Connection, hope, humility, Power in Christ

When Perfectionism Pricks Your Soul {GIVEAWAY}

“You’re going to have an ulcer by the time you’re 20.”

Across the pitted black lab bench, my favorite seventh grade science teacher lovingly declared my future downfall. With wounded heart, the little perfectionist in me continued to white out three lines at a time and re-draw blue binder paper lines with a ruler. I remember thinking, Why would anyone do anything without the intent of a perfect outcome?!

Over thirty years later, life’s storms have tossed me enough to know that perfection is an illusion, but I still fall into the trap of seeking it. As an Enneagram 3 – The Achiever – when I stress, I strive. I’m blinded with an overwhelming need to control. And worse, I’m deluded into thinking that I can actually control everything around me. I turn up free will to max volume and think that God must be on vacation today. I forget that He is beyond my understanding and that multi-tasking takes on new heights on His watch!

How about you? Do you post a “Kick Me” sticky on your own backside when you do a drive-thru dinner for your kids? Or maybe you internalize the voice of a boss, parent, friend, or loved one who always said you weren’t enough? Or you punish yourself for how messy your home has become even though life crises have crushed you for months?

I think we can all agree that this type of thinking sends us down a slippery slope to a place where insecurity, pride, and competition reign and relationships wither. Insecurity is at the heart of perfectionism. Feeling inadequate feeds our need to be recognized. We convince ourselves that striving for perfection will earn us the fame we seek. Pride also fuels perfectionism. It’s our human way of pretending we are God and believing the lie that we are fully in control of our destiny. And competition, while it can be a healthy motivator when viewed properly, can be an insidious beast when we ditch connection and compassion at the expense of winning. Bottom line, perfectionism flouts scripture and sets us against God’s Word.

And this is where I raise the flag of IMperfection in all its glory. I know, you’re looking at me sideways with a crinkled forehead! But just try embracing it instead of fighting it every now and then. It might feel REALLY wrong at first, but eventually, you’ll see God’s truths shining through your initial frustration. Instead of flogging yourself for going through the drive-thru for your kids’ dinner, say “I made sure that my children were fed tonight, despite a crazy day.” Instead of believing your boss’s cruel criticism of your year-long project, say “I really did try my best and I know that there were also good things about my work.”

Eventually, you’ll realize that imperfection is actually the gateway to God’s grace. The place where He meets you in your pain and suffering and lifts your eyes heavenward. Where he reminds you that He is the only One who can fill the hole in your soul you tired to fill with perfectionism. Where He says to you, “You will never be perfect on this earth. But when you’re frustrated with your shortcomings, come to me and I will be your comfort.”

Now, I’m not saying that we should all just give ourselves over to mediocrity and poor work ethics. Rather, instead of striving for an unattainable perfection, we work toward excellence. In Holley Gerth’s book You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect, she explains that on earth, perfection isn’t realistic or healthy, but rather, “excellence is doing what you can, with what you have, where you are, as you are. It means given your circumstances, your limitations, your abilities, and other factors, you’ve done what you can to do well.

By trading in perfectionism for excellence, we actually trade up in our up-side-down Kingdom. Christ longs to send our suffering souls a life vest. He is clearly on the side of the imperfect…

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

At the end of the day, Christ is the only One who is perfect. He is the only One truly in control. When perfectionism attacks, we believe our free will trumps Christ’s sovereignty. Then we skip into the enemy’s territory. Into a wasteland that will leave us treadmilling toward soul exhaustion. Toward a never-ending finish line that continues to stretch into the hazy distance as our weary souls stagger toward nothingness.

While we’re on earth, we are being perfected – becoming more like Christ – but we’ll never be fully perfected until we’re called to our heavenly home (Philippians 1:6). Perfectionism will only divide us from the deep relationship that Christ seeks with us and strangle our relationships with one another. It says “I’m better than you. I’m determined to win. You’re not enough.” And in return, Christ says, “You are all equally loved. You are all my beautiful and unique children. You’re always enough for me.

GIVEAWAY:

Make a comment on this blog post or on any of my social media and you’ll be entered to win a copy of the freshly-released Freedom!: The Gutsy Pursuit of Breakthrough and the Life Beyond It by Jennifer Renee Watson. The winner will be notified by Tuesday, March 12, 2019. Good luck!

About this empowering and encouraging book: Jennifer’s words will move women to shake off the shackles of their pasts to live in the true freedom only Christ can provide. With her trademark and self-professed “sweet and snarky” Southern-girl style, she tackles tough issues with just enough humor to help us toward healing, while still honoring our pain. This book is a true gift to a tired girl’s soul!

