Day 6: Let Go of Perfection

31 Days to See Beauty in Your MessI’m spending each day here in the month of October writing about finding beauty in the everyday mess.  Before you think I’m an expert on this topic, let me confess: I’ve likely already lost my temper, prayed that I could have a solo vacation, and held back frustrated tears this morning.  I’m far from having this mastered.  I’m writing here transparently so that you and I might grow in seeking His daily extravagant beauty.  So pull up a chair and get ready to dive into the mess with me, knowing that somewhere in this mess is a beauty that only God can craft.


Aeralind is standing there with her sister in her leotard and new pink slippers. I’m turning out their feet and showing them first position.

Let Go of Perfection

“Good!” I assume first position myself. “Now we plie.”  I show them how to squat with our knees angled out.

Both girls bend too far down and with knees popped forward despite their turned out feet. I stifle a laugh at their awkward adorableness.

“Not quite like that. Let me help you.” I bend to help Bronwyn bow out her legs.  After a few minutes fumbling we find a plie that looks a bit more graceful.

Then I turn to assist Aerie. Her face is crest fallen.

“I don’t want to do it.” She announces. “I’m so sleepy.” She climbs up on the couch and watches her mommy and sister try to move past awkward while attempting plies in second position. I convince her to join again for a curtsy to end our impromptu library book inspired lesson.

Aeralind and Bronwyn both curtsy like a praying mantis on stilts. I smile again at their cuteness.

“I’m not good at this.” Aeralind sulks and climbs back up on the couch.


Perfectionism kills joy and stifles learning, even for a 3 year old.

Let me say it again: Perfectionism kills joy and stifles learning.

The Giver of all good things, He gives us these days.  The days where the toddler boy refuses to nap and the days where he asks over and over to “guggle.” He gives me the days where Aeralind pouts over imperfect ballet form and the moments when she cups my face in her tiny hands and whispers, “You’re my favorite mommy.” Jesus gives me those moments where Bronwyn and I wrestle hourly with her strong will and those rare days when she grabs my hand quietly at the library when it’s time to leave.

When I, through perfectionism, define what is the best gift for me, I am doing two things:

  1. Committing the original sin in the garden. I am saying I want to be as God. I want to determine for myself what is a good and perfect gift.
  2. I am utterly refusing to see and give thanks for the beauty, the extravagant grace, in all of my mess. On those days when nothing goes as I have planned, is not the Lord refining my heart and teaching me patient perseverance? Isn’t that just as good a gift as a day of rainbows and sunshine topped with excellent behavior and a fun activity?

So how can we accept the beautiful gifts he gives even when they’re hard?

Just whisper yes when He gives and lean into Him.

And let go of your vision of perfection. It will never satisfy like Jesus does.