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If you had to tally up how many times this week–or last month, last year, or over the course of your life–that you have not measured up, how great do you think the number would be? For me it would be huge! I’ve made some pretty stupid decisions, whether in the moment or planned out in advance, and I fail miserably pretty much daily.

Then I see those perfect people. You know the ones; those with perfect bodies, perfect hair, perfect wardrobes, perfect children, perfect homes, perfect homeschool, perfect quiet times, perfect jobs, and perfect husbands.

What the Velveteen Rabbit Taught Me About Being Perfect

Can we stop pretending to be perfect and just be real?

If you stop by my house on any given day, I’ll likely be sporting my athletic shorts and t-shirt, almost certainly mismatched. My hair would be pulled back in a ponytail or better yet a messy messy bun, oh, and no makeup. Depending on the time of day, toys may be scattered around, and pillows and blankets may cover my living room floor.

Can I share with you what I struggle with most of all? I continually fail at living a godly example in front of my kids. I get so angry at them, and I lose my cool, even throwing hissy fits. With the regular demand of motherhood and homeschool and just plain old homemaking, I stay worn out and frazzled. Instead of leading my kids to Christ, I hate to admit that I often lead them away from Him because my attitude and words do not show them His love.

I remember a day I got very angry at my 6-year-old. She really was in the wrong, but when I shouted at her and watched her cower from me, I knew I had failed yet again. I didn’t physically hurt her, but my angry tone struck her little heart. Partly, I feel like I shouted at her because she was in the wrong, but just as much because she had interrupted what I was doing and caused discord with her siblings. I simply didn’t want to be bothered.

Even the perfect ones aren’t

Can I let you in on a little secret? Even that well dressed, well poised, seemingly perfect lady you look at from a distance, knowing she must be the most perfect person you kinda know fails. She’s not perfect.

It’s funny how God allows us to interact with those “perfect” ones from time to time. He reminds us that what we see from a distance may not be the truth.

I remember such a time. Honestly, I didn’t know how someone like me in my crazy, frazzled state could talk to, let alone relate to such a well put-together woman. What happened surprised me. She talked of how she struggles, too, how she second guesses every decision she makes. I came away from my experience with thankfulness that I’m not the only one who struggles. AND, that I’m not the only unperfect one!

I’m failing, but He’s continually unwrapping

While I hate that I continually fail in this area, I also know that by being convicted of my sin, that God is steadily chipping away, taking off those old dead clothes.

Remember Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, who died before Jesus could get to him to heal him? They buried him, and Jesus came four days late. But that didn’t stop Jesus; He commanded that Lazarus come out of the tomb. When Lazarus did, the grave clothes had to be taken off to unbind him because he had been dead, prepared for burial, and laid in a tomb (John 11). That’s what Jesus does for us when He calls us from death unto life; He steadily is taking off the dead clothes, the baggage, the unholy.

That encourages me! If I had it all together all the time, what need would I have for a Savior? Would I ever look to Him? Would I care if others saw Him? I’m pretty sure the answer would be no. Thankfully, I do need Him because I’m not perfect. I’ll always need His guiding hand and loving embrace and stern discipline. I’m thankful for imperfect and that’s why I’ll never care about being perfect again!

What the Velveteen Rabbit has to do with it?

I remembered parts of the story from when I was a child, but it wasn’t until I read it to my own little ones that the truths about being perfect really hit me.

Be real, not perfect

I just love how the Skin Horse says it in The Velveteen Rabbit:


‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

I want to be real, and just like the Skin Horse says, being real means you are far less than perfect because life and love has a way of breaking you in. It also makes us look outside of ourselves, know that we are incapable of living life on our own.

Let’s stop trying to be perfect and commit to being real! May we strive to honor God while serving our families, teaching our kids, working at our jobs, or whatever it is we are called to.

2 comments on “What the Velveteen Rabbit Taught Me About Being Perfect”

  1. Although I might not always take time out to read through all of my emails, I must say that at that particular time that I read my newsletter, it is always a great inspiration and pick-me-up. And what a joy to know that I’m not alone in my struggles. Thank you so much for sharing!

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