Awards

Blog Awards & Nominations!

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I’m stunned to write this just a few months into my blogging journey… I’ve been chosen for two blogging awards! I’m humbled, shocked, excited, and a bit intimidated, but going with it. Christ must have plans for this science girl and I missed the memo! I’m giving all the glory to Him!

And I’m also super grateful to fellow Christian blogger, Iris Ocampo, for nominating me for both awards! Click here to visit her blog!

The best part is getting to pay it forward! To nominate other blogs that have inspired me on this tumultuous journey – those that have motivated my weary fingers to keep typing.  And I even get the chance to spread the love to some newbie bloggers like me!

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What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award 2017 is an award that exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. ‘Liebster’ in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I have a chaotic life that prevents me from working outside the home right now. I longed for a creative outlet that would also connect me to other Christian women and I wanted to share my blossoming faith as a “thank you” to Christ.

What does the name of your blog mean?
My tag line, Mom-ventures with Hope & Humility, emerged from an exhaustive list of potential candidates. It was just the right combination of fun and serious, which captures my personality. Also, I sought to draw my ideal reader – a mom who tackles each crazy day as an adventure, remembering that there’s always hope, regardless of how harrowing her day may have been. “Humility” is a constant reminder (to me) that mothering is perpetually humbling, not to take myself too seriously and that humility brings us back to Christ.

What is your biggest struggle about blogging?
Finding time to write and edit in a very noisy life and home! Wish I didn’t need uninterrupted quiet to produce a descent blog post!  I’m hoping to tolerate more noise with time!

What is your go to snack?
Chocolate, chocolate, and um, MORE CHOCOLATE! I’m attempting to quell my addiction with snack-sized treats to ward off re-gaining the seventy-five pounds I fought to lose a few years ago! The struggle is REAL!

What or who makes you laugh the most?
Our tween daughter! She’s the most ebullient child! Dramatically bent, wonderfully whimsical, and just plain hilarious (and sometimes infuriating for all the same reasons)!

What is your favorite quote to live by?
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

What is your favorite book and why?
This one’s an impossible question for this bibliophile! I can only narrow it down to anything by Jennie Allen, Holley Gerth, or Lisa-Jo Baker!

What is saving your life lately?
My faith! Christ has dredged this girl from the depths of despair more times than I can count and no earthly person or thing can ever compare!

Name your favorite aspect of each season.

WINTER:  Fluffy snowflakes, crisp morning air, and a warm bowl of anything under my softest and fuzziest blanket!

SPRING: Baby birds sweetly chirping, the perfect temperature for a walk, and fresh green everything against a pale blue sky.

SUMMER: The freedom that flows from a more relaxed schedule and vacation!

FALL: My favorite season!  Tired leaves fluttering to the ground, the return to quiet time during the day, and the anticipation of the holidays!

What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Watching a thriller series in a QUIET house while snuggled up with a fun-sized pack (or two!) of peanut M&M’s!

My favorite blogs

Hands down, my three favorite blogs are Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart, Suzie Eller’s Living Free Together, and Jennifer Renee Watson’s Soul-Full, Grace-Filled Space Your Soul Needs. Their posts always speak directly to my heart on any given day, their personalities align with mine, and their words heal me every time! If you’re looking for a laugh through your tears, these three won’t disappoint!

To enjoy this adorable trio’s unique blend of steadfast faith, humility, vulnerability, and endearing girl humor, check out their Facebook Lives at #MoreThanSmallTalk! They’re the deepest group of gals who will leave you in stitches!

10 Random Facts about You…

1. Don’t give me anything sweet, because I’ll eat it!

2. My reaction to housework: “First, rip off my fingernails… slowly, please!”

3. I love to take on new challenges!

4. Give me a good book, and you might not see me for a few days!

5. TV is my retreat when I should be seeking Christ.

6. I’m an extroverted introvert. I’m generally friendly, but need to retreat to rest alone after a few hours of socializing. Otherwise, “mean mommy” emerges from her evil lair!

7. I’m a recovering (?) over-achiever and perfectionist.

8. Tragedy has visited me more often than I thought I could bear, but Christ has seen me to victory through it all!

9. I’ve struggled with my weight since gaining the freshman fifteen!

10. Lesson I’m still learning: Victory is in the TRYING, not the TRIUMPH!

My NominationsI love this part because I love encouraging and acknowledging others!It just makes me feel warm and fuzzy!Check out these blogs with smaller followings like mine! They’re gems and deserve your attention!Listed IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER.Walking Together – Encouragement to Grow Your Faith (Jennifer Andes)Gospel-Centred Parenting – Good News for Family Life (Scott & Cathy Thomson)Helping  People Reach Their Potential (Michelle Lazurek)Cultivating Creativity (Cathy Baker)Simply Living Love (Melissa T.)Building Grateful Nests – Rooted in Him (Robin Evans)Field Notes on Digging for the Divine in the Everyday (Tia McNelly) 

The Rules

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you should do the following:

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you.
2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. You can download images for the award here.
3. Write a 150-300 word post about your favorite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
4. Answer your questions and provide 10 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have less than 200 followers and ask them your own questions.
6. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here or from this site).
7. Don’t forget to inform the people/blogs you nominated about it!

