What You Need to Know about Your Work-in-Progress Status

It’s Friday and you’ve survived another week, maybe even another month. Sometimes you wonder how much longer you can keep at it, how much longer you can grind your way through the hard work we call life.

And some days, the hard work defeats us, owns us, and we become less than – less of a wife, less of a mother, less of a daughter of the King, less than we truly desire to be.

We’re tempted then to blame the weariness, the dead weight we’ve been dragging for so long, on our hectic lives.

I’m just too busy.

The phrase slips into my mind so easily, yet I know it’s only a half-truth. Yes, I’ve been busy, but not just with the family schedule. My mind has been busy, too – busy with worries, thoughts, plans, dreams, and even dissatisfaction.

We’re weary women, you and me, and we long for some space to smooth down our frayed edges and quiet our souls, yet we’ve somehow lost the way.

If I’m honest, I have to admit that my biggest problem isn’t my hectic schedule, though. No – the biggest problem is that when my schedule is crazy, my perfectionism and need to control kicks into overdrive. I’m tempted to think if I just work harder and longer, then I can keep myself afloat. 

If I just do everything right….

Unfortunately, I’m not perfect and neither are you. No matter how hard we try, we’re bound to fail at something along the way.

And fail, I have.

I’ve been a grumpy mama and a distracted wife. I’ve offended others in my haste and frustration. I’ve neglected to connect to the only Power Source who can really keep me going in the tough times. I’ve been trying way too hard to do something I cannot possibly do on my own, and boy, is it painful!

Why do we do this to ourselves, my sisters in Christ?  Why do we expect the impossible rather than resting in what we already know to be true?

~I’m sharing three of my favorite truths to fight against the pull perfectionism over at my friend Kaylene’s blog today. It would make my day if you’d hop on over there to find out what you really need to know about your work-in-progress status (and how to get a freebie)!

Sometimes you wonder how much longer you can grind your way through the hard work we call life. You feel too busy, like you're always failing at one thing or another. What you really need to know are these 3 truths about your work-in-progress status.

 

 

Sharing with: Grace and Truth

 

 

The Superwoman Myth Resolved

In the first half of The Superwoman Myth, we discussed how the players of self and others contribute to this myth of womanly perfection.  Today, we finish with the final player.

The final contributor in the saga of the Superwoman Myth  is Satan.

He is the great deceiver and he loves that we fall prey to the myth!

What better way to convince us we are failures than to give us an unattainable goal?

He waits on the sidelines while we struggle and agonize over our own weaknesses, while we look around at all of the women who seem to be living out their faith so much better than we are.

I'm sure you've fallen prey to the lie of the Superwoman Myth before - you know, how you need to do it all and do it all well?!  Learn how to put those lies right in their place with this final freeing truth. The Superwoman Resolved

Debunking the Superwoman Myth

It is then that he strikes – in the middle of that doubt and fear that we’re not good enough, maybe even that we’ll never be good enough.  He knows that if he can get us to focus on our failures, we’ll take our eyes off of Christ.

1 Peter 5:8 warns,

“Be alert and of sober mind.

Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion

looking for someone to devour.”

But Satan is a liar.

The Father proclaims that we don’t have to be perfect because

Christ.

was.

perfect.

for us.

Amen?!  God knows that we are human and that because of sin we are flawed, but the Good News?  He chose to love us anyway!

Romans 5:8 testifies,

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:

while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

When God looks at you, He already sees perfection because of the sacrifice of His Son. That work is already complete!

So, how do we become the best version of ourselves (the one we were created to be), without crossing over into the abyss of worry and guilt that Satan wants us trapped in?

How do we show ourselves grace and avoid falling prey to the Superwoman Myth?

The answer lies in Christ.

I'm sure you've fallen prey to the lie of the Superwoman Myth before - you know, how you need to do it all and do it all well?!  Learn how to put those lies right in their place with this final freeing truth. The Superwoman Resolved

 

We can become the best version of ourselves by abiding in Him, by spending time in His word and in His presence.

It really is that simple.

It’s not in the details of our living, but in the attitude and mindset behind the way we live that matters to the Lord. 

When we realize that He purposefully created us with a unique role to fill, we can stop looking down on His creation (self), stop looking around at everyone else, and instead focus on Him and His love for us.

When we relax in His gracious love, we allow Him to do the work necessary to develop Christ-likeness in us.  We can be at peace with ourselves knowing that He will continue the work in us and that our Father God already loves us anyway, no matter what!

