(This is part two of a three part series. In part one, I explored the idea of When Good Enough Isn’t and compromise). I look forward to hearing your thoughts!)
Years ago, I was driving around town with a dear friend. This special lady is an older woman in my life, and has a boatload of wisdom. As I shared my thoughts with her — my desires for living this life well—she gently said something that’s stayed with me. It went along the lines of, “Perhaps you need to lower your standards for yourself, just a little.”
I’m blind when it comes to seeing when my expectations might be a tad too high. I keep striving to attain them, to live to the letter of the law.
Grace? Of course, I accept it.
When I’ve fallen flat on my face. Again.
Sometimes accepting good-enough is God’s best for me. He never places an expectation of perfection on His children. He offers me His grace, which is what’s required to learn how to live in the place of good-enough.
Perfection requires that I be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect friend—pouring myself out for everyone else, always patient, kind, sweet. Perfection requires that I have it all together for others to see. And for my supposed peace of mind.
Perfection leaves me in a pool of frustrated tears when I fall short. Again.
I’m learning to walk in the land of good-enough. This good-enough doesn’t mean compromising God’s best intentions when they don’t come on my time frame.
This good-enough is being content with where God has me right now. It’s being okay with the fact that I don’t have it all together, but I’m trying to be the woman God’s created me to be.
Good enough means my house will rarely be perfectly dusted, cleaned, and shiny. Let’s face it, I live in a home filled with testosterone. If my house ever shines, it’s only for about two seconds.
Good enough means I’m not striving to live up to standards others place on me, or that I perceive others placing in me. Rather, I’m learning what God wants from me, and I’m making those things my focus.
In my life good-enough looks like a kitchen counter that usually sports piles of papers, recipes and things I need to deal with . . . one of these days. Dust settling on the flat surfaces that only see a duster every couple months.
It looks like messy moments with our boys as they struggle through figuring out life. Sometimes I’m impatient, and I have to go back and ask forgiveness.
Good enough sometimes looks like my attempts at doing bible study with my boys resulting in one boy being pithy rather than pious. His being sarcastic rather than soft. His response is not a reflection on me as his mother. But, it’s a hint at where his heart is right now.
Do I like it? No. But, my response to his words is what he’ll remember. Am I going to try to coerce him into enjoying bible study today? No. I need to accept that his heart isn’t in a place where he’s really open to God. Today. My best efforts at helping him learn how to seek Jesus need to be good enough.
It’s a two-way effort, and I’m only accountable for my heart and responses, not for his. God has to work in his heart.
Good-enough means I seek to have my priorities aligned with God’s. Not with my expectations of where I should be as a wife, a mom, a friend, a writer.
I can’t do everything well, much less perfectly. I’m human. Let’s face it, I (may I say, “we?”) need Jesus’ presence in our lives . . .
. . . His wisdom guiding us,
. . . His grace filling us . . .
to do anything well.
When I’m in alignment with where God wants me to be—physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally—I’m in a good enough place for Him to work in and through me.
And that’s good enough for me.
What about you? If you struggle with perfectionistic tendencies, how do you keep them at bay? What does “good enough” look like for you?