Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yes to God on Tuesdys

Thank you for dropping by and joining me with our host Lelia, who is leading us through an online bible study. The author Lisa Whittle wrote “Behind Those Eyes” so that we, as women would desire to go deeper in to our souls and come out of hiding. All questions or statements are put purple from Lisa’s book.

As I was reading chapter two, in my head I was saying “Yep, that’s me” as I periodically glance at my perfectly painted toenails. Then I saw it, as if it was in neon lights flashing to get my attention…When I think of Ms. Perfection, I feel so tired.

As I sat there looking at those words, they started too press against my heart, was God about to tell me something,again? Would I be willing to listen?

I guess you could say I have been Ms. Perfection for a very long time. I have always felt the need to have everyone’s approval, whether it is from my friends, my family and anyone else who laid eyes on me. Up until about five years ago I never gave Ms. Perfection much thought, it was just a way of life, but now I couldn’t stop thinking about her.

You see, I’m tired of putting on 6 or 7 outfits, making sure my clothes look just right before I walk out the door. I’m tried of fighting the natural aging process by combing the universe for that PERFECT cream. I’m tired of trying to make my body take the shape of those fitness models, which have too much time on their hands, to look that way. I'm getting tired, so tried, in trying to be that perfect package… I so secretly desired.

Ms. Perfection
, she has taken so much from me and not once has she offered anything in return. Many times she has whisper in my ear telling how beautiful I am and then in the next breath laughing at my imperfections. She has stolen my time, my money, my self-worth and almost ran away with my soul. I’ve come to learn that Ms. Perfection doesn’t care about anything or anyone but herself. I’ve started to realize that everywhere I go she’s only two step behind, yelling at me to fix my hair, to pull in my stomach and make eye contact to see if THEY…all approve. Just as Lisa stated…When I think of Ms. Perfection, I feel so tired.

So, in the last several weeks I’ve been having a conversation with God about Ms. Perfection. I have told Him, I’m not really crazy about this woman anymore and I want her to stop dropping by. I asked God “To search my heart and to show me what my stumbling block is? I want to be approachable, I want to be real.

This weekend we had a women convention in our area and yes, you guessed it, between reading this book,the convention and the conversation I’ve been having with God, He gave me…my answer.

The whole weekend was about choices we make. Every choice brings forth a seed and every seed brings forth fruit. Ok, just like you, I know about the whole sowing and reaping thing but it was the illustration she gave that brought truth to my heart. She was talking about being fiercely faith to God and to our spouses…I thought to myself, I’m there, no problem!

Then she started to tell about this woman who she was watching across the room one day, she said the woman was attractive and appeared to be about 50 years of age...Hummm,I'm 50. As the woman stood there waiting, every time a man would walk by she would look in his direction until they made eye contact. As soon as she received his approval through a nod or smile, she then would turn away (bashfully) only to repeat the game, again. Within a few minutes the person she was waiting for had arrived…her husband.

That’s when the Lord said “Tammy, she talking about you.” At first, I tried to ignore what I had just heard because I hadn’t been unfaithful to my husband in years. But God wouldn’t leave me alone, until I confess that I had not been fiercely faith to Him or my husband. I realized at that very moment I needed to make a choice. Was I going to choose to deny the truth, that in fact for years I had been looking for approval from others? Or would I stand in front of God, completely naked, with all my imperfections and allow Him to cover me with His approval?

On that day I realized truth doesn’t come in a gentle or quiet way. Lisa’s right…it does hurt. My heart ached with grief because I knew God had exposed something I had kept secret. Later on that evening I went to my husband, told him what had happened and asked for his forgiveness. He told me he knew about the game I had played for so many years and then he put his arms around me and said “You’re forgiven”… just as my Heavenly Father did earlier that day.

In Lisa’s book, she gives us a list of how Ms. Perfection disguises herself, in many ways… as a perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect relationship or a perfect package. So,when perfection takes root in our minds, it's then we look to others for nod or a smile.

The truth is, I will never be perfect looking into someone else’s eyes…only His.

14 comments:

Kelly said...

