My name is Bethany and I’m a recovering perfectionist.
Growing up, I never thought of myself as a perfectionist. I mean, my room could not be described as clean or orderly, and I could never, for the life of me, ever complete a project perfectly. Or on time. Goodness, I even stopped trying after a while.
But a couple of years ago I read this awesome book by Kevin Lehman called, “The Birth Order Book”. In it he explained that perfectionists can have all of those characteristics named above.
“But how?!” I remember thinking, “I can’t be a perfectionist if I never do anything perfectly, or at least close to it, and I NEVER can!”
But, as I learned a paragraph or two later, it’s your thought processes that makes you a perfectionist, not your projects. And my above thought diagnosed me dead on the spot.
I was a perfectionist because I thought a project had to be done to a certain standard to be acceptable. And if this (perfect) standard was not attained, I was therefore a failure. And because I didn’t want to be a failure (who does?), I had a hard time starting a project because of my fear of missing my (perfect) standard. And because my standard was perfection I was doomed from the start to fail.
So I just didn’t start.
This is one of the main reasons none of my children have baby books, or my house does not have as much art or photos hanging from our walls, or why it has taken me three years to start this blog. Because my standards are perfection. And no one can reach perfection. So why try?
Once I realized the above cycle, it was like a fresh breeze from heaven. It might sound funny, but, in my head, I can totally justify my perfectionism. But when someone took the time to write it out in a book, I saw the ridiculousness of it.
And then I realized, something done imperfectly is better than nothing done at all.
So whenever I start to fall into the “I just won’t start because it won’t reach my (perfect) standard” thought pattern (which is like every other minute), I have to stop and refocus.
My goal is imperfection.
“Oh, well I can do that.” I conclude, and then I can start my project.
(Gotta trick yourself sometimes ;))
So why am I writing about perfectionism on Easter weekend? Because I really want our Easter traditions to be perfect. I mean, this is the most important holiday for us who call on Jesus as Lord, why shouldn’t it be perfect?!
But the thing is, I can’t do perfect.
I had really wanted to do a unit study during lent, or a neat object lesson this weekend, maybe the resurrection eggs, or a cool craft. You know, something to solidify the vastly important truths this weekend represents for the kids.
But it didn’t happen. Finishing school projects, keeping up with the daily grind, my own misuse of time and a weekend virus have brought us to this weekend. And it is imperfect. It is incomplete.
But, isn’t that the point of Easter? We are not enough. We will never be perfect. But we have a perfect Savior. We can pick up our weary heads and start another day, another project. Not because it will turn out perfect, but because we are accepted by Perfection Himself.
Instead of my elaborate 10 week, 5 category, and authentic dramatization at the end dream lesson plan, tomorrow morning we are making resurrection rolls.
They are so simple. Store bought crescent rolls, marshmallows, cinnamon and sugar will help us tell the story of a perfect God sacrificing His perfect Son. And we will get messy and probably fight over who pours what or pass around a few mean words because someone sampled the sugar without asking.
Then we will read an incompletely written kid’s Bible story book about the account of love made perfect. For us. The imperfect. Then I’m sure we will quickly pray and then rush off to get ready for church service, which I can almost guarantee we will be late for.
And while this used to be written off as a complete failure of an Easter celebration in this hopelessly perfectionist’s mind, I’m beginning to rest in the unbelievable truth that it’s okay.
Because the more imperfection the kids see in me, the more perfection they see in Him.
And, the truth is, Easter is perfect because of Jesus. And nothing I do or don’t do changes that.
Happy Easter weekend, y’all.