Wednesday, July 16, 2014

the words of my heart and how my perfectionism keeps them in...

It's been a while since I have written.  Really it has.  A couple of years now, really, since I have sat down to capture more than just the monthly changes of Gracie or a few thoughts here and there.  And, I ask myself....."Why is that?"  Easily one could say, "Well, it's time, of course! You're a busy mother of four small children!" I tell myself that occasionally.

There is another reason though that haunts me.  I'm a perfectionist.  While it's wonderfully freeing to me to pour out my heart's thoughts in words, there's a part of me that can't let go of making sure I've captured every last one of the details. For whom?  I don't even know!  For me, perhaps?  In the future so that I don't forget a single moment or joy of life?

Say, for instance, Gracie's two year old blog.  I just posted that last week, eight months past her birthday - well headed towards age three. At the time I didn't post it, I was needing to find the "perfect picture" of Grace, oh, and add a few more details I didn't want to forget.  So, here it is July, and I forced myself to post without those bits of perfection.  I believe I still need to post Caleb's five year old blog.  Can't remember if I did that one, but I hesitated for the same reasons. He'll be nine in the fall.

My obsession in those things, however, lead to me not blogging about anything......missing scores of details and memories I would have liked to have jotted down for future smiles, well, because I hadn't finished what I was working on.  And do I need them all?  No!  But a few funny stories now and then would be nice. Or even just an ability to speak my heart, captured for future reflections, or for the generation ahead as they work through similar struggles in the future.  Words of wisdom for the way.  A light ahead, perhaps?

Now, truly.  Must I capture all of the details of life? All of the memories? The precious moments? What if I don't ever capture how Gracie says "nah-er one" for "another one" (phew - captured that one!)?  What of the stages of  my three other precious children that I missed while focusing on capturing a month by month picture of the first two years for Gracie, so that I could always remember what the first two years of having a precious little one were like? Am I focusing on the wrong thing? What is it about me that can't live and enjoy the moments as they come, then let go and move on to live and enjoy the next?

There's a balance that's to be had in this whole experience called life. My first year of homeschooling taught me much about that.  A story for another day.  However, I was really forced to look at myself, my faults, and my internal motivations.  It made me ask the question: "Why do I ask what I do of myself and others? Is what I'm asking of them (or myself) really important or even necessary? MUST a child, for instance, finish all 26 letter projects from Kindergarten just to have them for the year end notebook? Even if he already knows them?  What goal does that meet other than perpetuating perfectionism.  I'm certainly a proponent of doing your best and finishing what you started, but sometimes, we cut our losses and move on. Not EVERY hill is worth dying upon, or even fighting for.

I'm still learning. I have a long ways to go.  I am encouraged, however, that I do see a light - even if it's a ways in the distance.

I am reminded:  "The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

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