When it comes to perfectionism there is no harsher critic of me than me. For as long as I can remember I have longed for everything in my life to be not simply “practically perfect in every way” as Mary Poppins allowed, but my preference would be, “without flaw.”
With Christmas just past and perfection in mind, I am reminded again of the times in childhood when I received new coloring books and crayons. The alluring beauty of the photos on the front covers helped me choose colors that were as close to perfection as possible to use for the first pages of pictures I would color. Once started, I would feel devastated to have ruined the fresh, clean pages with my childish marks of imperfection. Usually I garnered the courage to start afresh on another page but I was always more than simply aware of the ruined (in my opinion at least) pages of past efforts.
It would be nice to be able to say that with age I have moved on but more honest would be to say I have perhaps mellowed a fraction. With perseverance, eventually I did learn to color to my satisfaction and pleasure…mostly. I know (and always did know) I will never be a quilter based on my desire for those corners to come together perfectly (there’s that word again). Over the years I have found other projects to create that have given me the satisfaction of near perfection, counted cross-stitch being the closest. And thankfully the computer allows me to create cards that print wonderful pictures and fonts so my imperfections don’t have to be seen until I fold and/or sign the cards.
But, real life, like the pictures I colored in the books of my youth, ends up with many daily “pages” that are filled with marks that are less-than-perfection and there are disappointments that mar the memories, sometimes causing me to feel I don’t have what it takes to keep trying new pages because I know I will smudge the fresh beauty. However, this is real life, not a coloring book, so I will try again because I know that even with my imperfections, through the blood of Christ, God helps me make those daily moments and pages as fresh as they were when they were brand new…perfect…and He will help me as I choose to continue to walk daily with Him.
1 John 1:7 states: “If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with the other and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin.”
My longing fulfilled if I but remember:
Perfectionism: Without Flaw…God’s way
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 12-30-2009
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