Me: I made some chocolate chip cookies.
B: Oh really?
Me: Yeah. It’s a new recipe, so tell me what you think.
I really don’t have to say that last part. It’s a running joke in our house. I’m always on the hunt for a different recipe. For almost everything, but especially chocolate chip cookies.
This quest for perfection spreads across my whole life.
I tie it back to my childhood, when only A’s would do. When it was simply to celebrated to get an A-, or even a B, or God-forbid, something even lower.
I had ulcer issues starting in high school. Obviously.
No one is perfect. I don’t expect myself to be. But that means I expect to fail, in big or little ways, in everything. Even chocolate chip cookies, even though I’m a crazy skilled baker.
As much as I recognize this trend and the ridiculousness of it, in the modern world of Pinterest perfection and blogs and Facebook, we’ve created a culture based not just on overachieving, but on presenting our achievements to everyone we do and do not know. It’s hard NOT to feel inadequate when you have to face these fronts every day, especially when you’re already so hard on yourself.
I may be able to tell enough in my family and my commitments, but when it comes to me, I never feel like I am enough, because I will never settle for the enough that I am.
In this dissatisfaction, I leave no room for God.
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant —not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:5-6)
I’m not meant to be enough. Not ever. Because I’m meant to need God to cover the rest, to let me stop at good enough and let Him handle everything else. Adhering to the letter–in this case, the grades, or the perfect recipe, or the Pinterest post that recipe came from in all it’s multi-photographed glory–kills. Life abundant comes from accepting our shortcomings, our imperfection, our need for God.
That’s also easier said than done. Good enough doesn’t feel good at all, not after a lifetime of perfection. But when the soul is downcast, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God” (Psalms 42:11).
So I hope. I hope that I can make more room for God, that I can rest in good enough, that I can teach myself and my children that God is our savior, regardless of how our chocolate chip cookies turn out. In fact, He saves us from having to worry about things like that.
I hope and I hope and I hope.