Have you ever read a book that resonated with you?

I just put down a well-written, humorous yet poignant, behind the scenes story of a life that looked so perfect to me.

But, things aren’t always as they appear are they?

 

Pretty Zinnia with Honey Bee | My Reach for Perfection and the Book, So Close to Amazing

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I remember wearing a new outfit to elementary school that my mom made for me.  Back then, most of my school clothes were handmade, except that special outfit my Aunt Martha would buy for my birthday or Christmas.  My mom was pretty good with the sewing machine, actually, most everything involving a needle including putting needles in the veins of her patients when no one else could.

On this particular day, Susan, a girl in my class, complimented my outfit and said, “Your dad must be rich.”

Isn’t it funny how I, an only child with older parents, who never felt like she was good enough for her mom, or never felt like she fit in anywhere and wore handmade clothes, would be considered rich?

My ears could hardly believe what I was hearing.

Our little family was far from rich monetarily.  However, my dad was rich… rich with the time he gave me… rich with the insights he instilled in me… rich with encouragement… and rich in his faithfulness of getting me to church each week.

In spite of how I felt… I did have a degree of confidence.  And that confidence came from my father who in his own way poured into me in the best way he knew how AND believed in me.

I sometimes wonder if those of us who strive at perfectionism are the very ones who see ourselves as far from perfect, feel insecure, and struggle with finding our place in life?

Certainly, I would be among the first to tell you that perfection is over-rated.  Yet daily I struggle to attain it in some area of my life.

It’s exhausting, wearying to the bone.  And I fail at it over and over and over.

In her new book, So Close to Amazing, KariAnne Wood of Thistlewood Farms blog shares story after DIY story of those times when she thought she had the perfect plan, outfit, project, or pancake, and it ended up being anything but amazing.

 

My Reach for Perfection and the book review, So Close to Amazing

 

The thing is… KariAnne didn’t waste those experiences.  Over time she allowed God to use them to guide and teach her, though sometimes with her heels dug in.

I’m discovering that more often than not, we need God to show us how to DIY our hearts more than we need to DIY our homes.

Those prayers that have gone unanswered…

Those job losses…

Those dashed dreams…

Those hard relationships…

Those weather events…

Those creative adventures that go south…

There is no doubt in my mind that God can instantaneously change or correct those circumstances so that everything thing turns out perfectly.  But he doesn’t.  He allows the course of events, more often than not, to continue their natural path.  When I’m in the midst of those trying times I wish he would “do something!”

The thing is… he is… we just can’t see it.

He has a totally different idea of what is amazing… of what is perfection… than we do.  And if we’re just a little bit pliable to his working in our hearts and lives he will work in and through us and these situations for our good and his glory.

We need to assess our mindset when we’re in the middle of a situation.  Are we so bent on a certain outcome that we have closed ourselves off to another possibility God has for us?  Maybe we’re trying to control the situation when the best thing we can do is move over and let God take the wheel. Or maybe we need to give up the chase for perfection and chase the God who chases after us.

I don’t want to go all cliche’ on you… but here’s the deal… God is God… I’m not God, you’re not God… God is not our sugar daddy or our fairy godmother.

He’s real.  He’s powerful.  He’s all knowing.  He’s loving.  And HE IS TRUSTWORTHY.

When I’m bent on perfectionism… I’m trusting myself… not God.

When I see that the grass is a more beautiful carpet of green over there… I’m comparing… and when I do that I decrease my God-given value and devalue all he has given me.

 

Perfection and my reaction to reading the book, "So Close to Amazing" by KariAnne Wood

 

So Close to Amazing is a good read and I highly recommend it.

What’s interesting to me, is that I was surprised by how it brought to the surface something that I told you, just last week, I had gotten a handle on.

Comparison.

I have no trouble celebrating a friend’s success.

Where I struggle is getting all analytical and measuring my lack of success to someone else’s success and then berating myself.

Here’s the thing.  Karianne is amazing.  She’s talented, gifted, creative, and beautiful.  On the surface, she lives a storybook life in her completely renovated farmhouse with her loving husband and wonderful children.  While in the book, she shares the not-so-amazing side we don’t see. Yet, I get out my yardstick and measure myself to everything she has put her hand to which has turned out truly amazing.

That’s wrong.

I’m sorry Karrianne and I’m sorry Jesus.

Today I’m going to put my measuring stick back down and celebrate and be thankful.

Celebrate Karianne’s success with her home, her family, her blog, and her new book.

I’m going to be thankful for the talents and gifts and the wonderful husband that I’ve been given.

 

Dragon fly | The unrealistic reach for perfection

 

And I might even pick up the book again to re-read a few of those well-written and wonderfully well-told stories.

It’s such an engaging read that I devoured the book in two sittings.  Its 200 hundred pages will make you laugh, touch your heart, and maybe even cause your eyes to get a little misty.

I pre-ordered my book on Amazon, here’s the link to order your copy of So Close to Amazing HERE.

 

Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.

Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Be firm in your faith and resist him, because you know that other believers in all the world are going through the same kind of sufferings. But after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who calls you to share his eternal glory in union with Christ, will himself perfect you and give you firmness, strength, and a sure foundation.
1 Peter 5:6-10

We’re in this together.

Life in all its intricacies will be difficult for each of us.  We have been given a sure hope, a firm foundation in Christ.

