It’s my default to find fault. I’m an expert, actually. My mind hyper-focuses on the flaws. However, viewing blemishes through negative eyes spoils the hope of finding any grace and beauty in what I see.
When I walk through the house and see all the dust I can’t control. The unfinished projects I have no time to complete. The dark-wood floors that never look clean. The cabinet doors that never stay clean. The endless loads of dishes and clothes. I just see what’s wrong, and everything gets harder. I lose my sight, when I see everything as flawed.
I become blind to grace.
It is a perfectionist’s tendency — refusing to accept anything less than an unrealistic, self-imposed ideal. Giving into it leaves the door wide open for negativity. With it, feelings of discontentment follow close. Slithering into my mind. Injuring my soul. Stealing my joy.
Then my ugly parts begin to show.
How do I find joy in bending over the toilet for the up-teenth time to pick up a piece of trash that always, inevitably misses the trash can?
Be a finder of the lovely.
Paul had it right when he said, “I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse…” Phil 4:8 MSG
There is not a decrease in the quality of the blessing, but in the quality of thought. Even when we stop counting our blessings, we never stop counting.
I count the clothes I get to wash, rinse and repeat. The floor I get to sweep a thousand times. The food I get to scrape off the dirty dishes again. The little girl I get to wash dirt off for the third time today. The young boy that can’t sit still that I get to teach daily. The teenager’s hair, not my own, I get to blow-dry three times a week.
See, I still count. I just have to count differently. Count — not as nuisances causing inconveniences and annoyances…
But, count as JOY.
When we let joy be overtaken, everything gets so much heavier. It’s easy to see the dust, crumbs, and messes. It is finding the beauty in the ugly where we falter. We must be a purposeful seeker of grace…
A rejoicer over what is working,
rather than a brooder over what isn’t.
A delighter in all the good and right choices,
rather than a lamenter over all the wrong ones.
A celebrator of all the accomplishments,
rather than a sulker over all that’s left undone.
A grateful-hearted embracer of all that we have,
rather than a pine-awayer of all that we don’t.
We cannot always control the thoughts that come, but we can decide on the ones that stay. We would not invite a thief and murderer to live in our homes, so we shouldn’t allow thoughts that steal our joy from us make themselves at home in our mind. I know, because I have learned the hard way.
So let all the other stuff go.
A joy-filled life and home is worth defending.