I have learned to be content in what circumstances I am. ~ Philippians 4:11 (HCSB)
One way I tend to control things is through being (or at least seeming) “perfect.” I love to have a clean house (or at least one devoid of clutter and dust bunnies)… Just don’t look in my closets, YIKES! I like to make sure I “do” my hair in the morning, put on my make up, and clothes that are presentable, even if all I’m planning to do is stay at home playing with my kids, not going anywhere. This may just seem second nature to some, but trust me, it comes from a spirit of perfectionism.
So, my Anna tends to be quite the perfectionist. I’m not blaming her because between her father and I, she definitely gets the character trait honestly. In fact, it’s something that we’ve been talking though with her because while we want to do things with excellence, it’s unhealthy to be consumed with having control over EVERYTHING and having EVERYTHING perfect. Because this is an area in which we all seem to struggle, our family motto is “Don’t sweat the small stuff” simply because there’s a tendency to freak out about small things or about things out of our control.
At the beginning of the school year, Anna’s preschool teacher asked the parents to sign up to make play dough. I chose to make purple play dough for the month of March. I, however, didn’t realize that purple is a difficult color to make… oops. So, my play dough came out grayish, brownish, yucky color, much to my dismay. I didn’t like how it came out at all, and I was initially worried about Anna’s response and was mentally preparing myself for a bit of a verbal lashing of my inability to correctly color play dough. When she awoke the next morning, I sheepishly showed her the play dough… She looked at it, and I raced into an explanation that if it wasn’t what she wanted I would go ahead and try again and I’m so sorry, I will do better next time. All Anna said, “Mommy, don’t sweat the small stuff. It doesn’t have to be perfect.” And then, she added excitedly, “I’m going to put it in my back pack right now!”
WHAT A WIN for her (and for me). It was a great reminder that my kids do actually listen to me and get some of the things I’m saying! YAY! 🙂 Not only that, but she reminded me that I need to be content in all my circumstances… even with the miscolored play dough.