"Thank you so much for telling me that I'm okay."
I was humbled and blown away to hear a variation on these words several times after speaking at last weekend's Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati.
I know the fear well myself--the fear that perhaps I'm not okay, not enough. That I can't do this motherhood gig well, that I can't do this homeschooling gig well. That perhaps I need to hand the job over to someone else.
On top of the two sessions I spoke at, I had the opportunity to sit in on several others. Many fabulous speakers delivered their personal messages, and as I listened two facts struck me:
- none of them were perfect
- God was using them anyway
I never paid much attention before at conventions to the logistics behind a speaker--the technology challenges that sometimes occur in the middle of a presentation, the stumbling over a few words on the way to a point. These amazing men and women stood up to share their hearts and those in the room were able to receive, to be inspired, to change.
I felt encouraged by this as I sat in their sessions, knowing my turn was coming up soon. I didn't have to be perfect to reach listeners. I was okay just as I am.
What I learned as a speaker is true, too, for you as a mother.
We're not perfect mamas, and we don't have to be! What freedom to stumble upon, to understand deep inside where the lie of insecurity tries to take root and grow.
Maybe you shouted at your kids yesterday, really wanted a nap instead of a Lego play session on the floor, or left the laundry unfolded.
We don't have to be perfect for God to use us. We just have to keep showing up.
Apologize for the shouting, take the nap now and agree to play later, get to the laundry tomorrow. (It will still be there, you know.)
God is using us to shape, influence, and teach little lives, and He makes it a practice to take meager efforts and transform them into the miraculous if they're offered in faith.
Lay aside the struggle to be the perfect mom. When we struggle, we can't relax. When we relax, we find we're already good enough.
"Perfectionism is like a monster with hundreds of tentacles and it reaches into every part of our lives and holds on till we can find it and rip it out. The perfectionism monster makes us obsess and do too much as well as procrastinate and do nothing."
~ Marla Cilley, Flylady