I have struggled with perfectionism in one form or another for as long as I can remember.  Just when I think I have conquered this need to be and do everything “perfectly,” I find myself staring perfectionism square in the face, once again.  Now, perfectionism in itself is not all bad.  Certain aspects of this drive have actually served me well.  With perfectionism, comes a great attention to the details;  if you ask me to organize your closet, create a display or write a paper, I can produce a pretty nice product.  The problem comes, though, when perfectionism steals the joy from the process of creating or, in my case right now,  keeps me from creating at all.

While I am making a conscious attempt to try and keep things simple this Christmas, the additional holiday “to-do” lists keep running across my mind,  along with writing ideas which remain in my head as disjointed thoughts instead of making their way to the page.  I could place all the blame for my lack of focus on the Season and the many  distractions that come with it;  however, I know perfectionism all too well, and I can see it needling its way into my blog writing.  What if this post is not as well-written as the last one?  What if people lose interest in my writing?  What if I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been said?

After sharing the frustration over my “writer’s block” with a dear friend this morning, she then posed the question, “What if you just sit-down and write?”  With the exception of my own private journaling,  writing spontaneously without carefully crafting and measuring my words, for someone else to read, is a bit scary for my perfection-seeking self.  At the same time, if I start expecting every piece of my writing to be beyond compare, I end-up paralyzing myself with the fear of failure.

This drive towards perfectionism, this fear of failure, is really me seeking approval and it is in this place of fear that I am reminded of my reason for writing.  I am writing because God has given me a gift and He wants me to use it for His glory, not mine.   So, once again, I turn my words over to God in the hopes that even if they are not written perfectly, He will still be able to use them for His purpose.

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.   -1 Timothy 4:10