The first time I took my daughter to play tennis, she held the racquet like a frying pan (wrong) so we discussed the merits of a Western vs. Continental grip.
Her first shot was a soft, wobbly one and I easily crushed it back across the net with an inside out topspin forehand that may have broken the sound barrier and frightened her, but it clearly demonstrated what a hit should look like.
I told her the importance of hitting hard, deep shots and not floaty things that land midcourt begging for a pounding.
Next, we worked on her footwork and down the line backhands.
Also? I’m totally lying.
How wrong would I be if I’d done that?
She was six. She’d never played tennis before. She didn’t need to know the details. She didn’t need to be corrected.
She just needed to try.
Would she do everything perfectly? Of course not!
What she needed more than my instruction was the freedom to do things badly.
She’d learn more from mistakes and a persevering heart than from constant correction and unrealistic expectations.
My sweet friends, I think God knows that.
Will you take a deep breath with me? No, really. Go ahead. Inhale. Exhale.
God doesn’t hover over us with a hammer. He knows we need the freedom to do things badly. He stands cheering and waiting for the right moment to share His perfectly portioned wisdom.
It’s okay to have boring quiet times. Go you for having your quiet time!
It’s okay to have days where you hide in the bathroom. Go you for not taking all your frustration out on your kids!
It’s okay that the bottom of your kitchen sink isn’t shiny (at least you can see the bottom!), that your floors haven’t been mopped in a month (sweeping is great!), that you’ve never done a Pinterest craft (they’re pinned and organized!), that…
Go out there. Try every single day. Recognize every victory, because no matter how small, it’s still a victory. Don’t be afraid of mistakes, choose to learn from them.
Embrace Him and the freedom He gives us to fail. Don’t let the ball and chain of perfection keep you from becoming all He made you to be.
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