Our Life...

Our Life...
...summed up in one photo.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

About a Garden and a Recovering Perfectionist

Yep, it's about me. Surprised?  Nah, didn't think you would be if you know me at all. I'm a perfectionist.  It's still strange to hear myself admit that. Up until a few years ago I really didn't think that lable fit me. I figured if I was a perfectionist, things in my house would be more perfect and so would I.  Yeah, I realize that's all part of the problem. :)  I know some people can actually use their perfectionism for good rather than evil, :>) but mine usually lands me smack dab in the middle of a state of paralysis.
Sunflowers from the Garden - 2011
Anyway, on to the case in point: The garden.

When the hubster first mentioned it, I really bulked at the idea of doing one. But the more we talked about it, there really wasn't a good reason not to do it.  The yard has a nice big plot already marked out for a garden. Chris was willing to do the tilling. The seeds were cheap.  We are trying to eat healthier. We could save some money. And besides, at the time I was homeschooling, so we could count it as science. (Yes, I'm kidding. Well...no, actually I'm not.)

The only thing holding me back was this darn perfectionism and the subsequent excuses.  How in the world would I keep up with the weeds?  I don't know anything about gardening.  I don't really want to or have time to read about gardening. And on...and on...and on....

God has been gently dealing with this perfectionism stuff in my life for a while now. He's much kinder than I am about it, thankfully. I usually want myself to just "get over it". I know that it can paralyze me in many areas of my life. It makes me not want to attempt things at times if I know I can't do them perfectly.  Which is such a joke, because we aren't going to do things perfectly, because we aren't perfect.  But, I suppose if this was a rational issue, I would have reasoned it out long ago. 

As I continue in this "recovery" from perfectionism, I think it comes down to knowing that "just being" is enough. What I do or say or don't do or don't say; doesn't define who I am. My value is in God's love for me and learning AND believing what He says about me. And thankfully, no where in my bible does it say that if I have a garden full of weeds or a messy house or some extra weight to get rid of, that I am less than HIS. Or that He loves me any more or less because of anything I do or don't do.

Yes, of course, there is value to tending to the weeds in the garden, keeping my house liveable and being a healthy weight. But I can't wait until I get those things all lined up to start living. The living is now. Right in the midst of the weeds, a less than organized house and my full-figuredness.
Carson Enjoying a Carrot
So, we did a garden last year (2010).  It was pretty exciting when we had lettuce and spinach by the end of May.  And then in June 2010, I had surgery on my toe. No bending, no squatting or anything that would put pressure on my toes. The weeds went nuts.  And amazingly, I didn't. (some may argue that's because I already was, but nevertheless...)

We enjoyed the garden for what it was. The kids loved to help pull the veggies out when they were ready. They were more willing to try things they normally would not.  It was wonderful and little by little I realized that it was ok to just do it and not expect perfection. It was ok that there were weeds in the garden. It was even ok that by the end of summer there were more weeds than "real plants".  We enjoyed what grew, which was so much more than I expected.  And maybe...just maybe, that was part of the bigger lesson. Learning to enjoy the blessings God has given me and relax in the middle of my wonderful, but imperfect life.

 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.   
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

1 comment:

  1. There is an Alabama song that I sing to her all the time..."She's close enough to perfect for me."