It isn’t our attempt at perfection or all our striving that will ultimately make a difference.

“Christ, will himself perfect you.”

Let’s encourage each other, celebrate each other, help each other, and bless each other.

And lock arms and move ahead in God’s amazing grace.

 

Do you struggle with perfectionism or comparison?  

If you do… how do you navigate those challenging waters?
Pin It to remember for Later because it's so good - AnExtraordinaryDay.net Inspiring thoughts for overcoming perfectionism when all you want is the perfect body, the perfect outfit, the perfect house, and really the perfect life. Devotional

 

 

Devotional on Perfectionism on JoyDay

 

It’s JoyDay!

 

Walking in JOY is a good thing.  Please join me in thinking back over the past week and counting seven things for which you are thankful.  This simple exercise of counting and giving thanks together in this space is something we do each week to reset our compasses and put our eyes back on the Lord. And ultimately fill our hearts with JOY!

I’ll start…

Thank you, God…

  1. for Your goodness and faithfulness, Lord, each day in our lives.
  2. for a few good sleeps… such a difference it makes.
  3. that we were able to take the kids to walk the pier the other evening, for their first time.  Seeing their excitement and wonder was priceless. 
  4. for the return of summer, in mid-September, although it’s too early for all those leaves You’re coloring. (!!!)
  5. for your continued healing of Tim from shingles.
  6. for the fun of finding pillow fabric together.  I can’t wait to make them! A new colorway for my living room, too.
  7. for my blog and the joy of having this place for reflection and creativity.

Now…it’s YOUR turn!

List your ‘seven’ in the ‘share your extraordinary thoughts’ section below.  You’ll be glad you did.

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your sweet thoughts.May your week overflow with unimaginable Joy! Signature - AnExtraordinaryDay.netReceive FREE inspiration like this in your inbox!
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Comments

  1. I am thankful that God spared my family with only minor damage from Irma when so many in my area had much damage and flooding. Thankful for the lessons God is willing to teach me and the new insights He gives. I’m thankful for the many blogs I read by Christian women. I’m thankful for Bible study. I’m thankful for answered prayer.
    I’m thankful I’ve been married to my best friend for 53 years. Most of all I’m thankful for Jesus coming and dying on the cross and being alive again to give me eternal life.

    • I rejoice with you Nancy that you only received minor damage from the hurricane. What a wonderful blessing, especially as the forecast was so ominous.
      May your week overflow with JOY and peace. {{hugs}}

  2. Happy Sunday my friend,
    As I read your words I have 2 thoughts on comparison that I always told my kids.
    1. The beauty of the hummingbird does not diminish or extinguish the beauty of the butterfly.
    2. Yes the grass IS greener on the other side of the fence. But remember, the water bill is higher.
    Joy Day!
    I Thank you Lord for,
    1. My dad came home from hospital
    2. Fall is on the way. The cooler weather, the sights, sounds smells…aww
    3. Husband and 2 of our sons were able to go to a movie.
    4. The small summer storm we had last week. Made everything smell fresh and clean.
    5.The early morning birds that sing to me from my trees.
    6. The hummingbirds
    7. And the butterflies
    Blessings to you!
    Minnie

    • Happy Sunday to you, too, Minnie!
      I love the thoughts you shared with your children… so much wisdom there.
      Praising God with you for the good things he has done in your life this week… especially your dad coming home from the hospital.
      May your heart overflow with JOY and gratitude in this new week!! {{hugs}}

  3. Joy Day!
    It’s the wee hours of the morning. I’m awake. It’s hard for me to see in the night but I decided to write
    1. I enjoy the few blogs I read. I liked the photos today. A zinnia. I miss zinnias.
    2. I’m a bit of a perfectionist but I am not sure why. Thank you Lord that my house got put back together and that with help from a friend, I was able to host a gathering.
    3. I’m thankful Baby grandson grew well.
    4. I’m thankful I did get a ride for tomorrow.
    5. Lord it’s been a hard ten days. Yet you continue to help me. I’m amazed at all you open my eyes to learn.
    6. I saw a hummingbird and that was a huge delight.
    7. Lord I am weary. Tired. Sore. Head odd. Help me at this point of life where I feel abandoned yet I know I’m not totally. Thank you for my friends. For cool evenings so the windows can be open at night. For the sound of crickets. Help me Lord to focus on this and not the sorrows.

  4. Oh Diane … you have such a lovely ‘little space’ here. I am not sure how I found you, but am thankful that I did. Perfection has always been something that I would strive for, but never quite seemed to get there. I thank God each and every day that He has taught me to be happy and content as we live simply and frugally and that I do not have to be perfect to find joy in my life.
    1. I am thankful for having just celebrated 49 years of marriage with my high school sweetheart and my very best friend.
    2. I am thankful for our son, ‘daughter’ and grand doggy who live just a few blocks from us.
    3. I am thankful for being content in our tiny cottage that we have lived in all of our married years.
    4. I thankful for simple and frugal living.
    5. I am thankful for the our church and the wonderful fellowship that we are blessed with there.
    6. I am thankful for the sweet friendships of ‘bloggy’ friends who are like minded.
    7. I am so very thankful for the fall season … I love everything fall.
    I hope that you have blessed and joy filled weekend.
    Homespun Hugs ♥ Teri

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