Ditching the Pursuit of Perfection

** Post includes 2 book girls’ devotional giveaway

 pursuit of perfection

Initially….

Years ago, when I was a young single girl (don’t even try to figure out how long ago this was!), I kept my tiny apartment in mint condition. Every article of clothing hung gracefully on the hanger and all articles faced the same direction. Each item had a place and occupied that place routinely. One *might* say things were perfect.

Then…

Then I got married and though I worked full-time, things were still kept in order. Dishes were washed…papers were filed…I kept things neat and tidy and more.

A Bit Later…

When I had my first child, I noticed it was a tad more demanding to keep things as “perfect” as I used to, but continually cleaned and fussed over my home, doing my best to keep everything perfectly in order. I have a confession to make: I didn’t go to bed unless the toilet paper was hanging properly in the bathroom. That’s how serious it was. I stressed myself, very unnecessarily so, to keep everything absolutely clean, neat, and beautiful- to a fault.

Eventually…

Eventually I found myself in a hard place; I had made it such a habit of keeping up with things that I failed to keep up with people. I learned the hard way that:

Pursuing perfection is not a place in your home; it’s a space in your heart.

You see, when I look at myself in those early years, I see things in order, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all, except the priority I placed on having things in order consumed my heart. And when I take a peek back at that time of my life focused on the pursuit of perfection, I regret the emphasis I placed on having things perfectly in order.

Over the Years…

Over the years, God did a work in my heart that he continues to do to this day. While I still LOVE having things in order, if you came to my house, you would see that some of it is NOT in order. Learning to ditch the pursuit of perfection in my surroundings has been quite the battle for me.Below you will find the 4 lessons I’ve learned in the process.

4 Lessons I Learned in Ditching the Pursuit of Perfection

1. Routines are wonderful and order is a necessary part of life; but routines should not dictate every moment of the day.

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

2. Relationships should always supersede routines.

 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.Phil. 2:3-4

3. Pursuing a heart perfect towards God will enable choosing appropriate priorities in life.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

4. God sees me as perfect through the blood of Jesus and he is continually perfecting my heart.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:6

Teaching My Children to Pursue the Right Kind of Perfection

Last week I had a conversation with the kids about why it’s okay if we pile the dishes up in the sink one night and play a board game instead of making sure every.single.dish is washed and put away before we go to bed. Now mind you, I love waking up to a clean kitchen. Love it! But, if I have to choose between making sure every.single.dish is dried and put away and having time to play a game with the kids, then a few dishes can wait.

Using the season of spring break to infuse our relationships was more important than a  few dirty dishes and I want my kids to remember seizing the moment of making memories.

Brave Girls Books Giveaway

I’m so thrilled to introduce these two 90 day devotionals for girls that will impress the lesson of pursuing the right kind of perfection straight on their hearts!


Brave Girls: Better Than Perfect: A 90-Day Devotional

This 90 day devotional for girls encourages the understand that though life may look like a bunch of messy puzzle pieces at times, God sees the bigger picture. He is the one who creates beautiful art from fragments. The truths covered in this devotional are timeless!


Brave Girls: Faithful Friends: A 90-Day Devotional

What does the Bible say about friends, both choosing and keeping? To have a friend, you have to be a friend! Pretty simple, but oh, so important, especially for ages 7-11.

The Brave Girls engaging devotionals nurture self-esteem and relationship skills- two of the traits that can prevent us from the pursuit of perfection without balance.

I’m excited to be giving away one copy of these two books to one winner. Giveaway closes at 12:00 am 4/2. Just leave a comment answering the question:

What thought have you discovered to encourage you or your child to be the best you can be without chasing perfection?

Rachel

 

 

Disclosure: Books provided by publisher; all opinions are my own. Post includes affiliate links; site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.

3 Christian Principles That Ground Sean & Catherine’s Marriage

Special note: While I don’t support the show, The Bachelor, in the spirit of supporting Christian marriages, I am choosing to encourage Sean & Catherine in their faith. I’m proud of their stand and this post, 3 Christian principles that ground Sean & Catherine’s marriage, is a great example of love that gives.for the right reasons

This is an exclusive guest post written by The Bachelor’s Sean Lowe. Sean fell in love with Catherine Giudici and they married in a nationally-televised fairytale last January. But this is just the beginning for the newlyweds. 

In his new autobiography, For The Right Reasons, Sean tells all about the backstage drama that fuels The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, how he overcame heartbreak to find his true love, and the personal struggles and Christian faith that have made him the man he is today.

Staying Humble  

One thing I’ve had to learn during our marriage is to humble myself each and every day. Having to be right about something can quickly lead to butting heads over even the smallest issues. If I’m not willing to humble myself, I’ll just go on believing I’m right regardless of what Catherine says, because in those situations, I’m not really listening to her.

I have to get humble and slow myself down. Then, I can listen to her point of view and we can really start to talk things out. As newlyweds, this isn’t easy for either of us, but it’s something that we both realize is important.

Putting Catherine’s Needs First

I’ve also learned the importance – actually the necessity – of putting Catherine’s needs before mine. I truly have to be concerned about her well-being above my own. Having recently been a single guy, this is tough! It goes against all human nature about self-preservation, but that’s why it’s so special. It’s marriage, where two become one. In a sense, I’m not just putting her needs above mine, I’m putting our needs above my own selfish desires.

Letting The Small Things Stay Small

Forgiveness is important in any relationship. Even when there’s not something really serious I need to forgive Catherine for, forgiveness is essentially the act of letting something go.

Every now and then, something as small as where we’re going to eat dinner on a particular night can start an argument. I’ve got tell myself, “Hey, Listen! It’s not that big of a deal. I love my wife with all my heart. I’m going to put this behind me and move on.”

Anything can become a big deal if you make it into a big deal, but that’s just it! Picking a restaurant is not a big deal, it’s a small deal – a very small deal. Letting those small things stay small things can always be a challenge, but it’s so important!

Sean Lowe

 

Learn more about Sean’s new autobiography here, For The Right Reasons, America’s Favorite Bachelor on Faith, Love, Marriage and Why Nice Guys Finish First

 

** Post includes affiliate links. See full disclosure policy here.

Counting Your Blessings At Christmas & Children’s Book Giveaway

a star for me

Typically Thanksgiving is the season we count our blessings, but this sweet new book, A Star for Me, teaches us to continue counting our blessings through the Christmas season. This beautiful large board book (8×10) is accompanied by a sparkling gold star ornament. As you read through the book, you can move the star ornament up the tree until you reach the top. You can read the entire story in one sitting or a few pages at a time through the Advent season.

Oliver, the youngest camel in the caravan, learns to travel and notice the blessings along the journey. Ollie notices that sometimes the things we fail to remember to be thankful for are often the simplest things in life. Designed for ages 4-8. A Star for Me will encourage your child to remember God’s blessings and focus on the greatest blessing of the season, the birth of Jesus. This book is a great one for the family to read together!

Easy to read, rhyming words make this book a pleasure to read and listen to. The problems Olive encounters are easy to relate to and hold a simple humor element that children love. I personally felt that this sweet book opened up conversation about continuing to give thanks, especially at Christmas.

I thought you would enjoy seeing a preview of this sweet book!

 

Who wants to win a copy of this wonderful new Christmas book that is sure to become a Christmas bedtime favorite? I thought you would! Just follow the Rafflecopter.

For more information, check out A Star for Me right here.

It looks like I will have the 2015 Bible reading challenge ready to go at the first of next week! Woohoo!

Have a great weekend!

Rachel

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Product provided by Publisher; all opinions are my own.Site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.