…………………………………………

Now, let’s take a peek back at that one personality flaw we chose during part 1 of the Superwoman Myth.  Let me ask you some questions in relation to your flaw.

Did God create you?

In His wisdom, did God create your personality this way?

Consider this:  Does God create by accident?  Does He create things that are inherently bad? (Think back to the days of Eden.)

No!

Therefore, we can safely assume that the things we dislike most about ourselves are characteristics God intentionally gave to us or allowed us to have.

And …

In their purest, God-given form, those personality “flaws” are not bad. 

Yes, personality “flaws” can certainly lead us to sin, but in and of themselves, they are pure, God-given traits meant for our benefit.  He give us these traits,  perhaps to teach us, maybe even to teach others, and in the process, to bring Him glory.

So, now how do you see your “flaw?”

Is it possible that with Christ’s help your flaw can become the thing of beauty He intends it to be?

I believe so.

That’s why my life verse is Philippians 1:6.

“Being confident in this; he who began a good work in you

will carry it until the day of completion in Christ Jesus.”

My sisters in Christ,

                     don’t

                             fall

                                   for

                               the Superwoman Myth.

Don’t believe the lies from self, others, or Satan.

Instead, listen to the voice of your Creator God, the Father who lavishes His love on you!

I'm sure you've fallen prey to the lie of the Superwoman Myth before - you know, how you need to do it all and do it all well?!  Learn how to put those lies right in their place with this final freeing truth. The Superwoman Resolved

He doesn’t ask us to be superwomen.

Instead He just wants us to be the women He created us to be.

Work-in-progress women.

Jen :)

Sharing with: Tell His Story, Grace and Truth

 

Through My Grace-Colored Glasses

Last night I had a little run-in with Perfectionism again.  He just won’t leave me alone. He follows me wherever I go, pointing out flaws in my house-keeping, my parenting, my marriage relationship, even my walk with the Lord.

Some days I can ignore him and others I just can’t seem to escape. And I know it’s Perfectionism and not the Holy Spirit because of his voice.  He whispers lies to me: “you’ll never change” or “you’re never going to be good enough” or “why even bother anymore.”

I’ve been enslaved by his words before, but last night was different.

You see, my husband and I stayed up much too late because we were arguing about a financial issue.

I felt angry and disappointed and fearful.  The familiar panic of how can I possibly do right in this situation and still get my point across welled up within me, and I knew a battle was swiftly approaching.

I know some of you are chuckling right now, and rightfully so!

It’s the quandary every woman who ever lived on the face of Earth deals with: to obey the Lord and demonstrate respect for my husband or to take control and make my voice heard?

God’s way or my way?

When it comes to submitting to and respecting my husband, I so often feel like Paul in Romans chapter 7. I know what I want to do, what I should do, yet I feel powerless to actually do it.

I’ve believed so many lies for so long.  

I fail frequently.

But the Lord is faithful, and I’m learning to trust His promises to carry that work in me, in my marriage, until completion in the day of Christ (Phil. 1:6).

 

Later on after our apologies were spoken and we both felt at peace, we finally turned out the lights in hopes for at least a few hours of sleep.

And that’s when it happened.  

Have you ever felt stalked by perfectionism or trapped by failure? "Last night I had a little run-in with Perfectionism again.  He just won’t leave me alone. He follows me wherever I go, pointing out flaws in my house-keeping, my parenting, my marriage relationship, even my walk with the Lord." Through My Grace-colored Glasses

In the stillness of the dark, my husband’s voice broke through Perfectionism’s insidious whispers, “Thank you for being so calm and patient with me tonight.”

Stunned, my disbelieving heart rejected his kind words and earlier tears returned in full force.

“But I wasn’t patient!” I agonized. “I was so angry and so disappointed and I struggled, I really struggled, not to say mean and hateful things.” The weight of my own sin and failure hung about my neck.

My husband’s reply was quiet, yet firm, “Babe, even though you were angry, you were patient with me. You didn’t bite my head off. You maintained control. You gave me space and that helped me.”

At that moment, the truth of his words broke through Perfectionism’s grasp.  No, I didn’t handle the situation as well as I would have liked; I wasn’t perfect.  Yes, there was definitely room for improvement.

Nevertheless, his words rang true. What normally would have developed into a full-fledged, hours-long fight was briefly resolved.  By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, I realized that we were definitely making progress.

That’s when I saw Perfectionism for what he was – one part self, one part Satan.  

Self was prideful, Satan was deceitful, and the combination of the two brought me chains of defeat that I no longer wish to carry.

In Perfectionism’s chains, I so often measure in black and white, success or failure, perfect or imperfect.