Answer these questions!

Why did you start blogging?
What does the name of your blog mean?
What is your biggest struggle about blogging?
What is your go to snack?
What or who makes you laugh the most?
What is your favorite quote to live by?
What is your favorite book and why?
What is saving your life lately?
Name your favorite aspect of each season.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure?


Sunshine Blogger Award

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About the Award
The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring. Once nominated, the blogger is required to write a post in which he/she does the following:

Thank the blogger who nominated them and link back to their blog.
Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them.
Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 new questions to answer.
Notify your nominees and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

Questions

What is the toughest part about blogging for you?
Finding time to write and edit in a very noisy life and home! Wish I didn’t need uninterrupted quiet to produce a descent blog post!  I’m hoping to tolerate more noise with time!

What is the most enjoyable part?
Being creative, connecting with others, and honoring Christ.

Is there something that always keeps you going during tough times?
Prayer, bible studies, devotionals, and supportive friends and family.

What’s your favorite quote?
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Goat cheese. I’ve got a squeamish palate!

Besides blogging, what else do you enjoy?
Reading, walking on a clear day, bible studies, warm chocolate chip cookies, the caress of sunshine on my face, and seeing our children in side-splitting giggles.

Would you rather fly or sail somewhere? Why?
Flying, for sure! Dramamine is my constant companion on choppy waters!

Who do you most admire, and why?
Jesus, because He is my role model! God’s manifestation on earth and perfection embodied!

Are you an Apple or an Android person?
Apple ADDICT!

What inspires you?

My faith, plus collective creativity and encouragement. Sharing ideas and creating with others.

Is this your first blogging award?
These two awards are my first!  I’m so humbled that the blogging community has seen something in my little musings here! I can’t wait to spread the love!

My Nominees

Each of these blogs has filled my soul to the brim with Christ’s goodness. Some are serious, some are lyrical, and some just deliver a belly laugh through your tears!

Thanks to each lady who has poured herself into each carefully-crafted blog! You’re all an inspiration to me! Consider this my thank you note to you from my grateful heart.

Listed IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER!

Encountering God in My Ordinary Life (Stacey Pardoe)

Debbie Wilkins Baisden

Glenna Marshall

Finding Peace in God’s Word (Sarah Geringer)

Created to Sparkle – Matthew 5:16 (Erin Whitmer)

Walk With Me (Lisa Barrickman)

Loving the Wounded Child (Lindsey Z.)

Stuff of Heaven (Julie Holmquist)

Blossom in Faith (Kelly Basham)

Making Much of Him 365 – Psalm 36:5 (Sarah Farish)

An Invitation to Study God’s Word During the Ordinary Days (Sara E. Frazer)

 

And the Questions are…

What was your favorite subject in school?

What is your greatest temptation?

Who do you call when you can’t sleep?

What do you love most about your oldest friend?

What’s your favorite act of random kindness to give?

What have life’s struggles taught you?

What’s the best advice you’ve received about life?

Do you have a background in writing?

What’s the most daring challenge you’ve accepted?

Do you prefer school or work?

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Whew! That was fun and exhausting! Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Again, I’m super grateful to have been nominated. Blessings to each of the new nominees, all my blogger friends who offered their blogs for nomination, and all you precious readers!

 

 

GIVEAWAY!

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Leave a comment by September 30th to be entered to win your very own copy of  Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World by Micah Maddox (*THIS IS A CHANGE*)! Winner will be emailed in early October.  Bonus for bloggers: If you’re the winner, I’ll feature your blog on mine and on social media during October!

Congrats to our August giveaway winner, Maureen B! Since she’s also a blogger, I’ll be featuring her blog this month! Click here to enjoy!

FOR READERS: September Inspiration!

Be inspired by other moms braving back to school and new beginnings! Click here to read their stories!

FOR BLOGGERS: Welcome to the Mom-ventures Monthly Link Up!

September Theme: Back to School & New Beginnings

  • Feel free to share a post recounting how Christ has seen you through this busy back to school season or simply any new beginning!
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