what does it mean to be perfect?



It's easy, sometimes, to get caught up in the fact that we're not perfect, by our own standards. It's easy to brood and to dig things up and mull over the fact that there have been things that we have messed up. There have been mistakes I have made, and there are lists of shortcomings-- lists


But I'm coming to realize that the important thing to remember here, is who makes those lists. We make those lists. I make them. God doesn't make them. We do.

I keep track. I rehash the day and think about each time I blundered, or argued with my sister about something that didn't even matter, or was short with my mom or dad. I beat myself up and I go over every flaw and I see all the ways in which I've fallen short of who I want to be. I do this. But God doesn't.

There has never been one night, not one single time, when I have gone to bed and laid awake and felt God remind me of all the ways I'm not measuring up. It's never happened. It never will happen. David, the Psalmist, puts it so eloquently in his poems in which he cries out to God from the suck, and God hears his voice and listens. And he's there-- and he knows how it feels. Because God, too, has made a commitment to being a human: Jesus. Flesh, blood, bone. He knows what it feels like to lie awake in bed and ache with the day.

I think our idea of perfect is a little different than God's. God isn't an angry ruler up in the clouds-- he is Papa. Abba. With us, in us, for us. Perfection, eternal life, in the words of Jesus is "that you know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent." That's what our father wants-- that, to him, is perfection: knowing and having relationship with him. Not beating ourselves over the head with the bible if we slip up or make a mistake. 

My dad is an awesome person. He's hilarious, and fun, and funny and he's one of my best friends ever. He's seen me at my worst, he's seen all the stupid things I've done and bad choices I've made in the 21 revolutions around the sun that I've been here, and never once has he sat me down and said:

"Okay, Kate... let's talk about all the stupid things you did today..."

...Never. Never once.


A father's goal is never about calling you out on every mistake, it's about you really understanding who you were born to be, royal blood. It's about him loving you, and you loving him-- relationship. It's a two-way street. It's about knowing who we are, because if you're anything like me, you're still figuring that out. Every single day, I wanna breathe and get up and figure it out a little more. Because we're stars inside, all of us. Undiscovered stars leaving burning trails behind us in the black night sky.

Paul wrote a letter to Timothy, who was in modern words, his intern, and he says "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity."

Timothy was a young'n. In first century Jewish culture, kids were expected to grow up a lot faster than what a lot of us in modern western culture experience. Paul wanted Timothy to realize that because of the death and Resurrection of Jesus, and his inclusion in that, he had authority now-- even as a teenager who didn't have it all together. As a teenager who was like us; waking up with acne, bedhead and proceeding to fumble around in search of food. Paul was telling Timothy, hey: Jesus made you pure, loving, faith-filled and He's given you the ability to project that into the world.

Timothy wasn't perfect in the eyes of humans. He was perfect in the eyes of his papa, though, because he was sinking his baby teeth into a relationship with something larger than himself and his own ideals. His short-comings didn't define him; his mission did. And Jesus, because of what he did, not anything we've done, has declared us perfect inside of himself.

Our mission defines us. Not our screw ups.

Screw ups are often sucky. They're annoying, they hurt, they mess things up. But we're pure, we're clean, we've been lifted up. We've been empowered by a God who loves us. A father who isn't breathing down the back of our necks to make sure we dot every i and cross every t. The Psalmist says "you know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away."

The star-breather watches us while we sleep

He's there when we wake up. He knows when we sit down, when we stand up, his mind his full of us. This is our Papa. This is our daddy. Yes, he's teaching us and he's helping us learn how to live full, full, full and shining, but he's not "up there" like "...*smh, smh*" He's watching you sleep, nearer then your next breath, under your skin, excited about living the next day inside of you.

He's telling you, like Paul reminded Tim, that He's made you beautiful, pure, faith-geared, and brimming with love. He's telling you to think about that-- not about the times you've tripped over your own two feet. He's asking you to put down the pen, to stop making the lists, and to stop beating up his child.

Let your mission define you, supernova kid. Loosen the fists and let go of the stuff you've dragged too far.







