top of page

pumpkin spice and perfection(ism)

I admit it. As I am thrilled that pumpkin spice comes to coffee shops this week and I turn another year older this Thursday, I am a perfectionist. As I reflect on these past years of my life, I realize I am a settle-for-nothing, driven, push-to-the-extreme, never-ever-quit kinda girl. Any of you feel this way? While this does come in useful and is a positive trait, just like other positive traits, the enemy can take this to an extreme, where it becomes a problem and we become self-focused instead of God-focused.

This habit of striving for perfection lends itself to a thinking distortion known as “all-or-nothing” thinking. This is such an easy trap to fall into, so I work on this regularly with my counseling clients (and myself). “If I do not receive the job promotion, I am a complete failure in my career.” “If I do not earn acceptance into a certain college, I will never amount to anything in life.” “If my child does not behave well in class, I am the worst mom to ever walk the earth.” “If I get anything less than an A on this exam, I am a failure and will amount to nothing.” These lies so easily creep into our heads and are so difficult to lose!

Our minds are where every action begins. Our mind is where the Lord begins to change our hearts. It is also where lies from the enemy can resonate and we can forget the Truth from God.

We demolish every argument and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

I am learning to be okay with being my best, or “good enough.” Some weeks I just will not be able to wash both bathroom rugs. I will not always be able to create a gourmet dessert to take to the dinner and the (amazing) iced sugar cookies from Wal-Mart must suffice. My girls may not (gasp) coordinate when we go to church. My hair just might not be fixed in a day and I might not get a chance to brush my teeth mid-afternoon like I prefer to feel just a little bit put together. It needs to be okay. It needs to be good enough.

When we expect perfection from ourselves, we are actually putting ourselves in the place of Christ. Yikes! Tough realization, right? We know Jesus is the only perfect One to walk the earth. When we expect perfection - more than simply doing out best, but absolute perfection - are we really acting like we believe it? Probs not.

As a visual culture and with access to media at every turn, we are susceptible to see the beautiful people, beautiful pictures, and beautiful scenery of others’ lives. The bright white pictures of Pinterest with moms in flowing dresses and perfectly coiffed hair bathing their kids in the bathtub makes me question my choice of t-shirt and denim shorts I am wearing when I bathe my kids. It makes me question why my crockpot meal was not displayed on jute placemats with cloth napkins last night. I can compare careers with others while they post pictures from exotic business trips while I sat in the backyard yesterday. I can wonder why I was not hanging out with everyone at the festive event but instead was "partying" in my living room with a cooking show on the Food Network. We can go on, right?

God has given some of us the personality trait as a gift, so we may always be in “recovery” as we keep our drive for perfection in check. We may learn we need to adjust our mindset daily (or multiple times daily) to understand we are not perfect and receive God’s loving grace each day. When we can humble ourselves to comprehend we are God’s daughters and He loves us unconditionally, then we can feel a release of some pressure from perfectionism. We should always be good stewards of the resources, gifts, and abilities that we have received from God, but learn to accept our limitations, content with knowing He is ultimately in control.

How do you handle trying to keep up in the world? I am praying for you as you learn to adjust your mindset to accept God’s grace. I also pray you are able to relax and find contentment in where you are in life. Have a wonderful week. Enjoy the first sips of pumpkin spice - fall in a cup...or whatever drink makes you feel like fall is near!



Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page