at me in the mirror. This morning didn't self destruct like the above scenario (which by the way was LAST week!), but the perfection infection was still taking over. I covered the monstrosity on my face and was quite pleased with how well I hid it. I even pointed out to my husband that I was thrilled with the fact that it wasn't glaring at me. Yet, that zit hurt all through church. It was painfully obvious to me that I might have covered it with makeup....but it was still there.
I might can cover a stain or hole in my shirt with a strategically placed scarf and pin. However, the stain/hole is still there.
We ALL wear masks. Masks that hide the ugly things inside of us, but the things about masks are that they only temporarily hide or disguise. Things we don't want others to see. We compare our insides to others outsides. We think we don't measure up. We live in fear that others are judging us and we wrongly judge others. OUCH!
Author Jill Savage has written an AMAZING book called "No More Perfect Moms" and it is a LIFE-CHANGING book that gets to the heart of the "Perfection Infection". Early last month I applied to be a part of 100 women across the nation to be part of her book launch team and last week found out I was selected as part of the team. Because of that, I have been able to read an advanced copy of the book before it releases in February. As a matter of fact, I've already read it cover to cover twice this week and am anxiously awaiting for my physical copy to arrive so I can start highlighting and writing notes like crazy (some of you that know me well: YES....I've already bought new highlighters, colored pens, and a new notebook!!! LOL!) Speaking of perfection, I almost talked myself out of applying. Clicking submit on that application was just about enough to give me a heart attack and I second guessed myself for days after the fact. In the spirit of being honest, I admit that I was quite grumpy with my kids while I was typing out my responses. I might have been wanting to speak softly like Michelle Duggar, but my family was getting ANYTHING but that! Talking about being totally imperfect!
Hey wait---maybe THAT is something I am perfect at. Being imperfect.
In the coming weeks, I can't wait to share with you my journey through the book and attempting to get REAL and applying the antidotes to cure this soul draining infection of perfection!
For now, let me HIGHLY encourage you to:
- Sign up for Jill's 31 Day Email challenge that is about to start on January 1st. I signed up before I even had the chance to pre-read the book. Let me just say: I'm VERY excited! I know it's going to bring about some incredible changes in my own heart and hope you'll consider joining in! (The book is NOT necessary for this challenge!)
- Check out No More Perfect Mom's Website for great resources (many coming soon!)
- Purchase "No More Perfect Moms" However, WAIT until the week of February 4-9th! By doing so, we can hopefully concentrate enough sales to help this make it on the New York Best Seller's List so that it can get in the hands of more moms. By purchasing during this time period, there will be some great bonus offers to say thank you!
- Attend Hearts at Home National Conference March 15-16th in Bloomington, IL on the ISU campus. There is nothing else that encourages my heart anymore than this weekend event! You will cry, you will laugh, and you will cry from laughing so hard. Best of all, you will find that you are NOT alone in your struggles and needs of motherhood. Great for moms of all ages. Hey wait, did I mention that I had a moment of breakdown to find that some of the workshops were geared for women over 35? That used to be "old " to me. Now, I fall into that category. Can someone explain how that happened? :)
It's because I KNOW it's valuable. I know that it CAN change your role as a mother in a positive direction. It's because I want you to see my heart through the next several weeks of talking about the journey.
Because it matters. Because it REALLY matters.