I went into the holiday yesterday with a bit of nervousness, not sure what to expect. My first Thanksgiving with the Holtz clan, I knew, would be special… but would I step on toes? I wanted to be sensitive to all those in the Holtz family who missed their mom or Nana. I so wanted our house to be warm and welcoming, but I am definitely my mother’s daughter…she was always such a perfectionist when it came to family meals during the holidays. Everything always had to be just right.
As I tried to accomplish everything that was on my list, plus some added things I wasn’t expecting, I could feel myself grumbling… and on a day of thanks, no less! In the middle of that emotional “mother-like” moment by phone bleeped…a scripture from my GoTandem app.
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 NLT
To love mercy.
That part kinda jumped off the screen of my Note and melted away all the grumbling in my heart. I’ve actually been pondering it ever since.
The Hebrew word for mercy means goodness, kindness, faithfulness.
I confess. When I am in perfectionist mode, I am definitely anything but kind. Oh how I need to work on that! My friend, Tammie, gave me a copy of “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” and I must admit, perfectionists sweat waaaay too much small stuff!
Going back a few verses we can see that the Lord doesn’t really want us doing all the things that look perfect, like a huge sacrifice on our part…
What can we bring to the Lord?
Should we bring him burnt offerings?
Should we bow before God Most High
with offerings of yearling calves?
Should we offer him thousands of rams
and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
to pay for our sins?
I spent 12 long years being taught that we had to perform just right, check off our spiritual to-do list every day, and be pleasing in the eyes of certain people or our salvation would be in jeopardy. My goodness…how much of that type of thinking still permeates that perfectionist part of my personality?
Verse 8 says it all. He’d just rather we do what is right…be kind, merciful, walk in humility before Him.
Not only am I mindful of how much He wants to continue refining me and teaching me to walk with Him, I am so, so thankful that He has given me someone to walk with who is the epitome of Micah 6:8. A man who strives to do what is right, overflowing with kindness, and walking humbly before God. Someone who tempers my perfectionism and strong-will with His love and grace.
Gratefulness spilling over.
For a husband who loves the Lord and me well.
For my family… biological and by way of marriage.
For The Summit and all that He is doing in and through our local body of believers.
For the opportunity He has given me to use my gifts to help authors through Redemption Press.
For friends… close by and far away… so many who have prayed for me over the years and sought God’s face for my deliverance and healing.
And more than anything, for Jesus who is the Ever Faithful One who saved me and made me His own.
For all these things I am incredibly thankful… moved-to-tears-of-joy thankful.