Thursday, October 5, 2017

My name is Gina, and I am a perfectionist......

It is true.
I am a perfectionist.

There are a lot of misconceptions
about perfectionists
the main one being
that they do everything well.
That is not true.
In fact,
most perfectionists spend so much time
on minute details
that they don't complete tasks
or if they do,
they complete late,
and feeling as if they've failed miserably.

You see,
a perfectionist is not perfect!
No, they simply expect perfection of themselves -
and, unfortunately, sometimes others.
When they do not achieve perfection -
which, of course, they cannot -
they cannot let it go,
berate themselves,
and are very likely not to attempt again
the failed project.

It has taken me a lot of years,
a great deal of effort,
and no small amount of prayer
to begin to give myself a break.
But now and again......

About a year ago,
I undertook a project.
Something I expected I would love!
But I can't seem to get it right!
For nearly a year,
I have tried and failed.
and over
and over again.
It leaves me feeling incompetent.
But I am determined not to quit
out of fear of not ever getting it right!!!
It -
and I -
have potential!!!
And I'm getting closer to getting it right
with every single attempt!
I'm learning much about the project,
my mentor in the project,
and myself! 
Quitting is not an option!!!

I have realized that following Christ
is very similar!
We want to do it right.
And when we fail -
and we will fail -
we are tempted to give up,
But God is an infinitely patient and gentle mentor!
And as we struggle to get it right,
we learn more about being a believer, a follower,
more about our Father, Saviour, and Comforter,
and more about ourselves.

My project will never be perfect.
But it will get better and better each time.
And we will never reach Christian perfection
this side of Heaven.
But we will grow and thrive,
and become closer and closer to our Creator, Saviour, Friend. 

I read something recently.

Tonight, I am resting from my project.
And when my soul becomes weary of 
the struggle for Christian perfection,
I rest in my Comforter.
I do not quit!

Are you weary of the struggle to get it right?
Don't quit!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Beauty from ashes

I have a situation.
It is an ongoing relational issue
with an individual about whom I care deeply.
One I cannot fix or change.
Believe me, I have tried!

I recently thought that progress had been made.
Apparently not.
I have been so hopeful and clinging to
the tiniest indication of improved relationship.
And I have found myself
incredibly sad today.

Then the Lord,
my faithful Comforter,
reminded me of a number of things.

I have a grandchild
who was conceived outside of marriage.
Those of you who read me regularly can guess that,
even if our daughter had not been just 17,
this was not news we would have relished.
We were heartbroken.
And excited.

A few years ago,
I had become restless at a job.
I liked the people I worked with,
there were no real issues,
I simply was restless.
Along came an unsolicited invitation
to apply for a newly created position with another company
at a significant increase in pay
and with a title I had longed for
and worked toward for several years.
I interviewed, was offered and accepted said job.
I hated it!
And, just six months later,
the position was eliminated and I was unemployed.
I was devastated.
And overjoyed.

Nearly six years ago,
I learned that I would soon be widowed.
Eight months and three days later,
I was.
don't even begin to touch where I was.
For many, many months,
I was not sure I would recover.
Or that I wanted to.
But I did survive.
And eventually thrived.
God carried me through
to acceptance, hope, healing,
and new life. 

There have been many, many other
disappointments and hurts in my life.
And in all of them,
He has carried me through,
brought beauty from ashes.

Because of the heartache of teenage pregnancy,
I have a marvelous grandson who has brought
immeasurable joy to our lives!

Because I lost my job,
I went to work for a place doing a job I loved,
but I would never, ever, ever
have considered applying for the position
I so cherished from any other job I ever held!

God's infinite mercy and grace
brought my sweet Lanny Love and I
out of agonizing grief
and into a delightful, joyous, loving marriage.

Why do bad things happen?
I don't really understand why.
But this I do understand!
absolutely nothing,
happens in our lives
that has not passed by Him first.

I don't understand this current relationship heartache.
But I understand this.
God knows all about it.
And there will be beauty from these ashes!

He will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
                                                          ~~ Isaiah 61:3 NLT