We arrived home recently from a week-long visit with family in the Carolinas. While away, my girls came down with (yet another) illness – meaning that they have now been sick for the better part of 8 weeks. !! This mama is going crazy. Sick kids=cranky kids. Sick kids=I don’t go to church (married to a pastor, we can’t trade off Sundays for obvious reasons). Sick kids=disrupted routine and changed plans. I had planned to take the girls with me to go visit a dear friend from childhood who will be moving overseas in a few months. But since she’s also pregnant with her fourth child, we had to reschedule because she does not need these germs at such a vulnerable time.
Lots of imperfection for me to embrace in a season of sick kids, isn’t there? And so, naturally, I am leaning into what God has ordained for us in this season, counting my gifts, and growing in thankfulness for the days when no one is ill. I wish! Instead, part of embracing imperfection is realizing anew the ways I try to ERASE imperfection rather than EMBRACE it. I obviously can’t do much to make my kids well, but you better believe I can clean my house till it shines. I realized my misdirected energies as I thrilled at using a long-handled 360 duster yesterday for getting the cobwebs out of high ceilings. And as I manically cleared the clutter off its favorite gathering place on our kitchen counter. And when I bought yet another by-the-back-door key hook/cabinet organizer from Target. [sidebar: isn’t it ironic that while I can’t go to church with sick kids, I can still go to Target? As long as my kiddos are confined to their red cart, I don’t worry about spreading their infectious coughing.] Then let’s talk about the way I’m trying to erase imperfection through eating yummy things, like chocolate and ice cream and salty snacks.
Today, what would it look like to embrace imperfection? Maybe for me it means less cleaning/organizing/escaping into news and chocolate and smartphone apps and more on-the-floor play time with my daughters. It means confessing my complaint to God in my heart and asking him for more grace. And then moving out in faith that grace is there and saying no to the manic cleaning and yes to loving my children through offering my undivided presence. And yes to restorative activities for my soul during naptime instead of busy task-completion. And yes to a God who loves me in the midst of my imperfection and does not try to erase it, but in his embracing of my imperfect, communicates to me volumes of his perfect love.