Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 009 The Beauty of Imperfection
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast.
Episode #009 – The Beauty of Imperfection
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed and thrilled to be back with you today to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
Today I’m starting our discussion with a little fact about myself. I’m a neat person. I don’t mean I’m cool, but obviously, if you want to think that, I’ll let you! Just kidding! My goal has never been to be the one who attracts the attention and envy of everyone around me and it hasn’t been bestowed to me naturally. Honestly, I’m probably one of the last people someone would look at and think I’m the cool girl, because I keep to the basics of just being me.
What I mean about being a neat person is that I don’t like to be surrounded by messes. In fact, I find chaos distracting. If I lived alone, I’d most likely spend a good portion of my time front-facing and alphabetizing my pantry. I’d be on my hands and knees dusting all the baseboards and climbing my counters to reach the highest cabinets to wash them with Murphy Oil Soap to make everything smell fresh and look beautifully shiny.
Cleaning is relaxing to me. When I’m doing this type of work, my mind can wander or relax. It allows me to talk to and hear God. Thankfully, my day to day reality is quite different than my imagined spotless home. I am truly grateful that I don’t live alone and that I have my beautiful family. I’m also very fortunate that I’ve developed the ability to focus more on things that I believe God is calling me to invest in rather than the dust web in the corner.
My life is incredibly busy. Not only do I homeschool my two daughters, one of which has special needs, but I am also involved in activities outside the home for myself and my family, I am dedicated to growing this ministry and podcast that God has entrusted to me for this season, and one of my daughters and I are also building a business together. Through the busyness, we still work hard to spend quality time together and to allow for down times to enjoy simply hearing from God individually and together. We make it a priority to spend time in His word alone and with each other and to pray together daily.
This certainly does not leave me time to clean the way my heart desires. Right now, my home is “surface clean” only and most days has tufts of Golden Retriever hair floating around the floor. I thank God for enabling me to cling to the values He finds important during this time in my life. These precious days will never be repeated. Each activity we choose to participate in will evolve into an experience or memory that is one of the foundational blocks building our lives.
My security in the Lord allows me to release expectations and stresses of attempted perfection by relying on Him to shift my idea of flawlessness to what He desires. As a mother building her second family, I know how quickly children grow up. I had quiet years between the time my first two were grown and we began raising our second two. I had enough time to do things around the house and I knew the most important and meaningful times were spent one-on-one with my family and growing the depth of our knowledge in Jesus.
At that time, my husband worked long hours and was out of town and out of the country often. Our first two children were grown and lived on their own. I can remember sitting in a little hot tub we had outside our back door. I would look up at the sky as I relaxed, letting time carry me back through memories and hearing the whispers God spoke to my heart. He was preparing me for the next phase of my life. I was able to hear Him speak truths to my spirit that revealed how I could have parented with focused intentionality for Him.
My relationship with Jesus had deepened and although I raised my children to know God, I could see ways that I had not scratched the surface of how the Lord really desired me to guide those He entrusted to my care to follow Him. I could see the ways I should have intentionally walked more closely with Him and mentored my children to do the same. He fed me the nutrients needed for nurturing a healthy and worthy relationship with Him from birth and began instilling a desire in the hearts of my husband and myself for a baby from China and planting seeds of how to change our parenting style to honor and show Him clearly so He could shine.
Focusing on what God values and calls important is where I want my eyes and heart to reside. Although I certainly don’t want to live in filth, I know that keeping my pantry alphabetized and my floors vacuumed daily are not what will keep my family relationships healthy or help any of us mature spiritually. As in everything, balance is essential.
When I come to the end of my life, whether it be tomorrow or forty years from now, what do I want to remember? What do I want others to remember about me? Most importantly, will they remember that they saw Jesus in me? Will I have allowed Him to shine from me so brightly that they had to discover Jesus and allow Him to shine through them? Will my family be close? Will we each have strong and continuously deepening relationships?
My desire to live in ways pleasing to God and to have positive and joyful answers to these questions propel me to live in the present with eternal perspective. Today our episode focuses on purposely examining our heart and allowing God to cleanse the idea of perfection that separates us from Him so that we can live closer to the way He desires.
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed, hopeless, confused, unappreciated, exhausted, angry, bitter, or defeated when things don’t go smoothly or exactly the way we hoped. None of these are pleasing to or come from the Lord. We can easily get lost in our emotions and be deceived. Don’t bury eternal focus beneath tasks, chores, responsibilities, or imperfections. If we live to survive, we are only coping with life. We should experience a joy-filled existence that builds and anticipates deeper fellowship with God while craving eternity.
Psalm 51:10 pleads, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
We don’t want a “surface-clean only” life. Our heart was made to desire beautiful fellowship with Him. Life cannot be perfect, but we can seek to perfectly align ours with the desires God has for us as we pursue intimacy with Him.
Wouldn’t it be beautiful if every day was accomplished and without blemish? Smooth easy days with no trials or troubles. No red lights on our way to appointments. No one needing our time or attention while we are already busy with something else that needs to be completed. No spills on white carpet. All of our relationships run smoothly with no disagreements or misunderstandings. No products we need at the store cleaned off the shelf before we get there.
