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Progress vs. Perfection

“Focus on the progress you’re making. Thank God for it and pave your journey with grace.” I read these words this morning from Lysa Terkeurst’s Unglued.(#ad) They stood off the page to me, completely out of context with her subject but applicable to my current frame of mind. I’m unglued alright, I’m a mom. Need I say more?

I get hung up on doing it all right and when I fall short it feels like I get sent back to GO….again.

Instead of re-strategizing, and capitalizing on the progress I’ve already made, I auction off my hotels, declare myself bankrupt ,and focus on the all the other moms that are living it up on the Boardwalk. Not exactly paving my journey with grace…

Because grace would say, I don’t need a label that reads either PERFECT or FAILURE. Bad days don’t make me a failure, any more than great days make me perfect. And whether we live on Park Place or Baltic avenue, we moms are all in the same boat.

We all have our struggles. We have our fabulous days, our weary moments, our wonderful times, as well as our discouraging seasons…because it’s a journey.

It’s a road we’ve never walked. Its scenic, adventurous, and exciting, with some unexpected turns along the way. But one undeniable fact is that we have all made progress. Progress we can be thankful for, and find encouragement in.

My progress doesn’t look like yours and yours doesn’t look like mine. And that’s ok.

For me, I have a couple children that are potty trained (minus the misfires on the bathroom wall), know how to feed themselves, can pick up their toys, and are capable of saying their please and thank you’s… not perfect, but progress. Wonderful, glorious progress.

Progress says that all the work I am pouring into my little ones is paying off. It says they are hearing what I am saying. It says they are learning what I am teaching. And lastly, it says that all this is happening by the grace of God, in spite of the days that I feel like I’ve been sent back to GO.

If you feel like you are stuck on Baltic Avenue today, pave your way with a little grace and keep pressing on,

 even the little things like your kids going to the bathroom on their own. And lastly, thank God for it. By his grace he has redeemed our mistakes, and has given us the strength to continue in this beautiful role called motherhood.

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24 Comments

  1. Well said Jessica!. As mamas, it’s easy to keep beating ourselves when we don’t feel as perfect as the world expects us. We fail to give grace to ourselves. Very true children are always different, learn things at different places as well. I believe as mamas, we can only pour ourselves into our babies and leave it to God. And remember His grace is sufficient. Thanks again for sharing and the encouragment.

  2. Beautiful post Jessica! We just take one step at a time in progression. Thanking God is the best part. We just got our 19 month old to go into a big boy bed! Hugs and love , Terri.

  3. My kids have a book about the atonement that says, “Perfection is still the ultimate goal, but until you get there, you can borrow mine.” That counts for parenting too. If we are truly doing our best, Christ will step into the void and make it whole.

    On very bad days, it also helps to remind myself that very few children grow up to be serial killers, so the odds are, mine won’t either.?

  4. Love this! I’ve been really milking this over lately, how God has done a HUGE work in my heart smwith regards to wanting it “perfect” now that I have seven children. Perfect is impossible. I’ll go for progress any day! 🙂

  5. For some reason, it’s easier for me to remember “the journey” aspect of life in other areas, but I tend to forget about focusing on the progress when it comes to parenting, and just get frustrated at the imperfection. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. I can so relate to this, Jessica! As a mom of 5 and a perfectionist at heart, I can often be envious of the moms who seem to be strolling on Boardwalk! As my children have gotten older and I’ve connected with other moms, I’ve come to realize that I can tend to compare my behind the scenes with their highlight reels. We all have issues and struggle with something. No one has it all together. I love how you place the emphasis on progress. It is a journey and none of us have arrived! Thanks for sharing this at Salt & Light linkup today!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing a little piece of your mom-journey with me! Sometimes just knowing we are not alone in our struggle is where the progress begins. Hope you have a wonderful day! <3 P.S. love the link up!

  7. This post is so relevant to where I am today as a Mother. I can get so down on myself because there are so many areas I feel I could do better. Thank you for the reminder that I’ve made progress! Thank you for sharing at Salt & Light Linkup 🙂

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