Today, I looked at my planner and the word JUNE jumped out at me screaming, “Where has the last six months gone? What have you DONE with it?” Perfection wants me to get upset looking at all of the gaps. Progress wants me to sit down with my journal and Jesus and celebrate the things He is doing in my life. Perfection wants me to make excuses for not getting something done. Progress wants me to just get started from where I am. Perfection wants me to grumble about what is wrong. Progress helps me fill in pages in my gratitude journal with all of the blessings in my life. Perfection wants me to give up before trying. Progress makes me excited to start a new day.
Some days, by the time we put our 3 girls to bed, I am just DONE! I want to go to bed at 8 O’clock when they do (and sometimes I do just that!). BUT THEN the morning comes! New day. Fresh start. Ahhh… Yes, Lord, I can get up and start fresh with You again today.
“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11: 29-30 NLT
I have to remind myself that the only perfect person who ever lived was Jesus so I shouldn’t expect perfection. He doesn’t expect me to be perfect. Comparing myself to others instead of seeking Him to help me become more like Him each day will get me in trouble every time. He is gentle. He is humble. He is eager to teach us. He wants to give us rest!
What I am teaching my girls (and reminding myself of over and over) is to look for progress not perfection. You don’t have to be like anyone else. You just have to keep moving forward to become the best YOU. Progress happens when we choose a better thing over an old, not-so-good way of doing something whereas perfection can never be achieved. I like progress much better, don’t you?
I love this quote by Joyce Meyer, “We are partners with God. God has a part & we have a part. God won’t do our part & we can’t do His part.” When we learn to listen to His voice, do our part, and then allow Him to do all that we can’t do, amazing things start happening! Refuse to believe that today’s choices and prayers won’t make a difference. They are the only things that ever make a difference!
Here’s an exercise you can do today that will greatly improve how you finish out the second half of the year:
How to identify what needs to change & make a plan to finish strong:
- Grab your Bible, journal, planner, and some time to yourself
- Ask God to show you what isn’t working in your life right now: your biggest aches
- Ask Him to show you His part and your part
- For your part: look at your daily schedule and see what you need to start doing, stop doing, and what you need to keep on doing
- For His part, pray, trust, and believe He is working
- Get out your planner and write out those things YOU need to be doing on a daily, weekly, monthly basis and make your plan to get it done. The more specific you are the better. Give yourself a deadline wherever possible
Thank You Lord for being patient with us! Help us daily to distinguish between Your part and our part and then supply all we need to do our part. We want to finish the year, and ultimately our lives, STRONG. Help us make progress each day and help us listen to your voice as you guide us each step. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.