What it is Like When You Expect Perfection in Every Aspect of Your Life

 

  1. When things go wrong it is like the whole world has fallen apart.

    • You had your whole life planned out to a tee and then suddenly you realize that you’ve already made it to 21 years old and you life isn’t where you thought it would be at all. You aren’t in the major you thought you’d be pursuing, the people in your life aren’t the people you expected, and now that you realize it, this means that nothing is going to be in order so a breakdown will surely fix it. But, after you calm yourself down you realize your major is perfect for you and your friends are there for you through everything and you really don’t have that much to worry about.
  2. You don’t take anything, but the best, and when your performance is less than the best you are incredibly hard on yourself.

    • You were expecting a perfect 4.0 on your next report card; A’s across the board, but that one class with that impossible teacher landed you with an A-. How could this happen, you did everything you possibly could. Suddenly you start finding yourself saying in your head that you aren’t good enough, and you then start to think about all the other flaws in your battle to reach perfection. At the end of the day, you realize that you tried everything you could and that being the best can only have so much weight in the grand scheme of it all.
  3. You plan for every little detail throughout the day and expect it to go as such.

    • You have calculated that if you leave at 7:15 exactly you can make it to work on time, but you end up behind a car that is going right at the speed limit and your carefully calculated schedule all goes down the drain. You finally get to work and you are a flustered mess and the rest of the day seems to have become just as bad as the morning. You’re then laying in bed that night and realize that you ruined a perfectly good day simply because a car was going a little slower than you wanted and maybe you do need to let up on the planning somewhat, but there’s also a part of you that just can’t.
  4. You have a thousand things you want to do and never seem to get to them because you’ve expected so much out of yourself.

    • Class is 8am-12pm and then you have your internship 12:30-4:30, bible study at 5-6 and then that meeting you were supposed to go speak at from 6-8 and somewhere in the middle of all this you are trying to balance school work a social life and sleep. You have a bucket list a mile long of all the places and things you want to see, but you have your schedule so slammed with everything else that you know in the back of your mind doing things for you are on the back burner. A whole year goes by and you realize not once were you spontaneous enough to go on an adventure to that state park you always wanted to go to and you honestly can’t remember any of those commitments that seemed so important during the year.
  5. You get frustrated when other people don’t have the same motivation to have everything as perfect as you do.

    • When it comes to coworkers, group projects or just friends or family members you often find yourself holding them to the same standards you do yourself. Why don’t they have everything planned out, why is this task not done like you asked, and God forbid you find that they didn’t organize that area the way you would have. They must just be incompetent why did you even waste your time trusting them to get the task done when you could have done their job plus the other four you’ve already taken upon yourself. Eventually you find yourself with 10 tasks because you start picking up everyone else’s when they aren’t done to your standards and you are now stressing out. Why does everyone expect you to get everything done on your own… wait they don’t you had one task to do and you decided to take on all these new tasks that have made you so stressed.
  6. You take everything to heart when what you do is criticized even if it was the best you could do it wasn’t good enough in someone else’s eyes, so, therefore, it is still not good enough.

    • That paper for your English took you 14 hours to write, you read over it and you were convinced it was your best writing yet, surely this is going to receive nothing less than an A. You turn it in and a week goes by and your grades have been posted. Written in bold is a B-. Surely there was a mistake; this was the best you’ve ever done, how could this not receive the perfect grade it deserved. You confront your professor and she explains that the flow wasn’t quite right, there were some grammar errors and she just didn’t like your topic of choice. Your self-confidence plummets. If your professor doesn’t think that your best work is successful than that must mean everything else in your life must amount to failure as well. Never mind the fact that writing is a subjective art form and grading is based heavily on opinion. Or that test you took last week was on a span of eight long chapters and a handful of the questions were not in the book at all. Then you start to realize you are weighing people’s opinions way too heavily and you may be being just a bit unreasonable.
  7. When people don’t have a plan, are lazy or aren’t on time to things it gives you major anxiety.

    • This kind of goes back to not having the same motivation as you do. You expect everyone to follow the schedule that you have laid out and when people don’t move at the rate you were hoping or decide your trip itinerary is irrelevant you start to twitch a little inside. How do people possibly just “fly by the seat of their pants”, “play it by ear”, or “just wing it”. Maybe you should get a pair of those pants that let you stray away from your planner written in pen.
  8. You can’t just sit around and do nothing; you have to always have a task to be working on.

    • Take a break? You? No. That doesn’t happen. There is ALWAYS something that can be done. Always. In fact, when you think about it you are constantly doing something and yet there still isn’t enough time in the day. This makes you pretty impatient when it comes to waiting. You want things done right away and to see results immediately. You don’t have time for things to take time. However, as time goes on you start to realize that your hard work really does pay off even if you didn’t see the results in the first month, and even if it goes unnoticed, to you it means a lot.
  9. People say they have OCD but it is nothing in comparison to your want for everything to be in order.

