Faithful Feature – January
This January I count myself blessed because I get to introduce you to a blogger whom I’ve witnessed to have the biggest of hearts. Leslie Newman’s love of the Lord is not only refreshing but it spills over onto those around her. She has a compassion that is unparalleled and a gentle demeanor I admire. Leslie’s blog Journey To Imperfect touches on the very subject that many of us as women struggle with today…perfectionism. Leslie’s perspective is a breath of fresh air and her blog provides a safe place to be perfectly imperfect.
Take some time to get to know her and give her blog a visit. I’m sure she’ll welcome you with open arms.
Journey to Imperfect
Hi! I’m Leslie Newman and what a pleasure it is to be here today for the Faithful Feature to share a little bit about my blog and how it all came about. I’m so excited to “meet” you today!
In all honesty, I never expected to be blogging or even writing for that matter. This journey came to me quietly at first and quite out of the blue.
It began as a whisper one day during my quiet time that left me with the impression that I was being called into women’s ministry. But all I could think of at that time were paid ministry jobs, and how on earth could I pursue that? I was homeschooling, and that was a full-time job in itself, not to mention all my many other responsibilities. I was busy. Really busy. And so the thoughts to pursue that calling got pushed back into the recesses of my mind.
And then, after a long time, and entirely out of the blue, there it was again. It was silent to everyone else around me but something I heard so loud and clear inside of me that there was no way I could ignore it. It all started with a spiritual gifts inventory and a handful of high scores that took me by surprise and reflected spiritual gifts I was not aware I had. And at the end of the inventory, was this question, “How can you begin to use these gifts?” That question, plain and simple as it was, took a life of its own. I knew immediately I had to do something with what I had been given.
I prayed. It came to me – blogging. I realized that this was something I could do while I was homeschooling, but I didn’t know anything about it. I almost dropped the whole idea due to my lack of knowledge, but within a few days there came a thought, soft all around the edges with grace and kindness, spoken into the deepest part of my heart as I was reading my Bible at my kitchen table, “You should write.”
And so I did, quietly and entirely in private.
I began to write about marriage. That would be a great topic for a blog and one that I cared about very much. I thought it was a place I could make a difference. Surely I could share some of the spiritual things that had meant so much to me in my own marriage. These verses and prayers and thoughts might encourage and help other couples. After all, I was almost 50, I had been married for 24 years, and I had learned so much through the years about motherhood, family, and marriage.
But as I began to write, something totally unexpected happened that was magnified even more as I read my articles with a keen eye for editing and revising. I saw it there, a conniving thing, quietly hiding itself behind my own issues, shifting in and out of the shadows of my words, and shining out through the cracks in my life in ways that weren’t so pretty.
It was perfectionism, a weight that I had been dragging behind me like a ball and chain for many years. It glared at me through the pages of my writing. Reading my own articles was like looking into the mirror and finally seeing the truth. Every single piece I wrote about marriage became a flashing neon sign pointing me back to my own perfectionism.
Now, what was I going to do with that?
As much as it hurt to realize it, I began to understand how perfectionism had impacted my life. I realized that perfectionism is a genuine struggle for many women that often remains hidden. I began to understand that I needed to open up and start sharing my journey with others. If my words could make this thing easier for someone else behind me, it would be worth all the effort and all the uncomfortableness it would take to be that transparent.
A Blog Was Born
And so, after a lot of prayer and a huge learning curve, Journey to Imperfect was born. My tagline became “Overcoming Perfectionism One Prayer at a Time.” And that’s exactly what we do at Journey to Imperfect! It’s a place to come to find community and understand that you are not alone. It’s a place to find resources to help you in your prayer life. It’s an imperfect place, but that’s okay because we are not called to be perfect. We are called to be complete, and that happens through our relationship with Jesus.
We are Daughters of the King, and our identity is in Jesus Christ. We can be confident and bold and full of life and joy because of who we are in Him. We talk a lot about faith, and we lean on the Word of God to help us throw off the things that hinder us and run the race set before us with perseverance always looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
I would dearly love to meet with you over at Journey to Imperfect, and I invite you to stop by for a visit sometime soon!
Leslie is a pastor’s wife, mother to two, writer, teacher and friend. Currently, she spends her days home educating, reading, writing, and being a full time household manager. Drop by and visit her at her blog, www.journeytoimperfect.com, where she’d love for you to join her in conversations about faith, prayer, and letting go of perfect.
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