The walk started off like any other. The summer gardens bloom brightly in places and sunlight filters through the varying shades of green. The trees cast shadows on the paths and birds, deer, squirrels and wild turkeys beckon us to explore further. Everything is a treat for the eyes, peace for the soul and an intrinsic God moment in the act of letting go of all else.
As I was walking one day, I was oblivious to my surroundings. But as I settled into a rhythm, I created a space to soak in and observe the details laid out before me. Each weathered branch, gnarled tree root, leaf, and splash of color, though not perfect in shape or form, is “imperfectly perfect” in God’s eyes. I discovered that beauty is not always a perfect image ready to be captured by our cameras. Instead it shows up in the intricate root system of a majestic, old tree. It looks like a bird prancing across the pathway. Sometimes it shines as a reflection in a pond along the way. On this day, God taught me a lesson of how His creation is imperfectly perfect because we are all unique and beautiful in His eyes.
I am one who seeks perfection in my life. It is a character flaw or a gift depending on how I use it. When I look at perfection as a process of refining who I am and allow it to be ongoing, I am using it as a gift. If I look at perfection to improve at all cost, I am manifesting a huge character flaw. God chose to make us imperfect because we only find perfection in Jesus Christ.
[Tweet “As imperfect people, we will always find our perfection in Jesus.”]
I am on a journey to learn the deeper pieces of how God wired me and how these traits honor Him. It is an ongoing journey that opens up new paths as God gives me glimpses into the beautiful “me” He created. One of the tools I utilized recently revealed my happiness style. Jennifer Dukes Lee’s new book, The Happiness Dare, is launching into the world on August 2nd. This book is a gem in not only exploring happiness, but looks at who we are, where we fall in the happiness style spectrum and how we can use our strengths to improve ourselves as well as better relate to others.
I am a Relater. I crave a sense of belonging, enjoy being with the people I love, need a tribe of very good friends and am likable and warm. 🙂 When I read the words below from Jennifer, I knew that this assessment was dead on.
Go ahead. Read it several times. I know I did and the truth in these words speaks to me with such a clarity and understanding of who I am. My imperfectly perfect self is wrapped in being a relater, but also in who God created me to be. You also are a unique, one of a kind child of God, blessed with imperfections, gifts and a beautiful story.
Our imperfections are made beautiful by God who loves us into perfection. Our ability to see the beauty in others happens more easily when we are looking through the truth reflected in God’s eyes.
[Tweet “Our imperfections are made beautiful by God who loves us into perfection.”]
A happiness style provides a snapshot into a piece of our story. It gives us a better understanding of how we relate to others. God is the person behind the camera of our life and He sees the whole picture in one snapshot. He loves our quirks, looks, personalities and every little piece of who we are.
Are you happy with the imperfectly perfect self God created? I dare you to take the happiness assessment and share your style in the comments. Follow the link to find the assessment HERE.
Jennifer’s book, The Happiness Dare, is now available for pre-order. Follow the link to get your own copy HERE. You will be so glad you did.
.Blessings of grace along the way!
Linking up with these beautiful ladies!
and Dawn for Grace Moments
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Oh, I loved this Mary. I am a relater, too, though I have not read Jennifer’s book yet. It came in the mail yesterday so I am eager to start it. But looking for lovely and beautiful in all we see is a reflection of the lens that He sees through as well, because when He sees you it is beautiful.
The pictures are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing this at #GraceMoments
You will love Jennifer’s book. She is a beautiful story teller and the way she walks the reader through the different happiness styles has been a huge “aha” for me. I love how you described the beautiful reflection we can choose to look through because God is always looking through that lens. Thank you for stopping by and leaving some beautiful encouragement.
Mary, what a powerful post. So many good words about perfection. I’ve been on both sides of the perfection coin. Both where it was a gift as I tried to perfect something God gave me to do, but also on the side of holding myself to unattainable standards of perfection.
And this? “Our imperfections are made beautiful by God who loves us into perfection. ” There is a huge amount of hope in this line. Thank you, my friend. I needed this today.
You’re welcome! It is always a pleasure when you join me here. God gave us free choice to choose perfection and use it for His glory or misuse it. I have been on the wrong end of the choosing too many times. The hope in knowing God takes our imperfections and loves us into perfection drops me to my knees in gratitude. We are blessed by a God who loves us even in the middle of mistakes and messiness. I pray we learn to choose the path that draws us closer to God. Sabbath blessings friend!
I have only realized in recent years how much of a perfectionist I am. And I don’t like it. ha. I’m also reading The Happiness Dare right now (I’m a Thinker) and am really enjoying Jennifer’s perspectives. It’s a breath of fresh air to be given permission to seek happiness, yes? Enjoy reading!
