The Drafting Desk is a monthly email created by two writers, wives, moms, and Jesus-followers who also happen to be recovering perfectionists. (Hint: I’m one of them.) We’re learning to relinquish impossible expectations in favor of more freedom, joy, and grace, and if that sounds like something you’re yearning for, we’d love for you to join us on the journey.
On the 20th of each month, we send subscribers:
- a personal essay about how we’re wrestling with perfectionism and embracing freedom in our own lives (check out the excerpt below);
- links to other inspiring and encouraging content;
- Scripture and prayers to carry with you going forward; and
- the occasional free goodies!
An excerpt from the September 2017 issue:
Over the summer, a friend asked me an honest question about The Drafting Desk:
“How many times do you need to tell people it’s okay to not be perfect?”
Caught off-guard, I didn’t have an answer for her. (Don’t you hate it when that happens?) But in the weeks since, I’ve found myself reflecting on the conversation and considering her question again and again. If I were to get a do-over, my reply would be this:
“As many times as it takes for that truth to sink in.”
But I’d also want to tell her that the words we share here, month after month, are about so much more than the reassurance that it’s okay to not be perfect.
Our message (one we could both probably write about for the rest of our lives, by the way) is freedom—the kind of freedom that can only be found in Christ.
Freedom from worry, fear, striving, anxiety, earning. Freedom from the things that distract us from what we’re really here for: loving God and loving people with everything we’ve got. Freedom from the things that sneakily lead us to worship something other than the God who made us and loves us, who sent his perfect son, Jesus, to die for us.
I balked when Lindsey first pitched this newsletter idea to me. Not because I thought it was a bad idea—it was quite a good one that I thought would resonate with a lot of people, actually. But why would she invite me to write it with her? The perfectionist label made me cringe. No, I’m not that. That’s not something I struggle with. That’s someone else’s problem.
Except… Well… Here we are, one year in, and I haven’t yet run short on stories to share about how Jesus continues to set me free from the chains of striving for love and acceptance, placing my value in achievement, and chasing the approval of imperfect people instead of our perfect God—one link at a time.
And it’s all because I decided to take a deep breath, examine the root of those tendencies, and call that junk what it is.
A conversation comes to mind from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in which Harry hesitates to speak aloud the name of his mortal enemy. In response, Professor Dumbledore offers Harry these wise words: “Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” (Any other HP fans out there? If not, thanks for humoring me for a second!)
So often I don’t want to name my sin—pride, selfishness, worshiping anything other than God, to name a few—because giving it a name makes it a little too real. If I have to name it, that means I have to acknowledge it. And if I acknowledge it, then I have to deal with it.
I don’t like the word perfectionism. I kind of hate it. But I have to call it what it is, along with all of the sneaky ways it rears its ugly head in my life, in order to confess it and ask God to redeem it and set me free.
And you guys… He’s doing it.
At the end of the day when my husband, Dan, comes home from work and we fill each other in on the crazy of our respective days, I’m able to spot the subtle differences in my stories today compared to a year ago. There’s more peace and joy and less melting down and freaking out. (Honest moment before Dan calls me out: the keyword there is less.)
Philippians 1:6 promises that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion,” and I believe God uses this little space every month to do some of that good work in me.
My prayer is that he’s using this email and will continue to use it to do a good work in you, too. Because he loves us too much to leave us unchanged and chained.