Perfectly Folded Towels

I’m walking a road that I have not traveled before; I want it to be perfect.  Why am I’m feeling that it needs to be?

When we accomplish every day tasks, and do things that we are familiar with, we get to know how to do them well.  At times, they seem perfect.  Like these two folded towels.  These are our beach towels, I like them folded a certain way.  Tonight, I took them out of the dryer, folded them in half, then half again, then half again, then I rolled them up tucking the tag side in first.  Perfect; for me.

When I was done, I looked at the two perfectly folded towels and thought, “I’m good at that. They look great. Perfect.”  I know this sounds silly, since I am  just talking about towels, but for the past 72 hours, I’ve been working extremely hard at something that I don’t feel that good at, so the towels brought a smile to my face.

After that thought, I reflected…perfect for who?  Who’s my audience?  In other people’s eyes, would they think that the towels were folded perfect?  My mom wouldn’t fold these towels this way.  I know for a fact, because she’s folded them her way before and I’ve unfolded them; refolded them my way.  But, did she think that her way was perfect?  {There was a whole lot of reflection happening in my laundry room. lol}

Nobody’s perfect.  Nobody’s ways are perfect.

The road I’m walking; the book I’m writing and my desire for it to be perfect is becoming a stumbling block.  I continue to question God asking Him, “Why are You wanting me to do this?  I am not good with words.  Isn’t there someone else better equipped?”

I shared what was on my mind with Leah and she forwarded me this message from the Word, Exodus 4:10-13:

But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” Then the LORD asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.”

I needed this, in a serious way.  Even though this road is difficult, he has been giving me strength in my weakness.  I don’t know what perfect looks like.  I’m surrendering that again today; perfect.  As long as I press on in obedience, He will be pleased.  He is my audience.

Are there areas in your life that you’re wrestling with?  Not confident about?  or putting off because you don’t feel equipped?  If so, I can relate.  Consider holding this Truth close to your heart:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

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Comments

  1. Sylvia says:

    Teri,

    I am quite surprised that you wrestle with this issue, but I guess that again, I know little about you. It’s interesting that you wrote about this. I have been dealing with this taboo word since I was a child, and I know EXACTLY where it came from (my parents). This Christmas, Todd’s niece was in town (she’s 12), and after spending Christmas Day with Todd’s family, which my Mom was graciously included in the festivities, Sarah had a chance to get to know my small family. My Mom adored her and talked to her at great length that day. Sarah said to me the following day, “Now I know why you’re so PERFECT – I LOVE YOUR MOM!” Of course, she meant this as the utmost compliment to me and my upbringing; my Mom obviously had made a lasting impression on her, too! But as much as I appreciated the compliment, I quickly added to Sarah, “I have a news flash for you, dear…I’M NOT PERFECT!” She smiled. Mechelle (Todd’s sister), and I talked about it after Sarah had gone out to play and she said she’s been talking to her about the “word” – that there is only One who is perfect, and that is God. But it doesn’t matter, because we are LOVED by Him no matter if we are perfect or not.

    I think I always know what “perfect” looks like, too – it’s never me and usually someone else. Funny, though, whenever I think that “someone” fits perfection, I end up finding out about their REAL life and how they have trials, tribulations, dysfunction just like all of mankind. But somehow I still want to be perfect. I have a book that I bought but never read, and purchased it in our church bookstore, entitled “Everyone is normal until you get to know them”…absolutely! I’d rather have someone be real to me with all the struggles and life challenges, then try to project a “perfect” life, because I’m learning that most likely it’s a lie. Even more enlightening, is what makes MY standards the true evaluation of perfect, compared to others??? It’s all a matter of opinion!!!

    I find that I have turned into my parents more than I ever dreamed, and now I’m trying to “undo” those perfectionist qualities. It is actually a benefit for my profession, to have the highest of standards, and I’m trying to learn how to fit it into my job without it driving my crazy, but I also have found myself teaching my Mom to change her life and her thoughts – at age 70! Being aware of it is half the battle in changing the unrealistic expectations that have haunted me (and her) for most of my life!

    • Teri says:

      Thank you Sylvia for sharing this. We have NO idea what’s on the inside until we get to know others. Even then, I find that some don’t reveal “real-ness” which is ok. We are all on our own journey. We are called to simply love and be a light, not always easy tho. UGH!! Love YOUR heart, and WHO you are!! xoxo

  2. Beth Blair says:

    I can relate 100% to this eloquently written post, as I’m surrounded by “perfect” people – something I have never considered myself to be. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that perfection, like anything, is in the eye of the beholder.

    PS: You are a marvelous writer!

    • Teri says:

      I sooooo AGREE with you, it IS in the eye of the beholder. Thank you for the PS……..coming from a fabulous writer, it means so very much to me. =)

  3. Sandi says:

    Listen to these two comments
    “Why are You wanting me to do this? I am not good with words. Isn’t there someone else better equipped?” and
    The road I’m walking; the book I’m writing and my desire for it to be perfect is becoming a stumbling block.
    It isn’t that you can’t write or that you don’t know how to put the words together on a page, it is your desire to be perfect. If this book is what the Lord has asked you to do, it will be exactly what others need regardless if it is perfect in your eyes or not. God enables those He has chosen & He will complete the work He has begun as we yield to His leading….so let go & let God

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