Friday, November 9, 2007

A Decline in Perfectionism

With each child's addition to our family, my perfectionist tendencies are decreasing. You should see Hudson's Kindergarten party invitations we sent out in August. If you compared his to the ones we did for Bran two years ago, it's a hoot. Great intentions, but not the follow through. And I have to say, there's a freedom and liberty that comes with letting go of having everything just perfect.

We are entering "tax season" for the Wilson family. Just celebrated Daddy's birthday and Halloween, and now we're preparing for Hudson's and Basden's birthdays this weekend and next week, before spending the week of Thanksgiving at the lake with both sets of grandparents. Hud will have an outdoor camp-out party complete with tents and sleeping bags, flashlight tag, frito pie and s'mores over the campfire ("what campfire?" you ask... somehow Corbin is going to build a (legal?) fire pit in the lower part of our yard between the time he gets off work Fri and before the party starts at 6:00), and an amazing campfire cake. Well, we'll see how amazing it turns out to be. The concept is amazing.

Basden gets to celebrate a couple of times. Her sweet cousin Nettie May is coming from the mountains for a girly tea party to celebrate both girls' birthdays, and then we'll also have a handful of girlfriends over for a "Sparkle with Joy" party. Think Fancy Nancy.

So... I have lots and lots and lots of thoughts and ideas for these parties.
And I can even cram in most of the preparations.
BUT, I've sensed the Lord's cautioning all week. Last night leaving Fuddrucker's for our 2nd end-of-the-season soccer party this week, He nudged me, "Is it really worth taking 3 kids into Target after dark to buy supplies for a GREAT party favor, but one that will take literally hours to make?"
I promptly thought, "Of course!"
So He insisted, "No. I was hoping you'd have enough sense by now to come to this on your own. No more projects for this party. My thoughts trump yours."
(With hesitation) "Ok."
The amusing thing is that we already have party favors. But this new idea was even better than the others - original and personalized - and I had convinced myself that it would be the party of all parties if I could pull this other favor off. But God said no. That's the pattern for me right now. Pushing, pushing. (And I wonder where my son gets it?)

Instead of running in circles wanting everything to be perfect (original and personalized!), I really long for a satisfied heart. And nothing satisfies my soul like resting in God's Word, and the way He makes it seep into my heart. My friend Krista just posted a great resume' of God's work in her life through Scripture, and the importance of His powerful Word in our lives. And just yesterday the Lord directed me to a passage Corbin and I can pray over our oldest that makes me cry, simply because it's so perfect. But I have to be quiet and still before Him if I want to discover the beauties in His Word and in hearing Him. Well, last night I heard Him pretty clearly in a car of wired kiddos pulling out of Fuddrucker's parking lot, but then again, He spoke loudly.

Two verses I've come across today that quiet my heart and remind me of the necessity and beauty of being still with Him:

Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it. Ps 39:6

How do you like that? Bustles about in vain... sadly that describes much of my efforts in parenting and in life. And who is the recipient of all this "work?" All my kids want is to play a game of Candyland or Scrabble. Or to watch them skateboard. Or just blow bubbles in the front yard. Just last night while reading with Hudson, Basden took my chin in her hands and turned my face to hers, and she said with a gentle smile, "Mommy, reading is a good thing for us to do."

He who dwells in the shadow of the Most High will rest in the Shadow of the Almighty.
Ps 91:1

Not brain surgery. Abiding brings rest. You'd think I'd have learned it by now. But instead of just feeling desirous of rest and communion with the Lord, I am ravenous for it.

Thank you, Lord, for your availability. For speaking to me both in the chaos of sugar-high children and in the stillness of our living room. Thank you for nudging me down a path of less perfectionism and leading me to laughing with and enjoying my kids and husband. I know I'm going to continue to need your gentle (and not so gentle) prodding. All I desire is rest in your Shadow!
(and by the way, Lord, you know what I'm thinking for Basden's party... are we still a thumb's up on that?)


Krista Sanders said...

This is my favorite stuff-- your heart on family matters. I am proud to be your friend.

Blue Skies said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing so eloquently. I, too, am proud that you call me a friend and that I am the recipient of your thoughts today.

DABOO said...

OK, did I really see that you posted this story just 2 hours before the "camp out party of the year"? Somehow God is multipying your time...The party was one that Hud will never forget, his friends loved every minute of it, hunting for Mr. Wilson in the forest and listening to scary stories huddled in a tent (the scariest about a 9' giant named Goliath).
I'm amazed at what you get done and am glad God nudges and you listen. You're a terrific mom and writer!!

TJ Wilson said...

KDS & B skies - so glad you stopped by, thanks for sharing my deep thoughts. :)
mom - your comment makes it all worth posting! and the "camp out party of the year" wouldn't have happened without Cappy & Daboo's help - thanks a million!

spaghettipie said...

I love how you weave such deep thoughts with humor. Hope you get a great return on your "taxes." With the mindset you discuss here, I'm sure that you will.

Aimee said...

What a great reminder!!!

Llama Momma said...

This is beautiful. I love that you were listening to God's voice.

I had an experience yesterday, all day, thinking "I need to call this person." And I didn't. Not even thinnking it was, perhaps, a nudge from God.

A late-night phone call from this person confirmed that maybe, just maybe, God was trying to get my attention...

Oh, how I need to learn these lessons along with you!!!

lcab said...

Hi TJ--its l.caballero. I'm enjoying your blog! Also, love the way you articulated your thoughts on the "quest" for perfectionism. It's great that you found peace in God, in just being in the moment. I've noticed this happening in our everyday activities. It is just nice when we can enjoy the moment for what it is. By the way, nudge is one of my son's spelling words tonight. Interesting...
Keep up the great work here.