    • Sure, some things get a little messy when you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of your carefully planned day, but by the end of the week (if that) everything is back in its place. You have a strict way of how things are put, whether that is the closet organized by color or your alphabetized books. The real OCD plays into things not so visible, though, your life is the thing that you pride for being in order most. You compulsively have to make sure everything is going right and it is following the meticulously planned out pattern of events.
  10. Sometimes you just have to accept that some things do go wrong, and sometimes perfect just isn’t attainable.

    • Sure, this one is easier said than done. I have a hard time accepting that I won’t be perfect. In the reality of it all, though, there is only one perfect person who will ever walk this earth, and that is Jesus Christ. You were not created to be perfect, that is our flesh. We will sin, our plan will change because it is not His plan, and people will let us down. However, there is comfort in knowing that there is a God that has our whole life in His hands if we are only to hand it over to him and stop trying to control it.

 

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away” (Isaiah 64:6).

 

“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect” (Psalm 18:32).

 

“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30).

Crazy Horse Girl

Why do I ride? Maybe it is because I know he will never let me down. Or maybe it’s because every time I go to see my horse I learn something new about myself. Going to the barn never ceases to make me have a smile on my face. Never ceases to let me be me and not think about the worries of the world. My 1,800-pound beast has taught me compassion, patience and teamwork. He understands every feeling inside without saying a single word. I’ve learned teamwork is compromise and to work with strengths and weaknesses of both players to make the outcome perfect, but also that even if the outcome isn’t perfect that doesn’t mean you have failed.

You may say it is just a horse where do all these things come from, but to me it is not just a horse, it is my life. From age 6 I have been a top a horse escaping the things that my mind encaged me with. Even if it is just fifteen minutes spent alongside him or in the saddle they are fifteen precious minutes for my sanity, for the thoughts in my head to quiet themselves for just a moment and enjoy the ride. His flanks rise and fall with breath that I can akin myself to. Just as he does, I have a beating heart and can feel pain. He’s experienced many of my happiest moments, but also has been there through my toughest as I buried my face in his neck and his warm coat absorbed my tears. Horses have remained one of the only constants in my life despite all the major changes in life. The barn has always been a safe haven, a place where I can escape anything haunting me outside of my Eden.

Maybe to you, I seem like that crazy horse girl, and I won’t deny that I’m not, but that horse that made this girl so crazy really made her into someone she loved and someone that she could look into the mirror and say I’m okay.

Do you ever?

Do you ever just look at your life and think, “wow I’m blessed”?

Amongst all the hardship, the struggle, the stress you take a breath just long enough to see everything that you are oh so lucky to have.

Do you ever just look at the person sitting across from you on the bus and smile? They too are going through something. Maybe even something more than you are. That person has a story to tell.

Do you ever just look up to the sky and laugh?

God is watching over you and has already written your story and their story and the story of the husband you haven’t met.

Sometimes life gets hard and overwhelming and scary and I don’t know where to go or if I am even going in the right direction, but then it’s those moments that remind me who I am. On the days where I cant figure out what the purpose of life is, running from God trying to find the answer, He opens my eyes to say “you are my child” and reminds me that He is enough. He fills my soul with life and I once again reminded of who I am, a child of God.

Lake Tahoe

“He can move the mountains.” That’s all I could think about as we glided across the crystal blue water surrounded by giant mountains on all side as if they were hoping to give the water a hug. These mountains that I cant even take in without looking up or all the way to left or right, He can move. Sure, usually these are metaphorical mountains. The addiction you can’t overcome the hate or guilt that just won’t go away, I however like to imagine God reaching down and moving the mountains like they are nothing. Then the water from the boat motor splashed me in the face and I laughed. How many times will he forgive me? More than the drops in the ocean. I’m not even in the ocean. I’m on a lake (Lake Tahoe). Yes, this lake seems giant, and it is…in some areas it is deeper than anyone knows, but this lake’s volume is incomparable to the ocean. I suddenly feel tiny, so tiny, yet so blessed. I looked up at the big clouds and the blue sky and smiled “Hi, father”. I looked back over at the biggest mountain across the lake and imagined the earth as God created it, I imagined the mountains like play-doh as he pulls and stretches them into place. He probably smiled as he put Lake Tahoe together, so excited to share something so beautiful with His children. As I’m staring off taking in everything around me, the mountains, the trees, the clear blue water, my mom looks over and says, “This place really is calming”. I nodded, there was no doubt that this place brought on a sense of peace and calm inside me and I believe that’s solely due to the fact that all I can think about it how big, beautiful and merciful God is.

Mark 11:23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.

Daniel 9:9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.

Ephesians 2:1-22 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked … But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.

