I’ve been mulling over my reasons for blogging recently. My original explanation can be found in my blog name explanation post; but I’m not sure it tells the whole story.
After my 2yo’s birthday party last month, we enjoyed an [unexpected] visit from out-of-town in-laws, and in the preparations for that visit, my projects and blogging were pushed aside. As I returned to my projects and prepared to blog again, I realized I didn’t have anything completely finished or perfect enough to share, so I set aside the blog for another week. About the same time, I learned that a friend’s two year old daughter had been diagnosed with leukemia. I set aside other projects and began planning a bunny quiet book for her, to entertain her when she didn’t feel like playing. The day before I planned to go to the nearest fabric store to get supplies for her book, I was stunned by the update on her blog entitled “Goodbye”. Little Joella’s body had been unable to fight infection, and she was released from her struggle into the arms of her Savior. The news threw me into a tailspin, and my projects and blogging seemed like the least important pursuits in the entire world. My daughter is only one month older than Joella, and I couldn’t stop putting myself into my friend’s place, and seeing exactly what she is now missing, and imagining what it would be like if we were fighting cancer, and if she lost her battle too…
I questioned God, and my assumptions about how He works. He has led me to a deeper trust in Him as I have struggled. He has also used my brokenness to show me other heart issues that I have, which I need to allow Him to fix. A friend who has been helping me through my struggles and mourning mentioned that she had been reading The Organized Heart, and when she shared a couple of quotations from the book, I knew it was one I needed to read.
I went straight to their website and bought the e-book so I could begin reading it, right then! And I did find myself in the pages, as I knew I would. It wasn’t comfortable; she begins by stating that if I’m having trouble staying organized, and the issue isn’t a lack of knowledge or skill, then it is an issue of the heart. Specifically, it’s idolatry. That’s a bit of a heart-stopper; I’ve never considered myself guilty of idolatry! She addresses four idols: perfectionism, busyness, leisure, and possessions. You can just look at the title of my blog to immediately discover my biggest issue! Having the charge of idolatry thrown at me might have been a bit much if God hadn’t been talking to me about the problems my perfectionism causes me. He’s been introducing this idea to me for two years now. How thankful I am that He’s been gentle with me! But it’s time to repent and take action, and really open up to Him so that He can change my heart.
Now, the connection to my blogging: I had another motivation when I began my blog. I did, indeed, want it to function as accountability for me, as motivation to finish the projects I began but never seemed to quite finish, or even gave up less than halfway through for something new and exciting. But there was more: I wanted someone to tell me I was doing a good job, that I had a few great ideas, that they were proud of me for finishing a project and of how it turned out. I lived for comments, viewing stats, and features on other blogs! I was uncomfortable with the amount of enthusiasm I felt when I had a record number of hits, or a feature on a blog I love; and equally uncomfortable with how sad I felt when no one commented to tell me they loved a particular project. I pushed it aside, but Staci Eastin (author) helpd me pinpoint why I was feeling uncomfortable: “When we derive our peace and joy from the admiration of others, it is idolatry…Instead of working to help others become their best, perfectionists work to gain admiration from others. Instead of pointing others to worship a holy God, we turn the spotlight on our own achieveements.”
And guess what? I wasn’t just hoping for your praise. I was somehow hoping to earn God’s praise too! I thought, somewhere deep inside, that He would be proud of my efforts, and say, look at her! Look at how these spectacular projects she’s doing to serve her family! Isn’t she wonderful? I really knew what I was doing when I created her!
Ridiculous, isn’t it? Staci helped me out here too: “Perfection becomes idolatry when we believe that the quality of our work makes us worthy of God’s praise…We should give our all, but we should do so while resting in the knowledge that God esteems us because of Christ’s work on the cross, not because of any actions of our own.”
Wow. I really needed to hear that.
So, all this to say: I’m going to continue with my projects. I’m going to try not to obsess over whether or not they turn out perfectly, or whether they measure up to the standards of some spectacular bloggers I know. I’m going to appreciate any kind words you throw my way, but they’re not going to be so important to me anymore. I might not even check my stats every
hour day. 🙂 I’m not going to act like God has given me projects to do all by myself, and is standing by waiting to see how I did and give me a grade. God and I are going to be crafting together. And quilting! I’m going to stick my toe into the quilting waters in the next week or two…and whatever comes from that will be the result of the grace of God entirely :). I’m going to continue to use this blog as motivation to work on and finish projects, but I’m going to discontinue its use as a means of bowing down to the idol of perfectionism. By the grace of God, of course.
And maybe I’ll share my struggles with those other idols. But this is enough for now! I can’t recommend The Organized Heart highly enough. If you struggle with the actual getting-up-and-doing-it of staying organized, or with consistency in your organization, this is the book for you.