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?)