In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Perfection Not Required--At Any Age

Christa played piano in "Sharing Chapel" last week.

Rest assured, my caboose kiddo likes to be center stage, so her piano teacher didn't have to cajole her into playing "God Bless America." Christa's a good pianist, too--but she still needed to practice.

And practice.

And practice.

And during the days leading up to Sharing Chapel, I had to keep myself under control.

Christa handles being in the limelight much better than I do. For her, it's fun. Yes, she gets a little nervous. You'd never know it though. The girl looks as calm as the Queen of England greeting her royal subjects.

I, however, get very nervous. Why? Because I want Christa to play the piano perfectly--no missed notes, no skipping back a bar or two. And I wasn't hearing perfection during Christa's practices.

If you look closely at the line underneath my name on this blog you'll see that it says something about Perfection Not Required. I don't believe we have to be perfect moms. And I also don't believe our kids have to be perfect either.

That doesn't mean that I don't get tripped up by perfectionism.

What's a mom to do?

I encouraged my daughter--and reminded myself of a few truths at the same time.

"I am so proud of you for playing during Sharing Chapel," I said as I hugged her after one frustrating practice. "Playing a song is just another way to pray to God. He's pleased with you for doing that."

Another time I told her, "I can't wait to hear you play this song. Remember, during Sharing Chapel it's really just between you and God. Don't worry about anyone else."

And all the time I hoped she wasn't picking up on my underlying battle with perfectionism.

The day of Sharing Chapel, Christa selected a favorite dress and submitted to me styling her hair. She was more excited that her big sister, Katie Beth, was going to be there than that I was there--and I'm okay with that.

And she played "God Bless America" beautifully.

I didn't hear a single mistake--but that wasn't the point.

The point is she wanted to share her talent with God and with others--and she did. She wasn't afraid to get up and do it just because she might miss a note.

I think she's got the Perfection Not Required truth down a lot sooner than I did.



At 10:19 AM, Anonymous tracey solomon said...

Thnx for posting this.. I think we (for the most part) start out like Christa, then we lose our way.

I miss notes all the time in life.. but have to keep playing the song.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

You're right ... we all start out willing to be who we are, with our imperfections. And then we get told that's not good enough ... and we try to pretend we're perfect. Or we abandon something we love, like the piano, because we can't play flawlessly.
Think of what is lost ... who is lost in the process.


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