Hi Tammy!
I hopped over from Leila's blog, wow, what an awesome post you wrote...I practically held my breath reading it and felt such relief at the end! Why do we look to others so much for approval? I can so relate! And yes, it is SO tiring trying to be Ms. Perfection! I loved how you wrote about her stealing your time, money, soul, etc...it is true! I think so many of us are tired of the charade and are desperate for freedom!
Thanks so much for your insights!
Blessings,
Kelly

Kristen said...

Hi Tammy!
I hopped over from Leila's blog too!
It IS tiring trying to be Ms. Perfection. While reading your post I thought of the pressure of being perfect. Magazines filled with what the perfect woman is. What the perfect outfit is, the perfect lipstick, perfect perfume! My head spins! You are right - Ms. Perfection gives us nothing in return. Thank goodness our perfect Lord does!!!

tiggerdaisy said...

What a great testimony of overcoming the need to have approval from others. I'm so proud that your husband not only knew the game, but wrapped you in his arms and forgave you. What a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful picture!

Prayers and blessings,
Rebecca

Connie said...

It's amazing when we open our eyes that we see what God is showing us and we come a little closer. Thanks for sharing. Connie

Laura said...

I am with you, Tammy. She makes me tired. You were so brave to look at yourself and be willing to let God shape you the way you did. How awesome is that?
Enjoying this book! Love to read your thoughts!

Lelia Chealey said...

Oh, this is so good. We have so much in common Tammy!!

I really loved what you wrote here:
Or would I stand in front of God, completely naked, with all my imperfections and allow Him to cover me with His approval?

wow! Thanks for this post of such reality and integrity.

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

Tammy-I too struggle with the approval from others. It is tiring. Thank you for being so transparent here. I love His grace in all this!!

In His Graces~Pamela

Carol said...

Hi Tammy,

I enjoy your blog so much. Your so open and real.

When you said this about Ms. Perfection "She has stolen my time, my money, my self-worth and almost ran away with my soul. I’ve come to learn that Ms. Perfection doesn’t care about anything or anyone but herself. I’ve started to realize that everywhere I go she’s only two step behind, yelling at me to fix my hair, to pull in my stomach and make eye contact to see if THEY…all approve."
I thought why do I hang out with this women. I want her to go away.

This book is opening my eyes and my heart. Thanks for all your insight.

Carol

nothingcanseparateme said...

Tammy,

You are so right!! It is so exhausting to be Ms. Perfection!! I love how God lead you to a womens conference that spoke to you on this issue. HE is working in so many women through this book study!

blessings to you!
Kim

Lisa said...

Wow, Tammy. You have hit me right between the eyes with this post. I was taken in from the minute I started reading and blown away by your transparency. You have given God great honor with the TRUTH in this post, and I am praying for you (I prayed for you tonight by name) that He will continue the awesome work He has so clearly started in your heart. It does hurt, my friend. But as you will see in the last chapter of the book...oh, it how it heals.

Much love,
Lisa :)

Pat's Tuesday said...

Tammy,

Before reading this chapter I thought i had sent Ms. Perfection packing but after reading it and listen to what God had to say to me I realized I haven't. PtL that he never gives up on us and what he wants us to become. I Love, absolutely love the picture I have of you asking your husband for forgiveness, and him already knowing the games you had been playing and wrapped his arms around you and told you were forgiven. How like our heavenly father who knows what we are struggling with and just wait for us to confess so he can forgive us.

Alene said...

Beautiful, just beautiful. Girl I so needed those words today. Ms. Perfection has me plumb worn out! She also has me tired and cranky. I'm off to deal with her. I'm going to lay her before our perfect Lord. Hallelujah for His perfect grace and love!

Truth4thejourney said...

Thanks for sharing! We all need to find that Ms. Perfection in us and kick her out!

Laura said...

Hi, Tammy! We are back from NYC and what a trip! My little toesies hurt from all the walking we did. I should have gotten some inside information from you before we left. I bet you visit often, being not too far. We had a wonderful time. I'll tell more soon. First I have to catch up with laundry!