Let Go of Perfection and Find Peace

I always feel lacking in skills as I study beautiful homes decorated for the holidays in popular magazines.  I have attempted to copy ideas from these beautiful pictures. The result has left me feeling worn-out and discontent. Don’t let that happen to you.


In our home, I am the cook, gardener, laundress, grocery shopper, and house cleaner. I’m often called to babysit my two grandsons (which I love). I also have a full-time job outside of my home, which I enjoy. My to-do list is long, and I’m sure your schedule if full too. For many of us, a normal day is overwhelming, and our budgets are strained. The burden of the holidays can drag us down like Marley’s chain from A Christmas Carol, especially if you pile up credit card debt.


My home will never be picture-perfect. It may not be acceptable to Martha, Oprah, or Rachel, but that’s their problem. I encourage you to let go of their magazines’ idea of perfection. An imperfectly decorated tree is not the end of the world. A small tree can be perfect.  In fact, there is no law stating you have to put up a Christmas tree.

Little Christmas tree, gifts and candlelight on a white table.

I am attempting to be more selective when choosing holiday activities. Last evening, I joined a group and sang Christmas carols to elderly shut-ins. One sweet widow hugged me with every ounce of her strength. And then she held my hand while others sang. Her embrace filled me up with contentment.


I adore having a house full of family and friends. No one who loves me will care if my home isn’t magazine worthy. My family has never criticized me for using a frozen pie crust instead of making it from scratch.


God has given us the perfect gift of His Son. It is not necessary for us to stress out because we can’t find the perfect present; we can’t afford, for someone who probably already has everything they need.


My wish for you during this holiday season is for you to find the time to enjoy family and friends. If you don’t have “the peace that surpasses all understanding,” my hope for you is that you find it.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. (7) And the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7.

Merry Christmas!

#letgoofperfection #Christmasdevotional #peacethatsurpassesallunderstanding



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About shelia@sheliastovall.com

Shelia Stovall is a Southern, small-town librarian, and has an understanding of what women like to read. She is a member of ACFW and is currently the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee ACFW Chapter. Shelia is a member of the Ky. Public Library Association and the American Library Association. Her short story, The Barber’s Sanctuary, won the fiction division of Kentucky Monthly’s sixth annual Writer’s Showcase in the November 2013 issue. Shelia is a weekly columnist for the Citizen-Times, based in Scottsville, Ky. Shelia’s Southern, small-town roots have given her an understanding of community and women's friendships. Her writing deals with difficult contemporary issues, but there’s always a thread of hope amid the calamity. Shelia is passionate about African missions and has traveled to Africa annually for the past four years. Community service is also important to Shelia, and she has volunteered as a crew chief for five years at Camp Habitat, (a Christian youth service camp that partners with Habitat for Humanity).

2 thoughts on “Let Go of Perfection and Find Peace

  1. Joanne Meador

    It’s so true that all mankind that has been, is and ever will be has received the greatest gift in Christ Jesus. I was feeling a little irritated that I hadn’t received a “proper” thank-you for a gift I had given (and am very ashamed of that feeling). But I felt it and God knows I did. Then I began to think of all the gifts and blessings God has given me and how often I have forget and neglected to thank Him. Still, He loves me and continues to bless me. I am in awe of His never ending patience and love for all of us.


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