Do you ever have a day where you wish you could hit the restart button? A day where you feel like you totally failed? A day where you look back and don’t like the choices you made or how you handled certain situations.
Recently, while James and I were getting ready for bed I shared with him how I had an off day. I was short with the kids, raised my voice, and let the things I’ve been dealing with effect how I treated them. And I felt so bad about it. I told James that I apologized to them at lunch but seeing their innocent faces sad broke my heart.
After sharing this, James responded with such a simple but true answer. He said, “You had a bad day. You apologized and sought forgiveness. Don’t be too hard on yourself.”
My desire to be a great mom is strong and when I make mistakes or have an off day, it hits hard. I’ve set the bar high and can be hard on myself when I miss it.
Maybe you can relate through your own feelings of motherhood. Or with your career, marriage, or successes in life. There’s this desire to not only reach perfection but to also stay there. You look at others around you and let that determine what level you should be achieving and maintaining. You then beat yourself up when you fail to reach this unrealistic standard.
Your off day towards your children doesn’t determine your worth as their mother.
Your stressful day in your career doesn’t dictate your worth to your employer or business.
Your day of fighting with your spouse doesn’t lessen your worth as a wife.
How you handle the fact that you had an off day is just as important as to what caused you to have one in the first place.
Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
After I apologized to my children and cleaned up lunch, I told them I was going to my room to have some quiet time and pray. I spent that time with God refocusing, giving Him all the stresses of the day, and asking for forgiveness. One of my prayers was for my children to see their imperfect mother, who was having a rough day, seeking Christ. Because they will have off days and I want them to seek Christ and to put their worth in Him on those days.
Your life is fleeting and you can spend so much time being so hard on yourself when you make a mistake.
James 3:2 says, “We all stumble in many ways.”
Sometimes your own desires for perfectionism can spread to those around you. The standard you’ve placed on yourself is so high that you set the same standard on others, unfairly. Then when they stumble, you’re way too hard on them.
I’ve been in those roles where an unfair standard was placed on me. It was demanded that I meet unrealistic deadlines and expectations. I was constantly being told that I was a failure and it took a huge toll on my self-confidence. It affected the way I viewed myself when I didn’t reach perfection and created this false reality in my heart causing me to become really hard on myself.
When the standards for yourself are placed on those around you, they will hold themselves to that. It’s only natural. They will work tirelessly to please you and strain for your level of perfection. Your standard should be full of grace, patience, and love for others but, also yourself.
Sweet friend, please know you’re allowed to have an off day. You’re allowed to have a day where mistakes are made that you learn and grow from. You’re not required to reach perfection. So when you have that off day- take a step back to pray, refocus, seek forgiveness, and stop being so hard on yourself.
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