Being a Person God Can Use, Resisting Perfectionism, Encouragement, Resting, and Shutting It

What’s Happening 7/29/17

What I am Reading: Thank goodness, my book limbo has ended. I am finishing up Joyce Meyer’s A Leader in the Making and have really enjoyed it. It is helping me to realize that I want to serve and am called to serve God in building up his Kingdom in some way. She is very relatable and has good, practical suggestions for finding your calling and overcoming heart and character problems in order to be a good leader. I can’t recommend this book enough for the person who is looking to grow into a person God can use to serve others.

What I am thinking: Perfectionism is the pest that comes into your home via the weep holes in the bricks, makes its home in your kitchen, coming and going, eating all your goodies saved for another day, running off with pita chips in his mouth, pooping on your shelves, finds a wife and has a nice little pest family, starts a business, founds a village… In other words, it grows in power–one little doubt or fear about how this creative effort will be received or how it compares to the other great stuff out there, how I am unworthy, how I will embarrass myself–once you give in to that, you give it power. It sends the message to your inner sweet little girl artist that she is not enough or worthy of this artistic endeavor and this stifles her future efforts, eventually shutting them down altogether. I am thinking (but haven’t committed yet) that I might try to write a daily post. I think that the requirement will compel me to get more creative, stretch me out of my comfort zone, and look for inspiration at all times. If I am having to post something every day, it certainly won’t be perfect, but the more I post, the better I will get and the stronger I will become in defeating the perfectionism pest. I recently read this article on writing and Iron Maiden that for one, made me want to listen to Iron Maiden, and also, supports this idea of just creating prolifically, trusting that some stuff will be mediocre, but some will be great–I think that is the route I need to take with this blog thing to take some pressure off, keep it fun, and help me grow past my fears…

What I am thankful for: I am thankful for this blog, first of all. I was really struggling to find fulfillment in the stay-at-home mom life. God gave me the desire and the resources to begin work on this, and I have benefitted a lot already. Apparently, I really needed a creative outlet. I am also very thankful for the small encouragements I have received recently–God has been gently speaking to me to not give up and giving me confidence that he will use these efforts of mine in some way. I am starting to see some small signs of growth with the readership of this blog. Also, my mother spoke some kind words about my writing the other day that meant so much to me, who struggles with self-confidence, especially in this new endeavor. This is a good reminder to me to be sure to tell people when I appreciate something they have done because you never know how much that may mean to them. That may be the word from the Lord they needed that day to encourage them to keep going. We are surrounded by a world that is often selfish and cold and trying to tear down every gentle and good thing. We need to counter that with words and actions of love and encouragement when it is genuinely felt.

What I am looking forward to: Summer has ramped up to its height now–we are in the dog days–the heat is unbearable and we have been going going going–stayacation week, VBS, Art camp (some of my daughter’s art is in the photo above), swim lessons… I am very thankful for the opportunities we have enjoyed this summer, but I am really looking forward to some “ordinary time”–just having some extra time to not have to hustle here, endure the heat there–to slow down and rest a bit.

What I am working on: I am still trying to shut my mouth when anger rears its ugly head again–yesterday I had a small success. I could feel the old familiar resentment building in me toward my husband for the same old same old–you married people know what I mean–different problems, but similar patterns, probably. This time, unlike most other times, I resisted the temptation to let loose my feelings. I just kept it to myself and waited. I realized later as I was running some errands that I was happy I had not spoken in anger to my husband and whispered a prayer of thanks to God. I certainly avoided another bad day of the ugly pattern we have developed by keeping my mouth shut. Later, when I had a bit more clear-headedness, I spoke to him of my concern, and because I wasn’t breathing fire and being condescending, amazingly, he listened and we COMMUNICATED! Thanks be to God! Help me to do it again today!

What’s happening with you? Any successes to share?

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