Airplane

Flying in an airplane is one thing I could never get tired of doing. It takes what my everyday image of the earth is and blows it into new proportions; proportions that sometimes I cant seem to fully grasp. I like to think of it as that piece of art at the art gallery that up close is a cluster of pennies of obvious different ages from the varying colors, but when you take those couple steps back to take in the whole image (as people at art museums tend to do) you realize that mass of pennies is actually a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Which also then brings in a lot of irony that you wouldn’t have seen if you didn’t take those steps back to take it in just a little bit more. God has blessed us with the ability to see his creation on an up close and personal scale, seeing all the detail he’s put into it, but at the same not seeing the true detail at all (i.e. microscopic organisms and atoms). And suddenly I realize that in reality no comparison can compare to the perspective we see this world at because we could probably forever “zoom in” or “zoom out” of what we know as earth and life and never cease to be amazed by how much is put into what we take as an everyday occurrence. There are some amazing artists that have walked this earth, but none compares to the artists that resides in Heaven. If God took so much time to make the zoomed out version of earth just as beautiful as the zoomed in version then why wouldn’t he do that for every son and daughter that He has. The bible verse Matthew 6:30 comes to mind when I think about all this.

“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

God took the time to make something (like a flower) beautiful beyond measure, just to wither away or be thrown into fire. God has poured everything He has into making His children who they are. However, seeing earth in this way doesn’t only make me think about how I am made, but also just how great God truly is. It’s views like these that make me ask how does anyone look at something like that and think it’s on accident? How does someone see how every field, lake, river, road, mountain, and forest makes a quilt across the seemingly tiny ground and think that it is just how it is. There is a God that is obviously greater than anything we could wrap our heads around. I can’t help but look out the window and want to sing, “Lord, we know that you are here now.”

Bisnieta

The name Kathryn came from my great grandma. Carrying the name of my great grandma has always made me strive to be what I knew of her, and to be honest that wasn’t much from my own memory.  The objects and thoughts that came to mind were things I heard from other people. Pears- from her and my aunt in the pear tree. Fluffy- the poodle she had that I never met. Tea sets- from the set sitting on my grandmas mantle. Then I started to try to think of my own memories.. tobacco- from the cigars she and Pop would smoke on the porch. Amish- from the valley she lived in, and will always remain my favorite spot to be. Smocks- for the clothes I remembered her wearing in the nursing home. Quilts- for the one that I thought was so beautiful that covered her fragile body. And the worst memory death… my first death I can remember. A couple days after we got the news I remember it hit me, the woman I was named after just passed away and I hardly had a clue on who she was. I can remember kissing her face before they closed the casket and trying desperately not cry over the feeling that I just lost who I was supposed to be.

I clung to what people told me she was, and trying to relate her personality to mine, dedicated, stubborn, creative, independent, strong. My fear was to take her name and to be someone far from her. The fact is, I got so wrapped up in trying to be someone I hardly had a memory of that I often forgot to be me. I often feared who I could be, it seemed much safer and easier to relate off what others said was a honorable woman. Recently I realized that I don’t have to be what I chalked up to be a perfect person, I can be me and still be accepted, and I learned this through accepting Christ in to my life. Even though my great grand mother carried character traits that I desired, I just had to let myself realize that I in-fact had a lot of those character traits naturally without fighting myself to be that person. I am Kathryn Anne Adams, not Martha Kathryn Bigelow. I will never know her quite like my grandma and my aunts and my dad, but I know that whoever I am will make her proud. I am the great grand daughter of my mimi, but that doesn’t make me my great grandma and that’s okay.

Boxing Him up

I have ventured into the book of James (my bible reading is chronological so sometimes I skip around with books). There is so much in this book that I absolutely loved, but something that really stood out to me was James 1:23-25

23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

I think part of why this stood out to me was the fact that just that morning I looked in the mirror and thought “wow I look good today”, and when I turned away that confidence fell away and I was back to imagining my face as the distorted version that I’m sure most people can relate to. The question I immediately asked myself was, “If I constantly forget what I look like after looking in the mirror, then how often do I read the bible, pray, or go to church, and as soon as I am done, return to the world in thought?”

I think the concept of putting Jesus “in His own box” is something incredibly easy to fall into habit of doing.  Someone recently said to me that we so often pray that Jesus take every part of us. Yes, we pray that He take the key to our minds and our hearts, but what we don’t share is that the key we give Him keeps Him locked out of certain “doors” in our life.

Everyone has that door that they try to keep hidden, for me that’s having control. I like everything in its place at all times, and when things don’t go quite the way I planned it, a breakdown ensues. Every time I lose control, I am doing just as I did in the mirror.

I have a  painting above my bed  that reads “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10. I read that every single day multiple times a day, and the “image” I see in the mirror when I read that, is God has complete control of my life.  But, as soon as I no longer have a hold on the events of the day, I instantly turn around and forget the “image” of God’s control, I am doing just as James 1:23-25 warns about. Something I obviously need to work on in my life. Knowing this, I find a great comfort with trying to fight the sin in my life with the fact that the battle is already won.

I challenge you to find what you are forgetting when you turn away from the mirror.