I’ve only done it once or twice since becoming a stay-at-home-mom. Ignored the dishes piled in the sink, the mountain of laundry in the living room chair – choosing to focus solely on something I enjoy.
Monday I spent all day (don’t worry, I didn’t neglect my son) working on Jackson’s 1st year scrapbook. Jackson played with toys under my feet and I cranked out as many pages as I could, because the perfectionist in me says I have to get it finished.
It’s like the photos are taunting me from their boxes, forcing me to shut the closet door to hush their mocking.
That same perfectionist says there should never be dirty dishes piled high in my sink or clean laundry left unfolded in the chair; that I must do my Bible study daily, blog more, and my son must have professional first year photos because what a slacker of a mom I would be if he didn’t.
It’s exhausting! My counselor sums it up like this – I’m too hard on myself.
I’ve really been thinking a lot about the perfectionist in me – too often I feel like I have to accomplish things when in reality nobody cares. I put a ton of pressure on myself that isn’t necessary. I check things off my to-do list because I feel like I have to, not because they are things I actually enjoy.
Take for instance the week-long battle with myself over whether to have professional photos taken of Jackson.
I had taken these photos with my new camera.
And then I saw the photos of a friend’s little girl and instantly felt like the ones I took weren’t good enough. I immediately fell into a funk. John could tell something was wrong and I showed him the photos. Knowing how much photographs mean to me, he said I could spend the money to have Jackson’s pictures taken if that’s what I wanted. So I called to find out how much it would cost.
Needless to say I remained in a funk. There was no way I could afford the price they quoted me and even if I could I wasn’t willing to pay that much.
I was finally growing okay with the idea of using the photos I had taken when I read these words in Mended. Words to remember when you feel like you’re getting tangled up in the things of this world and worrying about the stuff that won’t matter when compared to eternity.
“Jesus, take this from me and let me live fully in You instead of the world.”
I decided to print the photos I had taken and took them over to a friend’s house where she encouraged me to use them. The more I looked at the photos, the more I realized that they were more than okay! They captured the real Jackson – a very serious cake eater!
Why had I allowed myself to get so upset over photos? Why do I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect when I am so far from it? It’s silly!
I picked the photos I loved the most, did some editing to them, had them enlarged, and bought the cutest red frames for them. I was so excited at how they turned out! I can’t wait to hang them in our living room.
I have got to learn to cut myself some slack? I have to stop worrying about what other people might think. I have to stop looking at my to-do list and living like the world will end if I don’t complete each task.
I have to start allowing Jesus to take the pressures of this world from me and allow myself to find rest and acceptance in Him.
In what areas of your life do you need to cut yourself some slack? When it feels like the world is weighing you down and you can’t live up to its standards, whisper “Jesus, take this from me and let me live fully in You instead of the world.”