Friday, November 6, 2015

giving up is hard to do

Remember that phrase we used to describe picture-perfect moments once upon a time? We called those things "Kodak moments" (an effective marketing tool on their part).

I am obsessed with Kodak moments. So much so that when I'm completely honest with myself, I wish I could live in an endless stream of Kodak moments. Which really means I wish my life was always picture perfect. Which I know would be boring.

But at least it'd look nice, right?

The message at church this past Sunday was convicting. The call to action was, verbatim, "Deal with your junk." And as a die-hard perfectionist, I didn't like hearing that. I don't like to think I have junk to deal with. Because that would make me not perfect. Which means no Kodak-moment life.

The past few days were spent packing and unpacking our life from one home to another. Over the course of the unpacking, I realized that an issue I knew I had was a bigger issue than I had known.

We were living out of boxes, and as romantic a notion as that can be (a Folgers commercial that planted that seed once upon a time) I could only stand it for a whole two minutes before I dug into the mess on our living room floor.

Getting us settled in and the house fully furnished was my top priority. Not watching my kids (who've watched too much TV during these days of transition), not meeting the neighbors (who cordially welcomed us), and definitely not God.

While there's no harm in wanting to get things in order (of which I am always guilty), there's harm in wanting to get things in order first: before looking out for the well-being of my family and myself. I let my perfectionism win. Again. And again.
A messy life can be a good life. [tweet]

I've been so set on putting together our new home. So stubborn about getting everything in its proper place (or getting things to put in proper places). I've put everything else on hold, neglected nurturing all other parts of me and my family, because I refuse to live until my life is perfect.

It's crazy how crazy we can be.

Over the next few days, I'm making it my goal to think really hard about where this pile of junk comes from. When did I start believing in the lie that a messy life isn't a good life? What triggers me to want things in order instead of relationships in order?

God isn't calling us to live in Kodak moments. He loves drama--which includes plenty of definite non-Kodak moments. God's calling us to live a Kodak life. Which is full of ugly crying, hurtful arguments, spilled juice/milk/coffee, and missing socks.

The mess of a life we live with the backdrop of a love like God's makes life a Kodak life. Our messiness in light of His grace makes the most beautiful pictures of all. Giving up is hard to do, but it gives way to new life and beauty.

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast" (1 Pet. 5:10)