Renee “P.” Griffin: Perfectly Imperfect


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.

Isn't it precious?

Isn’t it precious?


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.”

Yeah, okay.

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.)

This is my creative attempt at a photo-op. Creative...not creepy. Just focus on the shirt.

This is my creative attempt at a photo-op. Creative…not creepy. Just focus on the shirt.


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.

laying perfectionism on the altar


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.


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.

Merry Christmas!

17 thoughts on “Renee “P.” Griffin: Perfectly Imperfect

  1. Wonderful post Renee! We have been debating whether to put the tree up this this year. My hubby hurt his arm, so the tree would be a great burden. And you know what? It’s ok! We’ll but a tiny “Charlie Brown” tree at the store, and it will be wonderful!


  2. Well with a spiritual analogy like that to wear, a “P” shirt is WAAAY better than a “T” shirt!! (See what I did there? Lol) thanks for your honest open heart! Glad to meet you via #RaRaLinkup!! 😊 Come on over and maybe I can encourage you as well at !


  3. mviscuse says:

    “…and I have complained my way through every season.” Oh, I can relate. What a deep sigh of relief to just let. it. go! Thank you for this beautiful reminder, especially now with Christmas a week away. Your story about the shirt made me smile. 🙂 LOVE IT! Merry Christmas to you, friend!


  4. amygking says:

    Love this story about the shirt! Love how you wrap it around and have Jesus come out in the end. Isn’t God just everywhere? Slowing down for sure this season! I have my tree up but could care less who sees it. Its for me and Jesus to admire as we talk early in the morning! Love you friend! Love how God shines through you!


  5. Fabulous Post! Loved this. Perfectionism plagues. I am so happy you found release. It is so much easier with out it. Love you Renee. You shared your heart here and it impacted us all!


  6. Yolanda Perry says:

    Loved…loved…loved this Renee whose middle initial is not really “P”.

    I loved the part where you talked about not feeling like you have to do it all…ouch! Well, I am glad it came in the final blog I made a commitment to read tonight. It was just awesome. I am so blessed to be a part of your journey for sure. #RaRaLinkUp


    • Yolanda, your comments make my smile and give me great encouragement. I really appreciate your commitment to read this post, your following through to fulfill your commitment, and the extra gift of encouragement you left for me here. It is an honor to connect with someone who understands the value of commitments. Thank you.


  7. betsydecruz says:

    What? You mean I really can step down from this throne??? 🙂 I’m gonna watch that video, because I’m a bit of a perfectionist myself, and I couldn’t agree more that perfectionism is next to satanism. Your husband’s response to the idea of taking your t-shirt back CRACKED ME UP. That’s exactly what my husband would say!


    • Aren’t husbands so fun? Mine keeps me laughing and smiling, and he gives me lots of things to write about,too. Ha!

      Yes, we can all step down from our thrones, but I am keeping on my crown since I am the daughter of The King. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, Betsy, and for your encouraging words. I value your time and comments.


  8. Sabrina P. Smith says:

    Awesome as always! I inherited the “perfection” gene from my dad’s sister. However, I’m learning to be like Frozen….Let ut go! Let it go!! Perfection is highly overrated. Much love from Sabrina P. Smith….my P is real. 😊


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