Thursday, October 24, 2013

Throw Your Good Intentions In The Trash

The other night, in a stroke of homemaker over-ambition, I decided to make some homemade chicken stock. To my shame, I can't remember the last time I did this (in spite of cheerily blogging about it quite some time ago).

So I dug the chicken bones that had been in my freezer for God-knows-how-long. I then:
1. Put them in a pot to soak for an hour, after which I planned to
2. Skim some of the scum off the top,
3. Bring to a boil, and then
4. Simmer overnight in the slow cooker.

I woke up the next morning and realized I had forgotten steps 2-4. Because I was doing important things like watching TV. Meaning there was a pot of cold chicken scum juice sitting on the counter.

While I was tempted to pretend like this would be no problem and I should just boil away whatever bacteria had spawned overnight, my fear of certain death convinced me otherwise.

So I threw away these chicken bones that I had saved for months. It was like they were symbolic of all my life's good intentions. The debacle put a grand stink on my morning. I got over it and laughed about it, but the way it made me so angry at myself got me thinking...

I don't know about you during this time of year, but I have been battling. I've been sick, the kids have been sick, I don't get enough sleep, my house isn't clean enough, I don't get enough time with my husband, I don't pray enough, blah blah blah, insert your complaint here:___________. And in spite of my last post (seriously, a month ago?), I was seriously just not in the mood to write. Not here anyway.

Have you ever felt like there's just not enough of you to go around? try to do everything, and in doing so, you just scrape by, survive -- and you excel at nothing. - Good thing they don't know I'm so tired I can sleep with my eyes open.

I'm extremely jealous of Olympic athletes. Even if their sport is really obscure, they have the ability to say that they are among the best in the world at something. 

Wouldn't it be great if I were something like the best chicken stock-maker in the world? I bet I wouldn't have cold chicken scum juice for breakfast.

As a recovering perfectionist, I've been struggling with this concept for years. My whole life. Why can't I just be amazing? No matter how hard I try, I can always do more.

Now don't go stroking my misguided ego. I was praying one morning about this recently -- seriously praying. I don't get to do this as often as I need/should/want to because I have small humans clinging to me for almost every waking moment and they're a bit of a distraction. But on this particular morning I dragged myself out of bed early and was really lamenting my perception of myself as an all-around sub-par being.

I can't wrap my mind around the ways God works or how he speaks to people. But just at the moment when my frustration with my "I shoulds" reached full crescendo, a thought popped into my head:

Says who? 

Who says you have to be the best at anything?

Ummm...I don't know. I do? But why can't I be the best?

I argued with myself for a little while, but I fell quickly to the sheer logic of it.  No one ever said I had to be the best or perfect or even great at anything.

This is such a profound thought to me. I mean, even just writing it out here blows my mind.

A scripture also came to mind, an old standard for me:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)

A fairly stressful time of year is coming up with the busy-ness of the holidays. How do you handle "it all?" If you're anything like me, then let's be intentional about breaking the cycle of self-deprecation. As a matter of fact, let's go ahead and throw those good intentions in the trash on purpose. 

Let's embrace those so-called weaknesses; delight in them. They are the only places we will truly find perfection.


  1. Love this Gina! In fact, if I can remember (which is highly questionable nowadays), I think I'll start every day by throwing yesterday's good intentions into the trash! I feel lighter even typing that! Big hugs, robin

    1. Thanks Robin! It's funny...even though I wrote this I still need to remind myself of these things constantly!

  2. Love the analogy! I have so many half-completed projects that will, sadly, never see the light of day. Every morning my husband and I thank God that His grace is sufficient and that His strength is made perfect in our weakness, for otherwise we would never be able to do our dance ministry at our ages!
    Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on Saved by Grace! Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it, and I invite you to follow Saved by Grace also:
    Love in Him,
    Laurie Collett

  3. I needed to read this. I don't know how many times lately, I feel like I'm apologizing to God for not being good enough. I KNOW we are perfect in our imperfections, but I can't seem to get it. Thanks for this post.


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