Faithwalk: Procrastinator plus Perfectionist equals Paralysis

This morning I’m procrastinating. Why? Well, I have received one comment, of no fault but my own. I have not put the word out about Faithwalk@angchronicles. I guess it’s time, since I have five posts for my readers, with photos. So this week check Facebook messages and email boxes, and follow me or not.

Maybe another reason I’m procrastinating is this thing I should claim: perfectionism. Several years ago, I participated in a 22-month Steven Covey coaching program. At the end of the session, the coach said: “Angela, you are a perfectionist.” I adamantly disagreed. In my mind, I rarely got things right, struggled at writing, slow at reading, terrible housekeeper, inadequate cook–the list could go on. And a sign of perfectionism: getting it right 99% of the time if not 100%.

In hindsight, I analyzed this accusation of perfectionism. Now, I can understand this label. I’m not one who believes in labels. However, let’s take a look back. One year, a friend invited me to a book club, four days notice. I said: sounds fun, but I have to read 80 pages a day to complete that task, and my calendar is full. I went shopping with friends and spent 30 minutes looking through for a purse with compartments. Before purchasing a dress or shoe, I think about what it matches in my wardrobe. In the past 18 months, I have moved twice, the boxes and bags were completely labeled home office, upstairs, writing books, religious books, shoe, purses, coats. After my divorce, I made a checklist dos and don’ts for the next man in my life. When my students ask if they can email an essay, I deny the request. I like all essays in alphabetical order, in a pile, so I can read and mark quickly. Here’s the topper:  three days ago while cleaning out files, I discovered a collection of poems and short stories I had written in grad school. The professor scribble encouraging remarks: interesting, good, I want to see more from this piece. Why did I not go back and revise those pieces then. Perfectionism. Then, 11 years earlier, I wanted to get it right the first time. Wow, I would not have put the pieces together Angela a perfectionist.

Well, I’ve revised one of the short stories, and plan to revise the remaining work for a short story collection. I refused to let perfectionism paralyze me. As a matter of fact: I’m letting go of perfectionism. Aha, I have realized why that song “Let Go and Let God” rattles me: I thought I had let go and let God, but in all reality I have a long way to go.

Faithwalk:Stand still

I thought about what’s next when all things fall apart. Faith. Stand firm in your faith. Stay rooted in what you know; what you believe to be true.
Really, that’s the only next step that makes sense.

Think about it for a moment. God promised to care of his children–those that believe in son. He promised to give us the desires of our heart. But at a cost: suffering, sacrifice, obedience, repentance. When I think on these things, as things fall apart, I meditate “Be still and know that I am God.”

Faithwalk: All by myself

This year’s challenge is to network. Not only via online social networking, but face to face. In addition, I must not socialize with the person or persons I know. Of course that is not networking that’s cliquing. I’m not good at the networking, probably because I have high expectations. I expect a follow up response to my hello-we-met-at-such-and-such.

So, tonight I attend a fundraiser for the House of Hope at a wine bar all by myself. My friend who invited me is out of town. She reminds me to go and that I will know one person in attendance.

I really don’t want to go all by myself so I invite at least 10 or 12 women friends via email. They politely respond: Tuesday is late night at work, or other commitments. Although two ladies will donate to the cause.

I go anyway; for the ladies who did not respond, and to support the cause in person. I walk in and I’m all by myself. I want to donate and walk out the door. I look around and do not recognize anyone. Everyone is cliquing.

Prior to entering these doors I prayed: God if there is someone I’m to meet show me.

I get a glass of Merlot, and introduce myself. Conversation is stiff. I move to another circle. One woman says she recognizes me. Her face looks familiar to me, as well. We begin talking and sharing common ground: divorce. I take her card when she has to leave. She says call me.

I see the one recognizable face; we hug. Then she returns to her conversation. I’m all by myself, again. I take a breath. Then move across the floor to chat with two ladies.

Another common bond. One lady says she came tonight hoping to meet a writer. We talk about writing more than our divorce. She takes my card, and says, I will call you.

Being all by myself was quite delightful and a pleasant evening out. I made three new contacts for three different projects I’m working on. Maybe the face to face networking is not so difficult, after all.

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Faithwalk: Really? What’s next?

The moment when all things fall apart, and my faith is on edge I continue to hold on; I know what miraculous plans God has done in the past. I call on every promise, until there are no more promises. I pray until there are no more prayers. I cry until, there are no more tears. Even when sitting in the church pew and listening to the Word that describes my life, there are no more Amens.

Sometimes all I can say to the Master is, really? Again. What must I do to ride out this storm? I know: keep my focus on Jesus. However, that is quite hard when all things fall apart. I heard: “God never sees the righteous forsaken or begging for bread.” That quote makes me think: Am I righteous. I mean really righteous: genuine, make morally correct decisions. Hmm. That can’t possible be me.

Why else would my daughters decide they want to live with their father? And just visit me when they please, despite the custody decision. The job interviews do not pan out. In addition, I have lunch with the person who interviewed for the same position. You, guessed it; she got the position. The landlord reminds me I’ve given notice although the home I expected to move into lingers on the approval of the mortgage company that knows that I have six more paychecks before I’m officially on the unemployment line. Really Lord? What’s next?

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The Faithwalk is like a tightrope.

This faithwalk is like a tightrope in which I’m gripping with every ounce of my ounce of faith, and mine is a big as a mustard seed at this moment. Otherwise I will sway back and forth, and fall spiraling to the end.  As I hang on all I can say is Really? What’s next?