No perfection necessary

The other day, I was looking through some magazine articles I’d written and I came across one of my poems that was published in a teen magazine years ago. It was written as a prayer and it went like this…

Not Perfect
Lord, help me know
that I’m your design,
unique, of your hands,
of your heart
and your mind.

It’s easy to look in the mirror and see
that I am not perfect…

but I am me.

Sometimes I think I’m too short or too tall.
My feet are too big.
My chest is too small.
My skin is a mess.
My teeth are not straight.
I try to be God-like,
but just make mistakes.

I’m crooked and messed up and flawed…

but not really
because, Lord, you made me
and it’s you who heals me.

Though I’m not perfect
I am so grateful.

You are my God.
You are so faithful.

I wrote the poem in part as a reflection of how I felt back in college, secretly struggling with my self-image and food, then coming out of it through my faith. But even though it draws from that period of my life and is geared toward teens, how many of us struggle with these types of feelings–striving for perfection, but feeling flawed–into adulthood?

Especially as moms, we can put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to “have it all together.” But the good news is, that’s not God’s plan for us–trying to be perfect all the time. According to Him, we are wonderfully made regardless of what we look like or how we feel. Regardless of how nice our houses are or how well-behaved our kids act. Our value isn’t in how many committees we lead, how well our kids get along, if we buy cookies from the store instead of baking them from scratch, or how we “perform” as moms.

Our value is in Him.

He knit us together beautifully, on the inside and out…

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb, praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know what full well.” Psalm 139: 13 – 14

You are wonderful, moms.


And life is so much more fulfilling when we let our Supermom facades down and just be real…

when we realize how big God’s love and grace is,

and that there is no perfection necessary.

A mom’s prayer: Lord, help me to see myself as you see me. Thank you for your constant love and grace. And for the reassurance that I don’t have to be perfect.

2 Responses to No perfection necessary
  1. Ashley
    July 4, 2012 | 11:37 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this poem. As a relatively new wife and as a mother I can completely and totally relate. It made me cry because it was what I needed to hear tonight as I look around my house that is a mess, and I know I have a disaster awaiting me in the laundry room, and I need to pack my husband’s lunch for tomorrow and I know I made mistakes today as a mother and an aunt. I needed this reminder of my perfection in my imperfections in the eyes of God. Thank you again.

    God bless you

  2. Mothering From Scratch
    July 5, 2012 | 9:31 am

    {Melinda} So much truth in this! The problem with perfectionism (one of the many!) is that the standard keeps changing. Someone else demands something of us or makes us think we need to be more, just when we began to feel content in that area. Or, we reach a goal, but then feel like we’re still not good enough — we should have done more.

    Our only hope for peace and joy, even in the midst of our imperfections, is truly in Him!