I am finding more and more people who are perfectionists. The funny thing is that God created us as imperfect people so you can imagine with me how hard it is to try to be perfect. Together we can lean into God and let Him make us perfect.
I love Jennifer’s book and her amazing way of telling stories that make you feel you know the characters. I also love knowing we can seek happiness but also how she has given us the tools to reach out to those who express their happiness in different ways. Hope you are enjoying your reading too.
Great reminder, Mary! I need to remember to find joy in the moment. To let go of perfect. I don’t worry about it in many areas, but in others . . . ooh I need to do better. Thanks for this, I definitely needed it!
Sounds easier than we think, doesn’t it? Every time I believe I have a handle on perfect, I find myself falling into the same old patterns. I am praying that God continues to work in and through all of us as we let go of perfect and hold onto Him. Blessings!
As a “recovering perfectionist”, I still struggle with that urge to be perfect for God on my own. The down side of that is that I often think that I disappoint Him. Both statements, as you pointed out, couldn’t be further from the truth. I can’t be perfect. I am only seen as perfect through the cleansing blood of Christ. I can’t disappoint God. It’s not in His vocabulary and because of what Christ did< I am forever perfect in God's eyes and therefore can walk in freedom. Great reminder this am.
You said it so beautifully Bev! We are forever perfect in God’s eyes. I still have more moments than I care to admit where my perfectionism goes into overdrive. God is quick to show me that perfection is only found in Him. I need to be reminded of this lesson often. I am thankful that as we walk this road together, we always have God to lead us back on the right path. Blessings friend!
Great post, Mary! From one perfectionist to another, this post has been quite helpful. and thank you for the link to the Happiness Assessment. I, too, wound up a Relater. Interesting!
Your photos here are pleasing and relaxing. I enjoyed them a lot, Mary.
I am glad I am in good company. I can see you as a Relater. Thank you for sharing. It’s such a treat having you here today Janis!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts as you ponder the beauty of God’s world, Mary. And Jennifer’s book sound interesting. I do like to relate but I know that would not be my happiness style even before I take the inventory. But I can tell that fits you “perfectly.” Isn’t it amazing how God created each one of us different and yet we all yearn for His perfection. Great thoughts, my friend!
I hope you will take the happiness assessment. I imagine you as a doer and a thinker. I would love to hear what your styles really are!!! Thank you for knowing me and recognizing me as a relater. God has done such an amazing job on each of us and as much as we would like to strive to be perfect, we don’t need to be as a child of God. Here’s to our beautiful imperfect selves!
Mary, I’m a giver but relater is only one point behind that. I know that combo is spot on for me. Loved this post. On vacation with my sis in the heart of the Black Hills of SD, we’ve seen lots of Gods awesome creation. It fits so well with your post today.
I remember you telling me you were a giver and relater. Those are my two highest too. I imagine your vacation with your sister is providing all kinds of moments to incorporate all of your happiness styles especially experiencer. Enjoy the vacation and the time with your sister.
Mary, thanks for introducing us to The Happiness Dare. I came out as a doer with thinker one point behind. Fun and give me something to think about.
I am glad you took the happiness dare. It is quite fascinating to learn about each style and their sweet spots as well as red flags. Jennifer Dukes Lee’s book comes out August 2nd and it has already made a difference in me. Thank you for joining me here today, Debbie!
So glad you put the assessment link in your post because I’ve been trying to find it! I am a DOER, and secondly a GIVER. Interesting. Your blog is always rich in content and your pics are superb!!! xo (I’ll be in Cincinnati on the 23rd – want to meet for lunch?)
I am glad you took the assessment. Your results don’t surprise me even knowing you a little. It is fun to compare but also to learn how these different styles can work together. Thank you for the compliment on my photos. I love taking pictures.
I agree with Linda . . . Ahhhhhh.
And this thought came to me as I read: We’re not “settling” when we give up the quest for perfect in this world. We’re opening our hands to all the gifts that God wants to show to us, just as He opened your eyes to the imperfect beauty all around you in creation.
We are not settling because God chose each of us for a purpose and wired each of us with unique gifts. Love when you share your thoughts. Hope you enjoy some of the imperfect that in God’s eyes looks perfect!
Ah … the swimming swan, reflected. Sheer loveliness.
And oh yes, the assessment nailed it. For you, sweet friend, most assuredly are warm and likeable.
Enjoy this golden day …
The swan picture is my favorite of all time. I would use that in every post if I could. Thank you for your sweet words about the assessment. Hope you take it and let me know what your style is!!! 🙂 Hugs!
This is my favorite line: Together is what makes us brave when life makes us scared.
So true! We need our team of Encouragers.
That is my favorite line too. You will find many more favorites in Jennifer Dukes Lee new book, The Happiness Dare. It is teaching me so much about myself and others. Praying we all have a team of Encouragers with God in the lead. Blessings!