Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Juggler at work!

I am a perfectionist!

How many posts have I started with that line?  It really is true though.  I have a pretty high standard for myself and struggle when I don't live up to it (like I ever really could).  Now, I could just let everything go and not try, but that's not really the answer either.  Finding a middle ground can be hard.  I have been feeling like there are a lot of things I really want to do, but just never get around to or put off until it's too late.  My perfectionism says forget it...you're failing, you're not doing it the way you should.  My middle ground says do what you can.

Lately, I've been trying to live in the middle ground area.  I made some goals for myself-tangible ones.  Perfectionist sometimes make goals like "be a better mother...be a better Christian"--what does that look like and how do you even accomplish a vague thing like that?  So here are the tangible goals I'm working on right now:
  • exercise daily
  • practice my mandolin 15 mins. a day
  • read my Bible and pray every day
  • do devotions with the kids every day
These are all things that I feel like I need to be doing, but often are the first things to go- extras, if you will.  I limited myself to just a few and added them one at a time each week, until I had added them all.  I have several (well, one)  of these down to a habit now--devotions with the kids, check.  The others I still struggle to fit them in.  I have set aside the kids' quiet time to practice my mandolin and exercise, but today I spent that entire time cooking and cleaning the kitchen- exercise for today-check.  I worked up a sweat doing all that, so in my book that counts.  Until my perfectionist voice speaks up- loud and clear. Ahem!

I'm still struggling with setting aside time for my devotions...I wait until bed and then fall asleep halfway through...not the best way.  I need to work out a better schedule for myself but...(fill in the blank with excuses)  There are other goals that I really want to add to my list, but I'm trying to form these habits before I  add more.  Getting overwelmed by too much too soon is not the best approach.

My other goals:
  • a read aloud every day (now, I have to clarify, I do read to my kids everyday  (poetry, science, books about composers, devotions, etc.) but I really want to have this separate piece of literature that we read through.  This is really tough right now.  Tera and Daniel and I used to read like crazy--until I was hoarse sometimes.  Now, enters sweet little Michael.  We love him to death, but he's a very disruptive little booger when it comes to read alouds.   I am doing a read aloud now, but it's sporatic and taking us a whole lot longer. 
  • singing with my husband.  My husband practices his guitar every morning and would like me to set aside time to actually sing with him.  I feel like a chicken with my head cut off most days or here enters sweet little Michael needing a cracker.  This is a goal that right now with our schedule, I just don't see a solution. 
You see, these goals are not just some lofty ideals--they are real passions and desires that I have...that I want to do, but just feel torn in so many directions.

I just heard a Christian Women's speaker and writer say that we shouldn't juggle or be jugglers. That we need to give our full attention to whatever is before us at the moment.   She must have a nanny, cleaning lady, errand runner, potty training coach, math checker, etc.  I feel like I could join the circus and be the best act they've seen a long time.  Sometimes the practical side of life takes over and we do have to juggle the many hats we wear. 

So after all this, where am I in this struggle and what does it all boil down to?  GRACE!  Granting grace to myself, knowing that God (or my family) doesn't expect me to perfect.  Grace and freedom to continue to strive for what works best for us right now in this season.  Grace...grace...grace!  That's the only answer I have and really the only one that matters at all! 

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