Paralyzed by Perfectionism

Remember when I said I was the only thing holding me back from seeing my dreams become reality? Well, that same day I decided to actually put into practice something I wrote. For months my fears and insecurities had held me back from something I really wanted to do: write for (in)courage.

Six times I sat down to write. Each time I got back up, frustrated and irritated.

Almost daily I write posts for my own blog. Sometimes it’s harder than others to get the words out, but I always write something. Each time I attempted to write a post for (in)courage, my words faltered and my mind went blank.

I wanted it to be perfect. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

So I stuttered and stalled and stopped. Allowing my fears and insecurities to hold me back.

But, guess what?!

I did it…

That’s right! I finished it, and I sent it in.

And they accepted it!

Guess who’s posting at (in)courage today?!

I’d love for you to join me there!

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Then God Smacked Me in the Head

“How did we end up with so many McDonald’s toys! Didn’t we just throw them all away?”

My kids stare at me, their blank-faces daring me to find an answer to such a rhetorical question. One by one I toss the miniature Barbies, Pokemon characters, and Kung-Fu Panda action figures into the open trash bag. Most of them were already missing an arm or frozen in a permanent karate chop action anyway.

With a sigh, I continue to make my way through their playroom, deciding which of two identical baby dolls to keep. With three boys, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that there will be duplicates in their toys. With only one daughter I am surprised to have two (and even three or four) of the same doll, dress-up costume or musical instrument.

“You guys have too much stuff!”

The kids nod their head in agreement. The purpose of the purge is our upcoming move. Hoping to save money on U-Haul trailers, we are brutal with what goes into the yard sale pile and what is allowed to stay.

Over the course of the next few days, I begin to see a trend.

We are thoughtless consumers.

I always get the kid’s meal at fast food restaurants; my children would be disappointed if they didn’t get a toy. If there’s a gift with purchase at my favorite makeup counter, I justify buying an unnecessary lipstick so I can get the equally unnecessary bag and lotion. Never mind the fact that I have stockpiles of toiletry bags and mini lotions in my bathroom at home; this one is new!

As the yard sale mountain grows, I wonder how we let things get this bad. Also, I begin to worry that we’ll just end up buying it all back. With my focus on de-cluttering our household and simplifying our move, my vision is clear as to what is needed and what is not. Once we are comfortably settled in our new home, will my eyes once again be blinded by “for a limited time”?

Join me over at Pop Parables to discover the spiritual truth God revealed to me through our pre-move purge!

And don’t forget to check back tomorrow (or get my posts by email, in a reader, or Facebook update) because I have something I’m REALLY excited about!!!

{Photo courtesy of Photobucket/childrsm}

{perspective}

“So…we were standing outside the coffee shop, he with a giant rose and me with a pounding heart, and he said, ‘I guess I was supposed to say will you go out with me.’”

“It wasn’t a coffee shop, it was a grocery store.”

“No, there was a Starbucks in the grocery store and we were standing outside of the Starbucks.”

“I bought the rose at the grocery store, and then told them to have you come outside. So, it was outside the grocery store.”

“Ok, fine. It was a grocery store. Does it really matter?”

::

One of my favorite movies is “When Harry Met Sally,” especially the interviews with the couples on how they got together. I love swapping stories. Get me in a room with a bunch of college students, and my college anecdotes pour out. If there’s an engaged or newlywed couple near, I’ll wax poetic about proposals and first years. Even a chance encounter with a pregnant woman in Target can bring out the storyteller in me. Sharing life with others fills my soul. That’s a major reason why I have a blog.

The thing about a story is that it is personal. Two people can live out the same event, and come away with completely different accounts. The old couple in “When Harry Met Sally” cracks me up because they argue over every detail.

Perspective, character and personality filter how we perceive our life experiences.

Join me at Beautifully Broken as I discuss the important of perspective in story!

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I’m Trying to Become a Writer

I’m trying to become a writer.

For the last few months I have done all within my power to learn more about the craft of writing. Stephen King told me in On Writing to “not come lightly to the page.” Anne Lamott showed me that the act of writing turns out to be its own reward; that publication shouldn’t be my end goal. Her book, Bird by Bird, revealed to me the ideas of short assignments and {cough} “poor” first drafts. According to Steven Pressfield, art is war and resistance is the enemy within. He encouraged me by saying, “If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), ‘Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?’ chances are you are.” Because I ask myself that question all the time.

I soon discovered that learning about writing didn’t make me a writer…Click here to find out what I discovered it takes to actually become a writer, an artist, a leader and even a Christian.

::

Today I have the privilege of guest posting at author, Mary DeMuth’s blog! I was able to sit down with Mary at the writer’s conference I attended in April, and she is as encouraging and friendly as she seems in her writing.

Did you know that I have a Facebook page for this here blog now? I wanted a place to connect with one another through updates and happenings, quotes, photos and links as I come across them! Just click here to join me, and don’t forget to click “like” at the top of the Facebook page to stay alerted to all this and more!
Also, you can sign up to have my posts automatically delivered to your inboxsubscribe in a reader {for free}!