It's a rainy, rainy Wednesday afternoon and today I wanna think about what I can let go of; what list can I crumple up and throw away because I've made myself black and blue and I don't wanna do that anymore. I've been messing with someone else's property-- I don't belong to me. So hears to stopping that.

Do you feel this way sometimes, or is it just me?? What lists do you want to throw away? What are some of the things in your life right now that make you feel joy and alive and like "man, God is just calling me to do _________"??



John 3
1 Timothy 4
psalm 139:2
psalm 139:18

something that has inspired me this week (and is also connected to all of this): The Intimacy of God | Jefferson Bethke so so soo good. Have a watch and give me your thoughts down in the comments if you have time.





XX
KATE
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21 people commented on this post.

  1. WOAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. *heart explodes into a thousand pieces of joy and love* this was just what i needed today. the love of God that doesn't make any sense. but it's still mine. somehow. <3 God is too good. LOVE YA KID.

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    1. ADELAIDE <33333 DUDE THANK YOU. Like your comment made my heart so full and blessed and happy. LOVE YOU TOOOOOO!

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  2. Okay wow. This hurts in all the right places. So many times lately I have been finding myself in that position of laying awake in bed crying over all the stupid mistakes I've made and all of the times I mess up in the SAME WAY over and over and over again. And just recently the verse in 1 Timothy 4 where it says, "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers and example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." Sometimes that NO ONE needs to be spoken to me, for I despise me for my own youth and I get frustrated with all the "amateur" mistakes I make, especially during witnessing, etc. Yet God does not despise me for my youth. These sins and mistakes are already accounted for on the cross. They are dead. But what is alive is the love of my Father in heaven. Woo baby. I needed to hear this so much today. SO MUCH. Thank you, Katie.

    I think that all kind of answers most of your questions.... but as for the things that make me feel alive and remind me of my calling... first, feeding my writing gnome with inspiration after a long fast. That sounds weird, but I feel actually finally inspired to GET THIS NOVEL DONE! And it's gonna be good! And God is good! And it's just so incredible that He's given me words to write, a story to weave to show as much of Him as I possibly can. And secondly, gosh, I stalk adoption blogs/instagrams (even though I don't even have an instagram myself...) and THAT gets me excited because I know I'm called to adopt and hopefully work in an orphanage. Eeee. Oh man. So exciting. I don't know if that was what the question meant but there ya go. An insight into my crazy brain lately.

    Thanks for this post. <3

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    1. 'apjhouicvbakn HANNAH.

      Ok wow your words, firstly, blessed me so much, and I am so happy that this could speak to you. <3 and second, Abbie has told me about how you have it on your heart to adopt and work with kids who are orphans and dude, I cannot even put into words how COOL and BEAUTIFUL that is! That is awesome! I have always felt a tugging on my heart to adopt in the future (from Africa, specifically. My heart's always been there.) Girl, God is HUGGING your life to himself and he is SPILLING OVER through you. In your writing, in your passion to pursue the things he's put in your heart-- ALL OF IT. Keep running, girl. Love you bunches!!

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  3. Thank you. Thanks you so much. I've needed this

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  4. oh girl. YES TO ALL. ...supernova kid....throwing away degrading lists...being royal blood...Him being Papa...and us beating ourselves up being like beating up His property...SO GOOD. i love this. its one of those things where i think i knew the fact of it, but it hadn't really gotten transferred into being a heart belief. ya know? super good though. :)

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    1. SAMIIIII YOUR COMMENT MADE MY HEART LIKE SOOO FULL OF HAPPINESS BECAUSE YOUR WORDS SO RESONATE. I know exactly what you mean about the head vs heart thing, I feel that way SOO often. And sometimes it takes a long time for me to feel like "OHHH man wow yes. I GET that." it's such a journey. Thank you so much for your words, girl. <3 I'm so blessed that this could speak to you too

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  5. SO I REALLY NEEDED THIS AND I LOVE YOU AND JUST THANK YOU SO MUCH ♥ (no other words so just enjoy this short comment but just know i'm mulling over this in my head and the truth is just babe.)

