I lost my voice about two weeks ago. For the first few days, I could hardly speak at all. Lucky for me, my check engine light came on so I had to take a day off for my car. Therefore, when my voice laid on its death bed, I did not have to teach…Even today, though, my voice has not fully recovered. The irony of the timing of my broken voice could not be more apparent. It started the week I found out I would be a mother again. God certainly has a sense of humor. I lost my voice so that I can clearly hear His. I lost my voice so that my actions could speak louder than my words…
People are more impacted by what others do than anything they can ever say. People learn more from the imperfections of others than they can ever learn from their perfection…You see, without a voice I cannot yell over my children’s squealing as they play tag upstairs at 6am. I cannot express to the car dealership or the cable companies my true feelings about their incompetence. I cannot redirect my classroom with sarcasm in true Brittany fashion. I must use action instead.
If you have ever lost your voice, you recognize that you are not taken quite as seriously. In the same token, however, people begin to pay more careful attention to what you are doing. They gather context clues. You have their undivided attention.
Only in my imperfection did people try to really get me.
My sister and I had this conversation concerning more than a raspy voice. Sometimes I get so busy highlighting my strengths without recognizing that people learn just as much from my weaknesses.
The combination of the two makes us all human. The combination of the two makes us all imperfect. Only when people note of the imperfection do they try to see you for who you are – an ordinary person who likes to emphasize extraordinary.
I have begun to feel the immediate impact of my commitment to blogging every day for 30 days. My patience with my children is thin to nonexistent. My patience with my students has run its course. Even my patience with myself has come and gone.
As usual, I prayed to God for direction. I prayed that He would guide my words, give me something uplifting to say – to inspire others to find perfection in their imperfection.
His response shocked me. He said, instead, “Brittany, tell them the truth. Talk to them the way you talk to me. Use this as a journal. You told Ms. Chandra that this National Blog Post Month would be much needed therapy. Pretend it’s just Me and you, and write. You used to write to Me all the time. Remember. When you were in college. When you were in high school. Before life punched you in the face. I know you feel you have outgrown her. You feel you left her in your 20s. But I’m still right here. Talk to Me. I’ve got all day and all night. I don’t get tired. I never sleep. I’ve got nowhere to be.”
And I told Him I was still tired. That the world has got to be sick of hearing how tired I am. How I use every ounce of strength I have every day just to keep going. That I have this wonderful husband, and these wonderful friends, and this amazing family, and all the positive thinking in the world. But none of it stops me from being absolutely exhausted. I wake up with all these grand intentions with an attitude of gratitude, and calm, and peace…
But I am so tired…
“Go on,” He says.
And I know it is me. There are so many changes I can make. I have got to get more organized. I have got to stop beating myself up and just do it some days.
But I am so tired…
So I make these lists and these plans, and they work on Monday and Tuesday, but by Wednesday less and less gets done because I am all out of energy and patience and calm and peace.
So I read my devotions, and I find the most inspiring posts to pump myself up. And I just try to make it through the week. And I pray that my challenging students will be absent or suspended. And I relish the fact that my son now plays with his brother so I have a little more alone time…
That is it. That is all I have got. I am too tired to carry on. I always pray for better, but better never really gives me the rest I so desperately need. I am just not sure how much longer I can do this, how much longer I can carry on.
“Brittany, you are correct so here’s what we are going to do. We are going to organize. We are going to make a list. We are going to be better tomorrow than we were today. And we are going to get through this together.
Isn’t that what you tell your students? That all you need is effort. All you need for them to do is show up and give some sort of effort. Some days they give you 100%. Other days they give you much less, but the ones who give you even a small amount of effort every day pass the class.
All you need from them is to pass the class. And that is all I need from you. People are not inspired by your perfection. Your imperfection is what makes you real.
You are correct. You cannot do this. You cannot carry on. You have no idea how to organize. You have no idea how to manage a marriage, a household, and three children. Your paperwork is overwhelming!
You ARE tired.
You have said it a million times before. But so what? This is your life.
My requirements were never for you to figure this out alone. I chose you not for your perfections but because of your imperfections.
Your imperfections make room for My inspiration. Your imperfections make room for My story.
Your imperfections make room for My perfection.”
What are some imperfections you are working through? How are you coping with your imperfections.
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