I've been reminded in a lot of ways this week that I'm not perfect.
And that is okay.
Our dear friend Joseph's birthday was yesterday. So Monday and Tuesday I was a busy-bee homemaker, figuring out how to make the perfect birthday cake from scratch. I was also planning a fancy dinner for my husband for Valentine's Day: roast chicken, homemade stuffing, steamed veggies, and turtle cheesecake.
The cake turned out lovely...other than misspelling "Birthday" (it read "Happy Birthay"). And the frosting was runny and a little sparse. But it tastes great. :)
The Valentine's Day dinner turned out well, too...but the chicken took a lot longer to cook than I thought. I cut into a leg and it was still red and bloody. And when it was cooked all the way, I realized that I had put it in the pan upside-down. oops. The cheesecake was yummy (so yummy that Hubby has eaten over half of it by himself already)...but the crust kept falling apart.
And our evening with dinner and a movie was fun...until I was doing dishes and the drain pipe fell off again, leaking water all over the kitchen floor. I did not react well. Tears and screeching. Hubby was very forgiving.
Aaand my house is not clean, my homework is not done, the kitchen is messy, and today I haven't been feeling quite up to doing any of that.
But I had a long talk with my friend Sara yesterday. She's had an insane week, and she was fretting about not getting everything done as well as she wanted to be able to. I told her that it's okay to not get solid A's on everything. That not practicing organ for a full ten hours was not going to completely ruin her lesson. That her professor would understand. That it's okay not to do everything perfectly. That she doesn't need to be so hard on herself.
Because I'm the same way: I am my own harshest critic. I get so down on myself when I don't measure up to my own expectations. When tiredness, not feeling well, or other things get in the way of doing what I think needs to be done I blame myself.
In some ways I'm justified in this. I should try to do my best in honor to glorify God. I should honor my professors, classmates, and husband especially.
But I am not perfect. I am not going to always get everything right. I won't always handle trying situations well. I am not a perfect wife, student, friend, cook, homemaker, whatever. I won't ever be.
And that is OKAY!
I focus so much on my sinful nature: what I do wrong all the time. But a professor reminded us in doctrine class recently that we are always saints as well. When I am in class, I'm honoring God. When I'm at work, I'm serving him. When I put food on the table (misspelled, wrongly cooked, or not!), I am blessing my husband and sharing the gifts God has given us.
No, I'm not perfect. But God is. And it's not all about me, after all. It's about him. Focusing on myself all the time is downright sinful. My focus should not be, "How can I be the best person I can be?" but "How can I serve God the best I can?"
God has already done all that was needed to make me perfect in his sight. Jesus died to take the punishment for my imperfection on himself. He rose again so that I can have his perfection. His Holy Spirit is in me, giving me faith and the power to be his tool and partner in carrying out his will.
That's an incredible thing: I am one of the people who help God carry out his purposes. I am his servant and his tool--but I am not inactive in serving him. Because I am saved and redeemed, I really do serve and honor God of my own free will. No, I don't do it perfectly...but he uses my imperfections and allows me to serve him despite them.
What a beautiful truth this is! What incredible grace.