Note from Erin: I first met Ellen when I had her precious son in my 3-year-old Vacation Bible School class at our church. A couple of days later, I saw a picture of Ellen on Naptime Diaries. I emailed Jessi to ask how she knew Ellen and then Jessi helped Ellen and me get connected on Twitter. Gosh, I love the internet and how it makes the world seem so much smaller! A couple of days after that, I ran into Ellen at a women’s event at church. Since then, Ellen has been a huge source of encouragement to me. She is incredibly wise and has encouraged me so much as a writer and as a mom. I’m so excited to get to share her with all of you today! Please hop on her over to her blog so you can get to know her better.
Ellen Parker blogs at sweetwater where she writes about small joys, everyday messes and the sweet things in the middle.
Just the other day, I pulled into a Starbucks parking lot, whipped out my phone and took a picture of the sky. That’s right. On a busy suburban road, right across the street from the mall where every sixteen year old in the vicinity probably rolled her eyes at me. Next it will be tube socks up to my knees and fanny packs. We might need to call the Grandma police.
But. The thing is it was beautiful and I needed to remember it. Because it was perfect.
Perfect is something that has haunted me much of my adult life. It’s an endless winding road of try and fail. And mostly pitfalls. It’s every morning is an opportunity and every afternoon is filled with not enoughs.
And now that I have been being a human for all of thirty five years? I am finally starting to understand just a little bit how to take perfection chasing off the throne of my life.
It starts with understanding that God is perfect. He just is. And I can’t be. And He doesn’t want that from me. Christ has already covered that for me anyway. So. Now? I am only slightly embarrassed to hold my little phone camera up to a blazing sky in front of the free world. Because I need to remember over and over that the God who makes absolutely beautiful sunsets is the God who loves me; complete and perfect in every way.
This dethroning comes, too, when I’ve come up short. It comes when I’ve been every bit not enough or not like so and so or I’ve just plain made a mess. I’m learning to think in this way: this deep down hurt like sick feeling of fear because I can’t measure up to unrealistic expectations? Christ already felt the weight of that. When He offered himself up for me, He was crushed under the weight of all of my not good enoughs. Yours, too. So I don’t have to feel that crushing weight. And I can say no to it. No to it.
It’s a funny thing. Because all that perfection chasing has really just been chasing freedom and peace. And the very way to find it? Is to lean into my weaknesses so that I can lean into who He is. That’s it. I’m not enough? Help me trust your grace, Lord. Let me wrap myself up in it. It’s the same whether I’m the world’s best at everything or just a mess of a thing. And it’s surely the same when I’m, like, totally old and stuff with my phone pointed at a sunlit sky.