Practice makes ????

PERFECTION :: the highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence, as in some art

Lately I’ve been thinking about the phrase, “Practice makes perfect.” I use it when my daughter is getting frustrated while reading or when my son is working on a lego tower that stubbornly keeps falling over. It rolls off my tongue so easily and I actually believe it. And so do my kids. The other day however, I used this very common phrase and it got me thinking.

ILLUSION :: something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality

Who am I kidding? I, we, will not be perfect … at least not in this life. Really, no matter how much practice or effort I put in, I will not be perfect while I am here on this earth. While this should totally depress me and make me want to give up, it does just the opposite. It allows me to sigh in relief. I don’t have to be PERFECT. Really? I don’t have to get it right all the time? It is okay to fail? Yes. We live in a world that is so focused on worldly success {bigger house, nicer car, higher income, more recognition, POWER}. This “ladder of success” doesn’t end. I will keep climbing and climbing with the illusion that if I am perfect, I’ll achieve all I want to achieve.

I strive for perfection. I want so badly to get it right all the time. Here are a few scenarios I consider ….

Kids disobey = angry mom. Their disobedience makes me look like a bad parent, not a perfect parent.

Differing opinion = silent treatment or argumentative behavior. Not agreeing with my opinion makes me feel stupid and therefore, not perfect.

Missed deadline = onset of depression or full of blame. Not following through means I failed and I am not perfect.

Do any of these resonate with you? Most often my frustration, anger, depression, sadness stems from not being perfect. I do not embrace my imperfect self, who does? Jesus does.

Before we were born, God knew us. Knowing full-well what and who we would be, God still breathed life into us. He wanted relationship with us and He saw purpose in us. We recently had a guest pastor at our church and one phrase he used over and over again was, “Be the best version of you that you can be.”

How does being the best version of me fit with practice makes perfect? First, release yourself from the agony of perfection and instead, rest in the grace that God has offered you. Second, look at situations that reveal your imperfections as a chance to become a better you. “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 3:1-5

ENDURANCE :: the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions

CHARACTER :: qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity

HOPE :: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best

GRACE :: a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior

In life I will endure, develop character and have continued hope. I may not be the best mommy, the best wife, employee, friend, but with God’s grace, I can be the best possible version of me. Sigh. A sense of relief washes over me as I say this over and over again. I do not have to be perfect. With God’s grace I can be the best possible version of me.

In this house, we may start saying, “Practice makes the best possible version of you.”





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6 Responses to Practice makes ????

  1. Ellen Hoffman says:

    So well put about perfection. “Practice makes the best possible version of you,” I love it.
    Mom’s want to believe their children will be successful, accepted among their peers, happy, healthy, godly… perfect… just as we expect of ourselves to be.
    God sets the highest standard but His grace is certainly meant to be active in us, to us and through us.

  2. Laura Putnam says:

    Wow, thank you so very much this today. Very valuable and very needed. I have so enjoyed your blog. What a lucky lady Emily Jones is to have you as a Best Friend. I am on a journey still with my faith, finding my way, thanks for helping along. Take care, Laura

  3. Kelly says:

    This post came at a “best possible” time! Thank you!!

  4. Lizabeth says:

    What a great perspective and so very important in parenting. I am totally adopting your new phrase.

  5. Rachel says:

    Thank you for being so free in sharing your heart. It is truly a blessing to me. What you shared struck a chord and I’m so thankful to have light shed on an area that I struggle in.

  6. Susanna says:

    This resonates with me! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, KC. I will be pondering on this the rest of the week!

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