Living by Grace through Faith.

October 1, 2017
by Kim Sue

Perfectionism: a weed in the garden

photo credit: themefund Small, Medium, and Large via photopin (license)

Perfectionism can steal my joy if allowed to flower.  The first root of it’s growth is the belief that perfect order and predictability will cause my heart to rest and my life to be at peace.

This is misleading as order is a moving target and the things that beg for order are all around me.  I am one person and not able to balance all the balls.  I need to go back to my own crayon box and color with the crayons laid out before me.  I do not need to be the doer or control the results. False responsibility has a way of drawing us into areas that we need not tread.  It is important to release others unto the sphere where they have influence.  They will do the best coloring in their box.  I do not need to get in there and scribble on their walls.  However, the strokes of color I apply in faith in my own box may be multiplied by my good Father!  They  may splash color in the lives of many others in ways that only the Holy Spirit can make possible.  The key is living in my own space.

A second tendril of the perfectionism vine is comparing my box to others.  This results in pressures to excel  in all the ways that I see others excelling.  As if I could take on all the strengths of every other character and make them my own.  The reality is they are mine to enjoy… in others.  I am part of a body.  When others are advancing, the body is advancing as a whole.  Their victory is my victory just as we are made to bear one another’s burdens.  Yet, do we know how to share each other’s joys?  I want to grow in this as it will make me so much richer and I will experience the depth of joy and compassion my Father wishes to share.

Instead of striving for those things I long for I need to stop and receive them.   To do the works of God we believe in the one He sent.   I can thank my Heavenly Shepherd that He is a good Provider, He restores my soul,  he leads me to green pastures beside cool waters.  He anoints my head with oil and my cup overflows.  If I start to put my imagination into this imagery and let Him pamper me, the pull of perfectionism, comparison and lack loses it’s hold.  I am brought back to where He has seated me, at His table where He longs to spread a banquet before me.

Finally understanding that I am perfectly pleasing to my Father, and that He has granted my desires before I even knew what they were releases me to know that He will make all things work together.  Unfinished projects, strained relationships, health challenges, failed expectations, and future uncertainty can all be released to the One who IS omniscient, who can juggle all the balls and who also keeps me in His loving grip.

February 17, 2017
by Kim Sue

When Anxious Thoughts Multiply Within You

One white beach chair on the beach in front of turquoise water.

“How to Receive Instead of Striving”   This phrase came up as as a theme for me today, but not initially.   I started my day discontent and feeling a lot of “you should”, “you have to” circling my head on my day off of all days!

Stumbling upon a great blog post by Rend Collective titled Why We Get Scared to Rest,  it left me with some centering thoughts:

  1. Rest is a powerful act of faith.
  2. I am not Jesus.

I had been barraged by thoughts of what I have to do but it seemed the Holy Spirt was now encouraging me to look to what I want to do and to start with something fun.   Can I trust Him enough to relax or am I the savior of my day, my life, and everything around me?  It seems I set out to grow, to change, to become, to provide, but in the process I can begin to abort my rest in His promises.

Instead of struggling and grasping to make thinks work together, He would like  you to see yourself already there –to receive. Refocus your efforts.  Learn to rest.  Labor to enter His rest.

“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.  Hebrews”  4:11 KJV

So much of this is in the mind.
The answer is to find what encourages us in who we already are, what we already have, and how we are inseparably joined to love Himself.  Flip it around.  Start at the finish line; because “it is finished”.   Whatever it is that we feel we lack, this is where the lie starts.  We do not need to believe we lack.  We can look past the irritations and receive contentment.

As I finished this post and turned toward my laptop, the randomly generated screensaver of the day featured two frogs by a pool.

The title on the screen saver: “This is one good looking pair of amphibians but…looks like a really relaxing spa day”

Maybe it’s time to receive that.



“When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight* my soul.”  Psalm 94:19 NASB

*The Hebrew word for delight also has meanings of to be smeared over, be blinded”  Let Him smear over all those anxious thoughts  with a big brush of  how much He loves us and how complete our lives are in Him.