December 6, 2014 by Renee Griffin
We all have that one friend who dresses with incredible style and flair. My friend inspires me in the fashion area and makes sure my closet is full of cute t-shirts. Left to my own devices, I would wear the same tees over and over until the sleeves fell off.
I do love a cute top, but I don’t enjoy shopping for cute tops. So, she brings the cuteness to me. I am grateful.
During a recent holiday shopping weekend, she texted me about a Christmas t-shirt she’d ordered. The shirt has a sparkly monogram that dazzles the eye beneath an equally shiny Santa hat perched on the side of the first initial. It’s adorbs.
She wanted to know if I wanted one. Of course I did. She’d ordered one for her little, elementary aged daughter, and I was all kinds of giddy when my high school daughter said she’d like one, too. I could only imagine the cuteness that was going to happen when our order arrived.
There is one slight little problem.
My middle initial is T and not P.
No big deal though. I took the shirt back to get it fixed because who wears a shirt with the wrong initial? I didn’t realize the t-shirt store was closed on the weekends. Two weeks later the shirt remained on my desk.
I tried to persuade the hubs to take it by for me since I work on the opposite side of town. He reluctantly agreed, but said I would have to “write it all down, exactly what to say, word for word, because I don’t know a thing about shirts and girl stuff.”
Just sit on the desk cute little shirt.
I joked with my daughter that I might just wear it anyway.
Instead of waiting until I have the time to go and get the initial fixed, I could be wearing this little cutie.
The P is only a tiny, little problem. No need to be “peeved” at the P.
And really, nobody will even notice.
My daughter considered my plan and looked at me with a strange expression.
I chose to believe she was thinking, “Mama, you’re so funny and wonderful and creative.”
Instead, she probably thought, “Why are you so crazy and weird?”
But really, who cares if my t-shirt is not perfect?
Truthfully, I used to. Not anymore.
Today I see my shirt as “Perfectly Imperfect”.
Being imperfect is cool because Christine Caine says so. She wore a “Perfectly Imperfect” tee during her message at Women of Faith in Orlando. (So, basically we are twins.)
The majority of my life I strived for perfection.
Shackeled by my own hands, I carried burdens Jesus never intended.
When the weight became unbearable, the pressure opened my eyes.
Perfectionism doesn’t exist on earth.
Only Jesus is perfect.
This truth stopped my pursuit of perfection, but it took years for the fog to lift.
Slowing down is hard.
The shroud of faulty thinking lifted with deliberate effort as my perspective became clear and every area of my life altered.
Laying my perfectionism on the altar, altered my life.
Ann Voskamp’s Advent videos on YouTube made a significant impact on my life. Specifically video #2, Peace, changed my thinking.
Ann says, “Perfectionism in next to satanism”.
The first time I watched the video, that sentence hit me like a sucker punch. It jolted me and left me bruised & embarrassed. I thought perfectionism was the goal, right?
Especially during a holiday like Christmas, aren’t we supposed to wear ourselves out making every room look like a Macy’s display?
I mean, c’mon people, I decorate eight trees. Eight!
I’ve spent mucho dinero on perfectly gorgeous Christmas cards and developed temporary arthritis addressing each one with a perfect script.
My body has ached from hours on my feet baking my signature Chocolate Espresso biscotti and tying up glossy bags with perfectly fastened ribbon.
It was PERFECT!
And I complained my way through every Christmas.
While all looked merry and bright, my soul was dreary and dark.
I’d focused on a perfectly decorated Christmas instead of a Christmas already perfect because the Savior was born.
So, I quit.
I quit with all the craziness.
I stopped sending cards.
I stopped with all the trees.
I focused instead on the real reason for Christmas, the birth of Jesus, and let all the other junk fall away.
Guess what happened? It was beautiful.
My family time drastically improved.
My frantic pace shifted to a slower gear and the sharpness and brilliance of my incredibly imperfect life came into perfect view.
Christmas has never been better. Life has never been better, either.
Perfectionism puts me on the throne of my life, and the only One worthy to sit on the Throne is the King Jesus.
This Christmas season, let me encourage you to step down from your throne. You don’t have to do it all. It really isn’t all that perfect anyway.
Set your heart to focus on Jesus this year. That’s what I’ll be doing as I sit beside my ONE tree wearing my “Renee P. Griffin” Christmas t-shirt.