I know I’m being silly, but you must admit, all our minds have desired a perfect day at one time or another, but God knows that a perfect world would not bring us to our knees before Him.
Proverbs 23:26 says, “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in My ways.” I understand that the context this verse is used for in the Bible is sexual sin, but the truth of it applies to any situation. God wants our heart; He desires that we seek Him and His ways.
Without a need for the Lord, we may not choose to seek, grow a relationship with, or depend on Him. Eternity would not be a destination for us. We would simply hope to gain all we could here on earth and remain in our selfish, empty lifestyle forever.
I think it’s incredibly important to recognize that at times our emotions and feelings get in the way of seeing clearly. Our ability to think and live with our heart and mind focused on eternity gets blocked. Sometimes, it seems that life continues to knock us down. We fall to our knees before the Lord, but the harsh realities of life in this broken world crash on us day after day without relief in sight. Although hardships can feel unending, Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that no season lasts forever.
God wants our faith and trust to be constructed on such a solid foundation that nothing can crack it. No matter what life looks or feels like, His desire is for us to continue to steadfastly cast our cares and hope on Him.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says it well. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Life can be devastatingly hard, but God is with us. He is working ahead of, with, and behind us to allow exactly what we need to experience. Remember, our life is not just about us. Aren’t you fascinated by the intricacy of God’s plans and the inter-woven plots and twists that He executes? He has everything under control, even if we don’t see, feel, or recognize it.
Will every day be perfect? That depends on how I look at it.
1 Thessalonian 5:16-18 reminds us to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
At times we may wonder whether we are following the plans God has for our lives. When times are difficult or we don’t receive answers we are seeking, it’s easy to try to pull situations into our own hands and wonder whether God cares or is watching over us. Wise advice comes from James 1:22, which says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Keep your eyes and heart fixed above. Remain faithful in crafting a genuine relationship with the Lord through reading His word and conversing through prayer. Make time to have quiet moments to speak to Him, not just in prayer, but in sharing your thoughts and life. Listen for Him to speak. Give God time to respond in His timing. Trust in Him, despite circumstances. Jesus displayed how He escaped to share quiet, personal moments with His Father. If Jesus modeled it, we know we require the same in our lives.
Psalm 73:26 reminds us, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Those far from the Lord will perish, but those who abide in Him, who draw near to Him, so that He may draw nearer to them, will live with peace, joy, and assurance, despite anything that occurs in this world.
Romans 8:13 tells us, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
Stop and think about how the Romans viewed and executed crucifixion. Look at the parallel between death on a cross and killing the desires of our flesh. Crucifixion was specific. It was personal to the individual. Ponder that we each have an opportunity for a personal relationship with Jesus and must destroy the acts of our own flesh daily through walking in the power of the Holy Spirit within us. Only through Jesus can those acts be crucified.
Crucifixion was brutally painful. Just as death on the cross is unbearably hard for us to fully conceive, executing the deeds of our flesh is brutally hard. We cannot do it in our own strength. Only through Jesus can those deeds be crucified.
Crucifixion is cruel. The individual being crucified was not to be removed from the cross until they were dead. We must ensure that we allow the Holy Spirit to execute the sins of our flesh. Only through Jesus can those sins be crucified.
Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” As we abide in Him, we are changed, and His desires become ours. Put into practice what we read in His word. Simply reading and going about our day thinking we have had our “spiritual” time brings none of the fruits of the Spirit that we need to live a healthy life. Living a “checklist” life is just as effective as doing nothing at all.
When we follow Jesus, we want the qualities He values and offers to be living and blooming inside us. This is what ensures that we are able to live with a spirit unaffected by daily ups and downs, even when we are living in incredibly difficult and dark times. It also ensures that when we are in the midst of an easy season we don’t pull away from the Lord, but rejoice in the knowledge that He is with us no matter what and that we are living through His strength and in His guiding arms. As James 1:17a reminds us, nothing we have or do is gained by our own strength or talents. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.”
Psalm 37:4-5 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.”
Delight means to take pleasure in. Commit means to be dedicated to or make a pledge to – it means to sacrifice our life and offer it to God. Continue trusting that everything occurring in our life will be used for good and to grow our relationship with our Heavenly Father if we are obedient in the areas He calls us to.
There is beauty in imperfection. Embrace yours as it causes you to rely on Him.
Everything that drives us to the Father’s arms is cause for gratitude. May we encounter more days that push our to our knees and guide us to His arms. May our faces be ever lifted toward the Son who abides in our hearts, helping us to live with eternal expectation and thankfulness.
Thank you so much for listening to the Live With Eternal Perspective podcast. God has impressed so much on my heart to share. Living with an eternal perspective affects absolutely everything in my life. I am thrilled to delve into different areas with you. Since everything affects our eternity, we have a lot to discuss! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you found value in this podcast, please subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. I also encourage you to leave a review. In order for others to be able to find this podcast, I will need the support of listeners who will invest a few minutes in subscribing and reviewing to lift Live With Eternal Perspective higher on the charts so that the platform shows it to everyone.
Thank you again for sharing part of your day with me. Until next time, keep looking Upward and finding new ways to live with an Eternal Perspective.