Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ms. Perfection...Not!

Hey, y'all! I'm posting tonight--and I am NOT a night person--about Ms. Perfection! She is the perfect woman who lives in most of us. She's the one that we want our family and friends to see each day--happy, under control, organized, etc. The Martha Syndrome has hit many of us squarely in the face and head! But what about our hearts? Deep down, we know our failures, our disappointments, our disillusionments ( I know, big word for a Kindergarten teacher!)

I'm studying Lisa Whittle's book, Behind Those Eyes, through Lelia's blog. Please feel free to get a copy of the book and join us through the next chapters--they're great!

I was trying to just pinpoint one example of my lack of perfection....there are way too many to blog about! Last week, I began a new Bible study at a nearby church. I was very excited about attending and learning more about God's Word. Y'all, the ladies were sweet and so helpful. I received my packet of materials--extremely thick-think 20,000 or so pages--just kidding! No, there were several hundred. I was seated in front row where there was no table--I did get there early enough to sit behind a table, but I was busy visiting with some girls I hadn't seen in years, and the good seats got taken quickly!! Can you relate? Anyway, I sat down with the stack of materials balanced precariously on my legs. I had my Bible on top of that. My pocketbook--huge and silver--was squished up beside me in the chair. My bookbag was on the floor--it contained the usual--reading glasses for TINY print (can I get an AMEN from those of you following me here?), gum, pens, pencils, highlighters, mints, kleenex, water bottle and chapstick. You know, the normal bookbag stuff!

We began the class with prayer and introduced ourselves. Then we got down to business--the lesson! The teacher asked us to get out our materials and turn to page whatever. So, the process of perfectly getting my things organized began. Then...the unthinkable happened. was moi! Those 20.000 sheets of paper tilted when I leaned over to get something from my bookbag. They hit the floor...sorta in a fan shape. Can you see this with me? At another time in my life, I would have been mortified! Just DIED of embarrassment right there in front of thirty women that I had just met! They could see through my pretense...they saw the real me! Clumsy and unorganized!

But you know what? I simply said " Well, we knew that someone was going to do this! It might as well have been me!" I laughed and began to pick up my mess --then I had to rearrange the papers in numerical order--still some perfectionism going on!!! One lady slipped out of the class and returned oh so quietly with an empty binder in her hands! She placed it on my pile and gently smiled at me! Oh, how precious was that grace that she just poured over me!

After class, the darling senior citizen lady beside me ( who was dressed in her best Sunday outfit along with heels and jewelry --precious!!) introduced herself to me. She said, "Your honesty is just simply refreshing!"

Hmmm.....refreshing....honesty....that's what God is trying to get us to see within ourselves. No, we're not perfect. It has taken me years to be able to laugh at myself---sometimes I still cry! But my Heavenly Father loves me just as I am...flaws and all. And that's how I love my family and friends....flaws and all.

Good night, y'all!

Many Blessings,


Empty Nest Full Life said...

I needed that reminder. Trying to be perfect will wear you out, cause I have learned the hard way. Thanks Jackie

Carol said...

I love this story! I felt like I was there. I could so relate!

Leebird said...

Honey, I would have probably tripped over someone's Coach purse on the way to my seat and dropped my pile of papers!

Rachel said...

Wow this has got to be a post that every woman reads!!! Loved it, thanks for posting it

The Patterson 5 said...

What a great way to start a study! Now everyone feels, oh so comfortable, pretenses can be dropped and real learnining can take place! Your clumsiness is a blessing to you and the entire group!

Chatty Kelly said...

Susan - I so related to this post. I want everyone to see the "pretty" me - the me who puts her best foot forward. Impressive. Yet, it seems the friendships that have become the closest are the very ones where they see the real me - and love me warts & all. (That's figuratively, I don't have warts. *smile*)

I'm afraid the perfection me, would have gathered up all my stuff and left the class never to return. Because they saw something that wasn't perfect. But for the grace of the binder lady. I'm so glad that you found that grace, and were able to show your proverbial warts and still be loved.

Good post, girlfriend!

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

What a great post! Love the story. It was perfect for this cahpter. Thank you for sharing.

in His Graces~Pamela

KelliGirl said...

Hi Susan,
If I had been in the Bible study with you, that would have been me as well!!! Or if I sat at a table I might have spilled someone's cup of coffee with a flail of my arms.

I've been observing the conversations and posts about Lisa's book and I wonder if the idea of being the perfect Christian is a concept that's stronger in some churches or Christian circles than others.

Granted I am a very down-to-earth person who is quite content not trying to be perfect and often times am too honest, but even as I look around in my church, I don't get a sense that the "perfect Christian" veneer is all that important.

Just an observation and food for thought.

Love ya',

nothingcanseparateme said...

It is just so great to laugh at ourselves now isn't it? My response at 20 years old to that situation would have been totally different than today at 40+ years old. And that lady sitting next to you that found you "refreshing" will be looking for you next time that is for sure!

blessings to you from PA!

Kimberly said...

Funny...we tend to buy the lie that people are drawn to our perfection...but that isn't true, is it? It is when others are open and willing to be real and vulnerable in Jesus name that I am drawn to them. "Perfect" people are actually intimidating.

Hey, and just so you don't feel too bad, I drove up ONTO the curb when I dropped my 5 year old off at school yesterday. Praise God the two ladies who open the car doors were standing back! But praise God, again, I did not cry from embarrassment as I drove away. :)

skoots1mom said...

thanks for coming by..
great post.
i have to laf at myself these days cause it sure beats cry'n...and as hormonal as i am, it's real ez to cry, too!
come visit again soon...

Carol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol said...

Okay so I messed up my comment I'll be real, and then being a new blogger I tried to edit it, and I couldn't and I deleted it.

So anyway I loved your post. I have been there. I'm the girl who carries the little purse with too much stuff. Then when I go to take out one thing, usually something else falls out, the next thing you know I've got stuff all over and I can't find what I thought I had. I'm always laughing at myself.

Thanks for reminding us that we don't have to perfect, and it's good to see ourselves and be able to laugh at ourselves.

Yolanda said...

I am so thankful for grace!

I love you flaws and all, and I'm thankful to receive your love for me, flaws and all.


Edie said...

This is a message that we all need to hear again and again. Thank you Susan. Hope you got all those papers in the binder. ;)

Vonda said...

Hi Susan! I've been out of town and have gotten so behind on email. What a treat to read your note and then visit your awesome site! You're a great writer! And I'm right there with you--Ms. Not-Perfect! Praise God, that's His specialty!

Lisa said...

Loved this, Susan! What you talked about in this post is the "real" in life!! Dropped papers is just one of the imperfect moments we all experience! Thank you for sharing something we could all relate to.

I prayed for you by name tonight. Have safe travels back home from Charlotte!

Lisa :)

Barb said...

I enjoyed reading this post, so much. I've been seeing and reading so many people's blogs
(in Leila's study)about Behind Those Eyes. I'm going to have to get a copy; it sounds terrifying, but good!