Many will say God allows trials to teach us lessons and to give us greater empathy for others. Sometimes we are simply better prepared to help others later experiencing something similar.
It was with that confidence I faced stomach flu the 23rd of December continuing into Christmas Eve.
At such a special holiday time I could get in a dither. I could feel jilted and even worried that I wouldn't pull off the perfect Christmas gathering for my family. Instead, I chose to remember God is in control and to do only what I could do--which was more or less run to and from the bathroom and back to bed.
Through this temporary trial, I instantly knew God was teaching me to be less of a perfectionist. My to-do list for the 23rd had included vacuuming a staircase, mopping a floor, and running to the grocery store to pick up a few more items, some more essential than others.
Yes, we could have used fresh mayonnaise for the family's lunch sandwiches on the 24th, but we could live without more potato chips and candy. Actually, we made it through our family Christmas without the extra 13 items on the list. (We also saved money by modifying the plans.)
God was also teaching me to let go, delegate, and trust others. My husband vacuumed the stairs. The family would have to have a basic lunch, not the fancy one I planned.
They'd have to make their own sandwiches. And they did.
God was teaching me to loosen the reins of control. While I rested in bed, the family did fine without me. They made lunch and the appetizers I had planned to make before the Christmas Eve church service. They didn't set up a charcuterie board as my mind had planned to do--just to make the day a little more special--but what they did worked well enough.
The kids helped their dad prepare dinner vegetables while he prepared a flavorful beef tenderloin that would be served after church. They went to Christmas Eve service without me--a first in a long time. But I was able to stream the event online.
More Life Decluttering
This fall, I embarked on a decluttering mission. I started sorting through items in my home we no longer needed. As I did, I noticed how my thoughts and emotions were challenged. I sensed God telling me it was a season of letting go so I could embark on a new life phase.
Now this sickness forced me to let go of traditions, expectations, my need to be in control, and so much more.
Things worked themselves out. I suppose I could say I raised a good family and I'd prepared the fridge and home well enough.
Where do our perfectionist roots come from? Some will say insecurity--that if we do something perfectly, people will like us. Some of us still look for our own parent's approval.
I think we grow up with perfectionist ideas through generational teaching too--some of us have had critical parents or siblings.
Perhaps ideas come from a church that taught us this trait.
We are in a different era, but some roots are deep. It takes strength to break tradition, to say "no" or to be okay with a change of plans.
Are there any mindsets you have that it's time to challenge?
Where do your roots lie--in the voices of your parents? In the rules of a church? In the voices of your social club. In social media? Or are you rooted in God?