(can we say Romans 3:23?!)
But I'm not, and when I'm honest, I'm not fooling anyone, including myself.
Monday, as I started off my regular cleaning to-do's, tackling Sunday's restfilled undoings, laundry and writing grocery lists and meal plans, it hit me; just as soon as I finish this, I'll tackle it all over again next Monday. As I wipe the dust away, I turn around to a resettled layer, which will happily wait to be removed next week....as the last shirt is folded and put away, its bath time and laundry baskets are full again. Its never ending.
There simply isn't a way for me or my doings to ever be perfect.
My battle with perfection doesn't end with my home and its cleanliness, it goes deep into my soul, into who I am as a mama, wife, woman of God. Just as Satan was good at leading Eve away so long ago, he still lurks about attempting to steal joy and hope from our hearts and homes.
Quite a few of my friends and family members have had babies recently and there seems to be a reoccurring theme; complaining about the lack of perfection in our bodies. We joke about it here and there and pin workouts and eating plans in hopes to recover these war torn bodies, but at the heart of it all is a constant wrestling with perfection, shame and dis-contentedness in what's been done.
Today as I sit considering my wish for things to be perfect, or at least a little bit better, I realize what a great tragedy we offer ourselves and to our children to when we allow our minds and hearts to be broken because of the state of our body. I tend to be behind the camera a lot more these days. I tend to say out loud, when children can hear, the let-down I feel toward the body that has seemingly forsaken me. I despise getting dressed; my "pretty clothes" left untouched.
By removing myself, my childbearing hips, my nursing bra wearing body and all from pictures, whether, I realize it or not, is doing a disservice to my children. Do we not hope for our sons to be married and raise godly children? Will their wives bodies not change and be used? Do I not hope for my daughter to have babies and marvel at the grace of God as she wearily stares into the eyes of her newborn baby? They're too young to remember what I look like now, 20 years later, so pictures are a good way to remind them. Remind them of my tenderness, of hours spent in a rocking chair singing old hymns with them cuddled into my soft stomach. Remind them of the tired eyes that held them through illness, that wrapped arms around them to aid the pain of a fall. Remind them of disheveled hair and make-up free faces that laughed at their antics and cared for their needs before considering a blow-dry, some blush or even a shower.
So I'm learning to let go a little bit of my reach for perfection, for its a reach of vain effort. Maybe I'm not so pretty to look at in this stage of my life, but my two year old thinks I'm pretty. He told me that today. I laughed at the irony. Spit-up covered shirt, frumpy sweats and messy hair that was washed on Sunday; pretty. I hope my son tells his wife that someday, when he walks through his door and is greeted by his own beautiful mess like his daddy does.
I'm trying to let go of my need for perfection and fill it with focus on things more important. Raising a godly heritage is our goal as husband and wife, so I'd like to stop working towards trying to appear perfect and rest in the grace of Jesus. In heaven dust doesn't settle, and there's no need for Pilates and make-up. Until then, I'll just wipe dust away week after week as I sport my postpartum hair-loss pony-tail and smile for the camera, so my kids can see my goal was to bring glory to Jesus, not myself.