“Perfectionism” ~ Not in My Blessing Jar

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Last year, I resolved not to make any New Year’s resolutions. I’d heard about “blessing jars” and I had this old tin I liked a lot and had kept that originally housed Russel Stover caramels. Artistic and crafty types often use a mason jar with a nice, big, pretty ribbon around its neck.

There are several ways to work with a blessing jar, but the way a writer friend told me she did it appealed to me. 1) Write a short, focused list of blessings I’m believing God for and put it into the jar. 2) Write down a few Scriptures that support those blessings and toss them in.

One of the things that did not find its way onto my list last year or this is the notion of “perfectionism.” In fact, this is as good a place as any to make a public confession. Those are quite popular, I hear. So, here is mine. I have never struggled with perfectionism. Just ask my critique partners. They will tell you, I’ve never seen a comma I liked, and I’m the schpelink queen of Brooklyn.

My husband, who’s a bit of a perfectionist (one in the family is enough, thank you) and a psychiatric social worker, tells me perfectionism is often the root-cause of such mental illnesses as depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. This makes me feel smug and fully justified in embracing a more laissez faire life-style. A fav motto of mine is: don’t sweat the small stuff (and so much of it is small stuff).

So, I was filled with excitement thinking about creating the things to go into my blessing jar this year. But the best part was reading what I had in there from last year. It was like a one-year spiritual time capsule. Looking at the list of things I believed for last year, I saw what was important to me then and how I had moved on, past many of them…how I had grown.

Several items I had on last year’s list had come to pass, but not all. I pulled out several Scriptures that had presented themselves to me with such force during 2013 that I’d written them down and put them in my tin. I took a moment to ponder them and to consider why they had spoken to me so forcefully last year. One of the sweetest things was looking at the names of people I’d written down who I prayed for during the year. I prayed for many, many people last year, but it was interesting to note which ones had found their way into my blessing jar/tin.

Our family had a lovely Christmas. However, with the extreme cold and the dreary rain we’ve had in Gotham the past week, I haven’t gotten my outside decorations down yet…but I’m not sweating it.

8 thoughts on ““Perfectionism” ~ Not in My Blessing Jar

  1. Permission to not be perfect? I love it. I don’t do well with comma’s either. I put them in, I take them out. Finally I wait for my last editor. Whatever she says goes, whatever she says stays.

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    1. Sharon, That’s exactly what I do with commas. They’re in, they’re out. Readers don’t fixate about commas anyway. They want a story they can get into.

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      1. Sharon, Yes, indeed. It’s the story. The readers want a story, characters they love or love to hate, or with whom they can identify. They want plot twists.

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  2. Love this post, Nike. I’d never heard of this before, but it sounds like it would be fun to do, especially looking back and seeing the growth over the past year. And I love the part about slipping the names of friends in there to pray for.

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    1. Deborah, At times last year, I forgot completely that the Blessing jar (in my case a candy tin) was there. At other times I was very aware of it. I don’t want to ponder this to death, but it was interesting to me looking at the names in the jar at the end of the year.

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