Praise the Lord that my Redeemer is teaching me to put on my Grace-colored glasses and see the shades of success, to celebrate even the smallest steps of progress, to proclaim every small victory because of His work in me, in us.

Stuck in the rut of perfectionism? Here's what you need to know! How an argument with my husband led to my very own pair of grace-colored glasses.

I hope I never forget that moment.  My husband spoke freeing words to me last night, and the Holy Spirit confirmed them within me.

Daughter, you are the good that you so desperately want to be, not because your efforts are so grand and your reach so high, but because you are walking a path of progress, trusting in the promise of redemption.  I never asked you to be perfect, just willing. At the same time, daughter, you are perfect, not in yourself, but in my Son because He already carried these burdens with Him and nailed them to the cross.  They died and were buried with Him.  But you daughter, you rose with Him in perfection, a new creation, beautiful to behold, born of His glory.  And now you no longer live as a slave in Romans 7, but in Romans 8 as more than a conqueror, confident in the promise that you will never be separated from His love!

2 Corinthians 5:17 proclaims, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come. (NASB)”

I don’t think I’ll ever cease to be overwhelmed by such truths, such promises, such magnificent grace.  In the midst of my sorrow and my shame, my Savior showed up and handed me a pair of Grace-colored glasses.

Perfectionism, you’re no longer welcome here.

I’m embracing my work-in-progress status

and the grace that has already set me free!

Jen :)

Is there an area of your life where you need to embrace your work-in-progress status rather than the “failure” label that the Enemy would have you believe?  Why not share it here in the comments and we can pray for one another!

Sharing with: A Look At the Book, Make Your Home Sing Monday, Tell It To Me Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Titus 2sdays, Wedded Wednesdays, A Little R&R Wednesdays, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Grace and Truth, Faith Filled Fridays

Fear and Blogging ~ Grace and Truth Week 9

Hello, faithful readers! It’s that time of week again when we all gather ’round for some encouragement. How is everyone? Has the week been victorious?  Has it been rough?  Has it been a roller coaster of in-betweens?

Wherever you are in the spectrum this Friday, keep in mind that Jesus knows; He understands.  Whether we’re sorrowing or rejoicing, struggling or persevering, He’s with us. He’s FOR us. That gives me comfort, friends!

This week I’m happy to introduce you to Shari Lynne who blogs at Faith Filled Food For Moms. In this week’s featured post, Shari writes all about that fear that all of us face in blogging, but honestly, her words could apply to so many areas of life.  Are we doing too much? not enough? right? wrong? and on it goes. We all know the struggle of wanting to do our best at something, yes? :)

I love this line in particular from her post:

Fear…Fear…Fear

Unfortunately this can lead to striving OR it can paralyze us into doing nothing or even worse…quitting!

How true!  We can swing from one extreme to the other if we miss her important advice.

Jen :)

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Grace-colored Glasses

 

Have you ever felt like an epic failure?  Have you felt stuck in old patterns that you just can’t seem to overcome?  That’s how I often feel when it comes to my marriage.  But this story is the moment when I learned to put on Grace-colored glasses and see myself through them.

………………………………

Last night I had a little run-in with Perfectionism again.  He just won’t leave me alone.

He follows me wherever I go, pointing out flaws in my house-keeping, my parenting, my marriage relationship, even my walk with the Lord.  Some days I can ignore him and others I can’t escape. And I know it’s Perfectionism and not the Holy Spirit because of his voice.  He whispers lies to me: “you’ll never change” or “you’re never going to be good enough” or “why even bother anymore.”

I’ve been enslaved by his words before, but last night was different…

The location of this post has moved!  To read the rest, click here.

The Superwoman Myth

Before Reading:  Write down (or think of) the one personality trait that you dislike most about yourself.  Example: I am too shy, I am too loud, etc.  Save for later! :)

………………………………….

A few weeks ago, my seven-year-old son came to me after receiving a scolding and said something that shook me to the core. “Mom, sometimes I feel like you expect me to be perfect.”

Immediately my eyes burned with tears because I knew that feeling, the feeling of not being good enough, and I certainly did not want my child to ever fear that he wasn’t “good enough” for me!

Nevertheless, somehow I sent that message to him, and although unintentional on my part, I felt overwhelmed by sadness and then by conviction.

You see, God’s been speaking to me about this issue lately, about my tendency toward perfectionism.

I’m realizing it’s not only frustrating for me, but it’s something that often negatively effects my relationships with others also. For these reasons, perfectionism is the personality trait that I dislike most about myself.

