Butterfly Sparks Designs

Friday, October 10, 2008

...losin' it...

the past few weeks i've become a different person. or maybe it's just that my mind belongs to a different person. 

for those of you who know me, you know i pride myself on doing things well.  i very rarely screw anything up, and i have always multi-tasked very well. i can remember my to-do list and steve's. and yours if you need me to.  if you ask me to do something, you don't need to follow up. it will be done, and done pretty much close to perfect.  maybe even better than you thought it could be done. 

i say all that not to brag, but to confess that a huge part of my identity is wrapped up in this.  it defines me to a large degree, at least in my own mind.  it leads to one of my biggest faults-- super high expectations of others and super high expectations of myself.  Because i do things well, i expect close to perfect performance from others. and grace for mistakes doesn't come easily.  i know it's unfair, but my natural self is drawn to this response. 

so you can only imagine the mental battle that occurs when i screw something up. let me tell you, it's not pretty.  the mistake basically consumes me, and i even find myself getting depressed and blue.    

it seems like i mess up something or make some sort of mistake EVERY day these days.  
here are just 5 examples from this week alone:
1.  i typed the incorrect address on a postcard printed for a home show i'm participating in. 1000 postcards were printed with the wrong address. LOVELY.
2.  i missed pediatric appointments for both girls to get their hearing and eye screening done, and their  flu shots. and now we're stuck with $50 of missed appointment fees. what happened? i forgot.
3.  i helped out in anna katherine's class this morning (pie making day) and forgot my camera. i ALWAYS take pictures at class celebrations or on fun activity days. i also forgot my camera for the tie-dye t-shirt making day last week.
4.  we went to the school fall festival this afternoon. the girls rode rides, ate snow cones, and did all sorts of fun stuff. guess what? forgot the camera. AGAIN. 
5.  i cut out laminated stuff for anna katherine's class.  it was all due on tuesday for a project.  last night i found a handful of those cut outs buried in my purse that i didn't turn in until TODAY. 3 days past the due date.

functioning in this capacity is uncomfortable and strange.  obviously i'm mentally hazy for some reason. referring to this haze, even steve commented that i'm not the person i once was.  my immediate response was to become defensive but i began to reflect on that thought.  who am i? what kind of pride do i take in being perfect, and is the goal of perfection an idol God wants to tear down?

maybe- just maybe- i need to change.  it's not like God has a problem with things being done well, but i know God doesn't want me to define myself by what i do or don't do well. i'm sure that's not how He defines me. certainly i need to be able to offer grace freely to others and to myself when mistakes happen.  i know He's teaching me, and i don't want to miss the lesson. so i'm listening. and learning how to love people better.  and offer  grace to myself. and them.  and hopefully they'll offer grace to me as well. especially in this season of imperfection!


Brooke Hammel said...

Ahhh... sweet. Don't you love it when God unravels your identity? Maybe not... It produces such a kaleidoscope of emotions. Funny, some of the same things are happening at our house. I can relate to a lot of what you're talking about. My mother is even worse, almost OCD about her level of perfectionism, so you can imagine how we relate! lol!

The beauty of this is when you fall apart, God is there waiting to fill in all the gaps with who we are in Him. The problem about Him being such a gentleman is that it usually doesn't happen until we choose to change. But when He's tired of waiting, He unravels us. We don't recognize ourselves... but it feels strangely good - if we let ourselves feel the goodness of it. It's like an addict - when they let go of the substance, the root of the issue arises. When we let go of the belief system/coping mechanism, the root surfaces. Let the root surface and see how you feel, and let God into all that. It's helped me let go.

A Southern Wedding Belle said...

I really love that you are being so spiritual about the recent lack of perfection in your life. The explanation most likely does lie with something that God wants to teach you. He is all about deconstructing us from time to time so that He can rebuild us.
He probably knows too that your girls need to see that you aren't so perfect. Otherwise, how will they know that it's okay to fail sometimes and that it isn't fatal?

However, sometimes I'm not so spiritual. I'm thinking that there is something else that causes women to lose their minds occasionally. And I'm not thinking of your advanced age..........

The Hambricks said...

Losing your mind? Maybe I am just rubbing off on you. Lets be honest...the pressure you feel to make sure I take care of everything on my list can be a heavy burden. You are doing a great job babe!!


ManUtd17 said...

I have this same issue. When God gets done with you, can you tell me the answer please? Thanks. That will save me a lot of time that I can use getting this list of stuff done.

Whit said...

Welcome to my world Randel! The haze never seems to clear but God's grace abounds. I love the imperfect you better than the perfect one. Makes people like me feel better. ;o) MWAH!

clay kirkland said...

you are finally starting to act like the rest of us!

amy griffith said...

amy here:

randel, i hope you feel adored as you walk through this!

thesecretlifeofkat said...

Welcome to my life.


It's funny because I feel the exact opposite. I've never been particularly perfect, but right now I feel like God is teaching me to be faithful in every little thing I do.

I look forward to seeing what God is going to do in and through you.

....and you can tell me all about it next month when you come to town.

Steve said...

i love and miss you lots, Randel!!!