Expectation: perfect.

I am Martha. There I said it. No matter how much I try to project my “Mary-ness” to those around me, when I am pushed up against the stresses of life it’s Martha who is left standing (just ask my husband.)

And when things do get messy and I am struggling to keep all of those plates spinning away you would think, since I’m a christian and all, I’d just turn to God and find the peace and comfort I’ve been looking for. That would definitely make sense. But I don’t do that. I start to feel sorry for myself and think things like “If my husband cared at all he’d be helping me” or “no one sees all of the work that goes into this” or “If I don’t keep it all together, I must not be a good mom.”

And I can’t emphasize enough what this does to my personality. I go from being thankful, gracious, and content to jealous, self-serving, and unsatisfied. The more I strive for perfect, the less grace I have for those around me, because I expect them to be perfect, too.

I hate to admit that it takes me reaching the end of all I can do- that ugly space of self-pity, nagging, and regret for me to realize that in my quest for perfection all I have done is make everyone around me feel imperfect. I have used harsh words and set high expectations to prove that whatever “goal” I am trying to meet is more important than the person standing right in front of me (again, ask my husband.)

Philippians 2:3 “When you do things do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than yourself”

I feel like I can apply this easily outside of my home. With my colleagues and friends it’s easy to work through problems with humility and self control. It’s easy, even expected to keep it all together and project an ease at doing so, but within our homes it’s a little harder to exert humility. Why is it, though, that the world gets the best of us and our family gets the worst? This is one of my greatest struggles- offering peace and grace for my family even amidst feelings of stress and exhaustion. And the only way I can ever get better is by writing it on my heart that the only thing perfect in this world is Christ’s love. And his only expectation of me is to share that love with others. What better place to start than in my home.

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