A few days ago Jess happened upon this necklace over in ETSY. I thought the phrase was fitting for the trials that have been sovereignly placed in our lives. These trials have to do with perceptions of our family. Perfect perceptions.....we put off an air of perfection....we try to be perfect....."acting" perfect. UGH!!
So what have I learned from these perceptions of us......
- We need to work on pride. Perfection=Pride. Plain and simple.
- People's perceptions are a result of their own lives....where they've been, where they are now, their outlook on the future.....not necessarily based on reality.
- I am not responsible for other people's perceptions....they may be accurate or false...I need to seek the Lord to sift through my heart....and be humble, willing to learn and change if needed.
- GOD will one day bring me to perfection....AMEN!! (Phil 1:6)
The perfect perception is hard one to combat. I don't know how many times I've had someone say to us:
"I thought you believed such n such". Homeschooling for example. Because we have followed the Lord's call to homeschool people assume we believe that everyone should follow this path. We've had people "argue" their public school stance, and are surprised when we wholeheartedly agree with their choice. Homeschooling isn't biblical anymore than washing your sink with Comet verses Soft Soap. It's a preference....a choice....a decision everyone makes for themselves.
So I completely understand that sometimes our choices make other people uncomfortable with us. That I can't change. But I do ask that they don't assume they know what we believe. They might be really surprised at the responses we give.
I know within our family we've tried to model forgiveness. We show our "true colors" daily to our children. We've had to ask them many times to forgive us....that we were wrong. Something I didn't hear much growing up. I appreciate this article..."Living by Conviction without being a Hypocrite" over at THATMOM.com....which ends with:
"Our children and anyone else we minister to do not expect us to be perfect. In fact, if we pretend that we have it all together, they will know we are lying! But they do rightly expect to see progress, which means living lives of integrity that start with admitting when we fail and then doing something about it."
A great friend to our family gave me this plaque the first year I met her. I absolutely love it!!! I look at it all the time and nod my head in agreement to it. Especially "We do LOUD really well"....but also we do "REAL"....we do MISTAKES....we do HUGS.....wait...as I read it again....I am agreeing with it all. That's what I think our family is!! This is what I hope it to be. Actually my hearts desire is to have our family be a fragrant aroma of Jesus!!!
And this is the funny thing about perceptions. On the heels of the perfection perceptions I get a phone call yesterday and out of the blue this person started praising our family. How she'd wish we lived closer so her kids could play with ours. It seemed like she went on forever. I was in tears, however. I shared with her the perfect perceptions and that we aren't perfect. She knows that, but she said (and this is what really got me crying)....."You guys are living for Christ. That's bound to convict some people. It may depend on where they are at with their walk with the Lord. You should never have to apologize for that." We talked a little about pride and perfection. So I'm thankful for that phone call....all 12 minutes of it!! Thankful for the situation that precipitated it....(even though it was another trial....see... our family isn't perfect!)
So....I want to wrap this post up by saying bold and loudly.....
OUR FAMILY ISN'T PERFECT....NOR ARE WE TRYING TO BE....WE ARE EXCRUCIATINGLY AWARE OF OUR FAILINGS....
I also want to say.....although we know we aren't perfect and really aren't trying to act perfect.....we won't air ALL our dirty laundry.....NOBODY does!!! See my post about FB!!! No one is going to share the deep secrets of their family, children, wives, husbands, themselves.....unless God calls them to minister to others in that area.
Finally I'll end by asking for grace as we work on our pride and arrogance. Please forgive us! We really aren't trying to be or act perfect. We try to walk with the Lord...obeying Him....but we are sinners.
O.K.....NOW....I'll REALLY end with....... how I began....
Any good you do see in us is because of JESUS!!!
(NOW...hop on over to the ETSY shop and get your necklace...it's for a good cause....they are trying to earn money to adopt!!)