Pieces of progress

Last month, at my son’s middle school academic award breakfast, I caught their catch-phrase for the year: “Progress, not perfection.” I like that. A lot. Because I am one of those parents who engages in a constant mental battle between what I want to do versus what I can do.

  • I want to be the mom who sends the kids off to school every day with a substantial breakfast; but some days I can only pour three sandwich-sized plastic bags of cereal as they are heading out the door.
  • I want to be able to finish all the laundry in one evening; but some days I can only put together items for a “critical load,” usually between 10-10:30pm.
  • I want to be able to enjoy time over the weekend which involves sitting on the sofa, enjoying my choice of reading, writing, knitting or watching a movie; some days I can only manage about 10-15 minutes with my iPad, catching up with friends on Facebook.

What I have been working on wrapping my perfection-driven mind around, is the concept that it’s perfectly OK to not be perfect – that most of the time, I need to settle for progress, not perfection. In fact, there’s a Steven Curtis Chapman song I’ve been hearing lately, “Do Everything,” the chorus of which is:

Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do

When I have a day where I feel like I’ve dropped the ball as a wife, mother, daughter and human being in general (um, just about every day) it’s good to remember a song like this. It’s good to remember that even if I don’t make the game-winning shot, if I’ve played to the best of my ability on the team,… then that’s got to be good enough. Because if it’s good enough for Him, then who am I to say it isn’t good enough for me?

Anywhere and everywhere you are
Whatever you do, it all matters
— Steven Curtis Chapman


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