1.   dis·trac·tion /disˈtrakSHən/

1.    A thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.

2.    A diversion or recreation.

Last night I sat down and reflected over the last month and this is the word that has played over and over in my head.  Distraction.  As the definition says it is something that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.  As a wife and a mother, I feel this all too often and if I am not careful I can let it consume me.  The voice of Fear, the voice of Doubt, the voice of Guilt, the voice of Shame, the voice of Pride and many more I am sure I am forgetting can creep into my routine and create a very destructive distraction for me. Each of these looks like this, “What if…”, “You can’t…”, “You should be…”, “You shouldn’t have…”, “Pat yourself on the back…”  Do you hear these phrases in your thoughts? I do. Maybe you have other ones that you connect with you on a different level, either way these thoughts are distractions.  They prevent us from being the person we were designed to be and from doing the things we were designed to do.

I can’t say what this looks like for you but for me it looks a little like this…. (Insert vulnerability here).  I am a perfectionist.  I crave control. Five years ago I would have called the phrases above my best friends and friends that I needed and counted on. When I live in the very “black and white” world of perfectionism these phrases have no problem sweeping in to save me like old friends do but by save me I mean distract me. They have the potential to do a lot of damage. They keep me from giving my all to my husband, to my children, to my family, to my friends, to my community, to my business and most importantly to my God.  I can miss out on opportunities that would bless others because I am being selfish.  Ewe even as I type that word I cringe.  This is not how we were designed.  We were not designed to think of ourselves first and others second.  We were designed for community and to serve others above serving ourselves.  There are parts of me that would absolutely love to live communally, where everyone uses their gifts and talents to serve one another and share life doing so and a few of my friends will laugh because I have mentioned this very idea to them.

As I was reflecting and praying, I was reminded it is not about me and whew what a relief I was given.  My work here on this earth is about growth not about perfectionism.  I am in tears.  I have to type that again for myself and maybe for you too.  My work here on this earth is about growth not about perfectionism.  Grow each day.  Please whatever you do, DO NOT bury your head in the sand and place blame. Placing blame is just as distracting and destroying as anything else.  Take control of you what you can take control of and give the rest to God.  He can handle it.  Again for me, He CAN handle it.

Let me encourage you to get vulnerable and dig deep.  Get honest with yourself and ask “What is distracting me?” Let someone know and ask them to hold you accountable to getting rid of these things.

Praying for all those that read this,

Emily