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Friday, October 21, 2011

Beyond Perfection.


Source: Pinterest.


 A friend of mine gave me a gift recently.

It wasn’t wrapped, and it wasn’t even my birthday.  

Now before I tell you what she gave me, you should know… this girl’s got it together.  She’s always been a little better at this whole life business than me.  She nurses her babies into toddlerhood.  She sews them adorable outfits and cooks healthy, amazing meals with seemingly little effort.  She balances two babies on her hip while teaching her daughters fractions and ancient history.  She paints rooms and builds furniture and plants gardens and knits scarves in her spare time.  And she’s sweet…and funny… and pretty…and gracious.

I don’t see her often enough, as she lives in another state, but we passed through her town on the way from Texas to Oregon.  They’re in a bit of a transition, like we are, and have 4 young children living in a 2-bedroom apartment, but her and her husband offered to let us stay the night anyway and cooked us dinner, then booted her own babies out of their beds so we could get a comfy night’s rest.

We arrived after the third day of 12 hours of straight driving.  We were travel-weary and probably smelled like sweat and Taco Bell, but she threw her arms around us and welcomed us in.    

She was wearing sweat pants, which was wonderful because I was too and I just didn’t have it in me to dress like a human being for dinner that night.  The kids’ bedroom was a happy jumble of toys and blankets and blocks and dress-up clothes and magic wands.  Books and papers piled willy-nilly around the living room.  Dinner took longer than expected, and the bathtub cleaner sat beside the tub with a rag that hadn’t been used.  The bathroom was out of toilet paper, and the only hand-towel was tied around a 2-year-old’s neck, cape style, as he and Caleb and Buzz Lightyear all saved the world from the evil Emperor Zurg.  

We laughed.  We ate bruschetta by the pound.  My son dumped spaghetti on the couch while hers threw it on the floor.  We laughed harder and the kids laughed too.  She left the dirty dishes and didn’t let me touch them.  They were still there when we left in the morning.  We drifted off to dreamland that night in disassembled bunk beds with fingerprint paintings dotting the wall beside us.  I slept sound and sweet in the loveliness of it all. 

My friend gave me the gift of real living.  She let me into her honest, dusty life and it was full of grace and beauty.  She didn’t once apologize for the imperfect state of things – she just went right on doing what she did and let me stand beside her and enjoy the hours as they passed.  She didn’t let guilt or perfectionism ruin a wonderful time of fellowship, and she blessed me beyond measure with genuine hospitality.  

I challenge you… I challenge myself… to let go of the perfectionism that creeps into an otherwise perfectly imperfect you, and let others see the nitty gritty. 

Source:  Pinterest.
Give your friends and loved ones a gift, too.  Let them in.  Bless them beyond perfection

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Linking up to:  Gypsy Mama's Five Minute Friday.  Blogging, too, can be full of gift and grace when you write beyond perfection.  Try it, here

12 comments:

  1. Thank you for this!! I needed to hear these beautifully written truthful words today!  I struggle so much with this...How wonderful it is when we can shed our masks of "perfectionism" and be truly transparent with one another....I Love this!!! May God continue to use you to further His kingdom!! :)

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  2. Loved this! ...my life has these simple graces too, if you don't mind sweeping the fruit loops off your seat and talking in the rare seconds when my children take a breath :)

    so glad to have linked up to you through Gypsy Mama today!

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  3. Not apologizing for the imperfect states of things - I love that you released us into permission to do so.

    Here's to letting others into my every day nitty gritty.

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  4. Oh, you have NO IDEA how much I love this!  I do what your friend didn't -- pretend to be perfect.  I just had a day where I worried too much about what my friends thought, instead of just, JUST living!  Thank you!!!  (I LOVE the picture you painted of your friend's home!)

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  5. I do it too, so much. I try and build myself up by having everything look nice and strive for "perfect", and am always disappointed with myself somehow. It's why it was so nice to sit right in the middle of someone else's "real" and realize that it was far better than any stressed-out perfect she could have given.

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  6. Cheers to that, Jeri! Thanks for visiting!

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  7. Sweeping the fruit loops off the seat... love that! Do you live in my house?! :) We'll get along just fine! :) Thanks for visiting, Tara!

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  8. Aww, thanks for your kind words, Emily. I struggle too and it's good to remember that the stress we put on ourselves to be what we're not is never serving anyone, but our honesty and openness can be a gift! Thanks for reading!

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  9. This is a beautiful post-thanks so much for reminding me to take the time to show more gratitude. I think it's so important!
    Love your Pins too!Best wishes,Natasha @  5 Minutes Just for Me

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  10. This makes me happy. I could feel you relaxing in the reality of her REAL-ness, and it made me take a breath too and step back from that ridiculous perfectionism. LOVE!

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  11. Jessica @ FromthethoughtgardenNovember 23, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    I've been M.I.A. with my newborn and am catching up on your blog.  I love this post.  We are hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow and I couldn't have read this at a more perfect time.  Thank you for the reminder that a messy house filled with love and friendship is so much more important than a perfectly manicured home that is lacking in hospitality.

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Your comments are such an encouragement. Thank you for sharing your valuable words.