“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire!” St. Catherine of Siena
Do you carry around a measuring stick? Is your measuring stick perfection? Or is your measuring stick someone else? Are you constantly pulling it out and measuring yourself against it? When you don’t measure up, do you beat yourself up over it?
Food for thought and a real struggle for many of us.
I guarantee I’ve been pulling mine out a lot. One of the toughest job roles I have is being a mom. This is the role I pull out my measuring stick the most to compare against. In this role, I feel I have to be perfect. Why? Because God entrusted these two souls into my care. There is one person that knows my parenting better than my kids. She can attest that I evaluate my parenting style and if it isn’t working I adjust. At the end of the day, I still do not meet the measuring stick of perfection and it leaves me feeling I am not good enough.
The Blessed Mother, Mary, is the ideal mother. She exhibits total trust in God. She is a very humble and loving mother to our Lord and to us as her spiritual children. She is the role model that I look to as a mother. My own relationship with my mother hasn’t been the greatest and there are a lot of things about mothering that I don’t quite get or understand. Often I feel like I am treading water with my good intentions of teaching my children to love God above all things, read the Bible, practice their faith, be respectful, accountable, honest and kind. Then there are these moments of affirmation in things my girls say or do that confirm I don’t have to be perfect in my sense of perfection, according to my measuring stick. I only have to fulfill the things that God asks me to do as their mother and allow Him to do the rest. When I do as He asks me, I am fulfilling this role in perfection, in God’s perfection – not my ideal measuring stick I have tucked away.
I always have to chuckle at God’s hidden messages. I had started writing this last night and this morning I read a memory on my Facebook page from 2013 where I was reflecting, at the pond at work, what my oldest daughter had told me. She had told me that she told her friends that God made everything perfect, even the trees.
I think children hold the secrets to life sometimes. If even the trees are perfect then so am I. I think the key to that perfection is conforming to God’s will in my life, just as the trees conform to all God provides.
As my role as a mother, there are two most important things that I can do for my children in conforming to that will and that is to teach them to love God above all things and to look to Him for guidance in making the right choices. If I instill these two values in them, everything else doesn’t really matter. They will make mistakes and I will make mistakes but if we always come back to those key learnings, our life will be perfect, perfect in conformity to God and not a measuring stick in my pocket.
This applies to all things in our lives, not just our roles in life. Often we have trouble loving ourselves because we compare ourselves to others or perfect ideals on our measuring sticks. We only see our faults and never feel good enough. Our flaws are like neon signs and they tend to take away any peace that Jesus has given us. Today, chunk your measuring stick of PERFECTION in the trash. Tell yourself you will not pull it out again. Look within at the person God created you to be and place your trust in Him, conforming to all He has in store for you and that is where you achieve PERFECTION. You are perfectly made to love and be loved. Don’t let lies of the enemy tell you any different.