Monthly Archives: June 2014

the perfect relationship

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I dated a guy once that told me he didn’t think I was being my “real self” with him. He knew me for quite a while before we dated, so he had seen glimpses of my personality prior to us being in a dating relationship. And he was probably right. I tried to photoshop my life by fixing all of the things I saw as imperfections. I tried to make myself perfect so in turn I could have the perfect relationship.

I was SURE I was dating the perfect man, so if I just fixed myself, I could manipulate my way around what would end up being the perfect relationship. No flaws, just blissful love.

Not sure if you’re aware of this or not, but humans are sinful. Two humans together does not equal sinlessness. No matter how perfect I pretend to be, it doesn’t get rid of my sin.

Expecting perfection also puts unrealistic expectations on the person I’m dating. To assume that this man is without sin and will never hurt me/tick me off/make me cry/drink the last Dr. Pepper is dumb. Just really really really really really so dumb.

The only “cure” to this pesky little desire of perfection is to look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12) and allow Him to transform my heart, making me more like Himself.

Expecting perfection in a relationship isn’t fair. It isn’t fair to my significant other and it isn’t fair to me.

Instead of expecting perfection, I need to expect grace. I need to be ready to extend it when I’m hurt, and I need to be ready to receive it when I’ve done the hurting.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy & beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.-Colossians 3:12-14

I don’t put on perfection. I put on Jesus and let Him work in me.

(to see the full SNL skit where the picture above was snatched from, click here!)

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I need to be Perfect

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Let’s be honest. Us ladies ride the struggle bus all the way to Perfection Point a lot. I’m pretty sure I have a frequent rider card at this point. I feel a deep need to have all my ducks in a row. I need to keep everything in my life lined up perfectly so I don’t screw things up. A few stories to illustrate:

1) I was at FCA Girls Sports Camp last week and when it was close to the closing of camp and we needed girls to fill out camper evaluations, I literally stood, frozen, in the middle of the room because girls were kinda crazy and it wasn’t perfect so I didn’t know where to start. I literally froze because the atmosphere wasn’t “perfect” to me. And it wasn’t an elegant frozen state like Elsa.

2) Last week while I was at the camp mentioned above, I got a little anxious when my blog flow was thrown off because I didn’t have a chance to write a new entry. My perfect streak of a new post every week was gone, so I “fixed” it by letting the world (really just my Facebook world) know that I was at camp doing some holy things so I couldn’t post anything. I made sure my image was intact.

3) This afternoon after work, I fell asleep on my couch for 2 hours because I feel like I haven’t stopped moving in 10 days and I’m exhausted. I needed a good nap and I got one. When I woke up and realized it’s Wednesday and time to write, I had an argument with myself on whether or not I should go to Starbucks and write or if it would be okay for me to just sit on my living room floor and type some words. My thought process went a little like this: if I don’t go to Starbucks the atmosphere I’m used to won’t be the same, therefore the writing won’t be as good. I needed the perfect seat in the corner with the perfect cup of coffee to make sure that my writing is perfect. And yes, I’m in that seat in the corner with that cup of coffee as I type…(insert heavy eye roll here)

Now that I think of it and write it out, maybe I just have OCD. Who knows.

My point in all of this is that I’ve been relying A LOT on myself lately. I feel the need to be “perfect” (whatever that means: emotionally, spiritually, physically, etc…).

If I miss a day at the gym, I don’t give myself grace. If I forget to pray a certain amount of time, I don’t give myself grace. If I don’t have the right answer for a friend in need, I don’t give myself grace.

I’ve been trusting myself with the seemingly little details of life and only relying on God when I crash and burn. I try to fix myself up before I come to Jesus, assuming that He won’t want someone that doesn’t have everything figured out on her own.

Jesus tells us in Mark 2:17-

Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.

I don’t know where this need for perfection comes from. I don’t know where I think I need ultimate control over my life. I do know that every time I rely on myself I fail. I also know that I have a Savior that blatantly tells me over and over again in Scripture that I don’t have to fix myself. He has called me, loves me, and saves me because He can. Not because my perfection has earned it.

A sweet friend asked how she could be praying for me this week. When I told her, “that I would let go of perfection and fixing myself.” She shared a little nugget of wisdom from her mom: My imperfection demands the Lord’s presence which is glorious because we have a Savior who rises to every occasion.

May we all rest in that truth this week: that we need Jesus and He is always there to love us, especially when we aren’t perfect.

*this week didn’t have much to do with dating/relationships/singleness. don’t worry, that discussion on perfection will come next week! (you’re so excited…I know…I know…)

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the illusion of happiness

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I like to think I’m a fairly happy person.
I also know I can fake happiness pretty easily when I need to.
I ALSO know that I rely on my emotions (specifically the happy emotion) to dictate my reality WAY too often.

I think we all just want to be happy in life. When you talk to people (myself included) about their future, the response is usually, “I want to get married, have kids, a good job, and be happy.”

According to the internets, the definition of happy is: feeling pleasure or enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.

That’s great and all, but what happens when your life, situation, etc. doesn’t shake out the way you thought it would?

What happens when you’re a newlywed and you find out you can’t have children?
When you’re 47 and your dreams of being a wife and mother seem unreachable?
When you’re a widow at the age of 25?

Where is your happiness then?

I think we trick ourselves in to thinking that happiness is sustainable. That if we can just “be happy” everything else will fall in to place. But that’s an illusion. That’s not real life. Happiness is fickle and can change in an instant.

I need joy, not happiness. Joy (again, defined by the internets) is: a settled state of contentment, confidence, and hope.

I really love that. Because my settled state of contentment, confidence, and hope can be on Jesus and He doesn’t change!!

My emotions are famous for changing at the drop of a hat. Literally. Dropping a hat could make me cry.
But praise God my heart can be settled on Jesus and He is my source of joy.

Sure, happiness comes out of joy, but the Lord sustains my joy regardless of my circumstance.

When you’re a newlywed and find out you can’t have children, God is still God.
When you’re 47 and your dreams of being a wife and mother seem unreachable, God is still God.
When you’re a widow at the age of 25, God is still God.

And He is still good.

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