So why do so many of us women struggle with perfectionism and other personality flaws?

Because we have bought into the Superwoman Myth.

Have you heard about the Superwoman Myth? It's the untrue story of the woman who does it all and does it perfectly.  When we fall for the Superwoman Myth, we lose sight of who we were created to be!

You know, the myth about the woman who does it all and does it perfectly?!  Wouldn’t we all love to be that supreme woman, to bask in the knowledge that we ROCK at being women – everyday in every thing and all of the time?!

If Superwoman truly exists, she certainly is difficult to find in the midst of our messy everyday lives.

The first contributor to this Superwoman Myth is self.

How many times have you written yourself a to-do list a mile long and actually expected to get most of those tasks accomplished?

And at the end of the day when you have only made it to number 3, how do you feel?

Frustrated?

Discouraged?

Or consider this: How often do you feel like you’re making so much progress in one area, only to discover you’re completely falling apart in another?

Although some of us may come close to being Superwoman on a given day, soaring above the circumstances of messy homes, sick family members, extra hours of work, and so forth, the perfect mother, the perfect wife, sister, friend, daughter, child of God – she does not exist!

Have you heard about the Superwoman Myth? It's the untrue story of the woman who does it all and does it perfectly.  When we fall for the Superwoman Myth, we lose sight of who we were created to be!

 

Instead of listening to the lies perpetuated by our superwoman-wannabe selves, let’s listen to the truths our Creator God has to say about us.

Psalm 139:13-14

“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”

God created you purposefully and intentionally to be who you are.

While he did not create you to sin, He did create you with your unique personality, your unique strengths and weaknesses. The good news is that even those things we tend to see as our weaknesses can become strengths with His help.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10,

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Those personality traits we so often view as flaws have positive aspects to them, my sisters in Christ!

For example, while my perfectionism easily leads to worry and sin, it is incredibly helpful for tasks that require attention to detail.  Likewise, people who are argumentative may be difficult to get along with, yet they make excellent lawyers and advocates for others.  While those who are easy-going often lack organizational skills, they are typically great friends and listeners.

Let’s find the beauty in being who God created us to be instead of wishing we were someone else.

Let’s allow Him to work in our weaknesses to make us strong.

The second contributor to the Superwoman Myth is how we view others.

How many of us can honestly say that we’ve never compared ourselves to another woman…ever?!

None of us can.

Especially in this age of social media, we are very aware of the skills other women have. Furthermore, we often envy those things in others that we feel we are lacking.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to admire others and to challenge ourselves to grow.

We definitely want to be the best

wife,

mother,

sister,

daughter,

aunt,

woman

that we can possibly be.

The problem is that sometimes when we see all of this womanly awesomeness out there, we wish that we could be someone we are not, someone we were never created to be. 

We wish we could be more

more pretty,

more popular,

more successful,

more creative,

more organized,

– you fill in the blank!

But the beauty of a relationship with God is that it’s personal, unique to the individual.

While all women are similar in that we are imperfect sinners, saved only by the belief that Christ’s shed blood paid the penalty of death we so deserved, we can be very different in the way we live our faith out.

Have you heard about the Superwoman Myth? It's the untrue story of the woman who does it all and does it perfectly.  When we fall for the Superwoman Myth, we lose sight of who we were created to be!

 1 Corinthians 12:12-20 confirms this idea:

 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”

We each have a part to play in the body of Christ, and He’s created each of us uniquely to fulfill the role He’s planned out for us.

So the next time you feel unworthy, inadequate, or that you just don’t have anything “special” to offer, remember that God created you to be you, and that He created you to fulfill your role and yours alone.

His intention is for me to be the best Jen that I can be, not the best Suzy or Katherine or Betsy (or maybe in this perfectionist’s case the best Suzy and Katherine and Betsy.)

No, He simply wants me to be the best Jen.

And the best Jen might look very different from the best Kelly or the best Martha.

Now, isn’t that truth freeing?

Follow me to part two of the Superwoman Myth to discover the third and final freeing truth and to learn what to do with that least favorite personality trait of yours.

Jen :)

Read the rest here:

I'm sure you've fallen prey to the lie of the Superwoman Myth before - you know, how you need to do it all and do it all well?! Learn how to put those lies right in their place with this final freeing truth. The Superwoman Resolved

Sharing with: Making Your Home Sing Mondays, Titus 2 Tuesday, Unite Linky, Mama Moments Monday, Tell It To Me Tuesdays, Wholehearted Wednesdsays, A Little R and R