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    1. I AM SO ENJOYING IT AND SOMETIMES THE BEST COMMENTS ARE SHORT; and yours blessed me so much! heart = so, so full rn. <3 Thank you, Cally

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  6. Thank you for this reminder!! Thinking over all the stupid things I've said in the past bring me no joy and shouldn't have any say in my future. You've just put everything into a much larger context and that's beautiful.

    -M
    The Life of Little Me

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    1. I know exactly what you mean, M. It's funny how it is soo easy for us to remind ourselves of our faults, but often pretty hard to remind ourselves of the good and the blessings and the things God is calling us to do. I am so glad this could speak to you! Hears to loving ourselves more and more!

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  7. OH MY HEART. It's all black and blue and broken and healing all over again. WOW. I literally can't even speak. This truth is like a soothing balm to my soul. Like whattt. Prayers for God to keep using your hands and voice and words to continue bless others like this post did me. :') Much love xx

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    1. oh my gosh, girl, reading your words brings tears to my eyes. <3 Thank you so much. And may God keep leading and using you to speak to the world in the beautiful, amazing, spirit-filled way that you do! You are such a blessing to this earth, Olivia

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  8. Oh, this is beautiful. All of it.

    The star-breather watches us while we sleep.

    I've been trying to replace my mental lists of negativity with written lists of gratitude, and so far, I've been marginally successful. When I actually do take 30 seconds to sit down and write a list of what I'm thankful for that moment, I do feel more positive that day.

    Thank you for these lovely reminders.

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    1. Thank you, Serena, for your awesome and encouraging words. THAT is an awesome idea-- the gratitude lists. I LOVE THAT. I want to start doing that! It's an amazing and perspective-changing thing to put ourselves in remembrance of all the things that God is blessing us with.

      Thank YOU for this reminder, girl!

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  9. Gaaaahhh, Kate, this is so perfect. This is so me. I suffer from chronic perfectionism and I often find myself living with a guilt complex. It can be so hard to remember that I'm a work in progress, especially when I feel suspended in a paradox of wanting to thank God for his goodness and faithfulness while, at the same time, still having questions. Questions about things like suffering that I know I won't receive the answer to because hello, I'm not God and bring okay with that and just going on trust, but still be like, "but how come..." and whatnot XD. But God knows my heart, He knows I'm still human.

    I AM NOT PERFECT AND I DON'T HAVE TO UNDERSTAND EVERY THING. And that is okay. Or, I'm trying to learn that it's okay. I actually read this right after you posted it, but I've been mulling it over and it's so timely for my state of mind this week. Lovely, just lovely!

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    1. YEEESS. Girl so much yes here. It's a weird feeling because it's like trying to figure out doubt within faith. Like believing but yet you're like WAIT UP I DON'T GET MANY THINGS HALP. And through all of that, God is like "we got this, we're good. Chill, girl." and it's okay to have questions and to not know everything <-- and I have to tell myself that over and over again because most of the time I am like *fails on the floor and consumes ice cream* GOD, I AM SO ANNOYING HOW DO YOU PUT UP WITH MEEEE. XD Our papa is so good.

      THANK YOU SO SO MUCH, ASHLYN! I lovveeeed reading your thoughts on this. SO much encouragement.

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  10. The typos that are that comment...that's what I get for commenting from my phone lol!

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  11. Yes, wow. I'm not sure what else to say... Our mission defines us. Not our screwups. and He's watching you sleep, nearer then your next breath, under your skin, excited about living the next day inside of you. - just so powerfully true. I like you how always make everything so real, and close to home...

    So yes, I do feel that way sometimes, and especially at the moment, as I'm trying to put that mission into word and life. And, I'm so thankful for blog posts like this one to help me along the way, and remind me what He really thinks of me, of us. xxx

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    1. Thank you soo much, Jessica! <3 :') your words seriously mean the world. YES, MISSION. I am dealing with the same things. Finding the mission each day-- which can sometimes be harder than we think. "In word and in life" < but I love that and I am looking for the very same thing.

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