Hi. My name is Elizabeth and I am a perfectionist.
And I am also a scheduler. A planner. I want to know what is happening, when its going to happen, who is going to be there, and all of the details in between. Oh yea, and I want it all to go off exactly as I have planned and envisioned.
This is the way I have been for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid my parents worked hard to NOT tell me what the plans were because they knew if we diverged in even the slightest way I would LOSE MY MIND.
Fast forward to today, I am a mom of 3 kids and I still, somehow, expect everything to go the way I have planned in my head in those 5 quiet minutes before I get myself out of bed every morning. And then the minute they don’t go to plan I begin to feel like all is lost. I allow the ideas that I am failing just slip in and before long they have taken over and I am sure that I just shouldn’t move on any more.
Last year I choose the word “Simple” for my word of the year. I had the idea that I would simplify my life in various ways. Simple routines, simple meals, simple tasks and obligations. However, what I managed to do was the exact opposite. I took on more tasks and obligations, I worked more jobs, I added more people (well, just one more person) to our family. Nothing that I had wanted to accomplish in the last year was done. I spent the last half of the year feeling like I was drowning.
In November I started to think about what my word for 2018 was going to be. I knew I needed to spend some time learning how to “let go and let God” so to speak. I also needed to see if there was/is any way of ensuring that I don’t pass my need for perfect on to my kids. The more and more I thought about it the more one word kept coming to my mind:
I realized what I need to do is focus on giving myself, my kids, and anyone else that I happen to come into contact with a little bit more grace.
The dictionary defines grace as:
(in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
The unmerited favor and the bestowal of blessings. That is what I want to focus on. I want to focus on giving unmerited favor to my kids each and every day and bestowing blessings on them. I want to focus on remembering that they are 7 and 5 and a baby. They are going to make mistakes, they are going to learn and grow.
I want to focus on the fact that I am not perfect. I want to focus on the unmerited favor that I have been given no matter how many times I mess up and how often I try to do things on my own. I want to remember that each day is full of the blessings that God has bestowed on me. First and foremost, in my salvation. Secondly, in the family that He has given me.
A while back I saw a post on Facebook about keeping a jar and a stack of little papers somewhere in the house. Each week you write down something good that has happened during the week. Then on New Year’s Eve you take some time to read back through all the good things that have happened.
This idea really spoke to me. So I made the decision that we are going to be doing that, with a slight modification. I decided that instead of having one big jar for the whole family we are going to have a jar for each kid and one for me and Dusty. Each week, on Saturday before bed we are going to sit down together and talk about the week and each add something good to our own jars. Then a year from now, on New Year’s Eve, we are going to spend time reading through them and remembering the good things that have happened. Remembering the grace we have received and have given over the year.
It is my hope that we will be able to focus more on the good in 2018 and less on the negative things that tend to take place.
Do you choose a word for the year? If so, what have you chosen?