It’s Not Perfect, But It Sure Is Beautiful

It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful

How often do we run around like crazy people trying to get everything perfect? I mean seriously…think about it.

This applies to so many aspects of our lives. Whether it be the homemaker wanting her house to be spotless all the time…nice and tidy, nothing out of place, laundry baskets always empty, cookies in the oven, “Are you kidding? Who touched the throw pillows?”. Ready for Martha to stop by at a moments notice. (Raising hand) I don’t think Martha is coming. All the while missing the laughter that barrels through the door, the snuggles on the couch, the talks on the porch…the life around us.

We may criticize the hair out of place in a photo…”take it again…my muffin top is showing”. Instead of looking deeper at the love and laughter that is truly shown in the memory. I mean, honestly, 20 years from now that muffin top will be the least of our worries.

Ahhh, perfect kiddos….little cherubs. Do you have those? Didn’t think so. Me either. Comforting to know that we are all in the same boat on this one. Mine, all 5, have gotten in trouble, caused me to lose sleep, given me gray hair, said things that shocked me, and have filled my heart with more love and joy than I could have ever imagined.

And, then came marriage. It’s always amazing to me when a couple gets divorced, and everyone looks so surprised. “But, they were the PERFECT couple!” Really, people? Is there such a thing?
John and I are about as far from perfect as we can get. What we are is committed to our marriage. Committed to doing whatever it takes to make this wonderful sometimes-crazy difficult partnership work. It means looking past the little stuff…socks on the floor…and savoring the stuff that matters….John rubbed my feet while I lay shaking in an MRI last week.
Marriage is a constant work in process, and I am a firm firm believer that you get what you give. Handle your partnership gently, nurture it, and be prepared to work on it daily. Think about it…you wouldn’t plant a garden at the beginning of spring and come back at the end of the season expecting beautiful fruits and veggies. No, you would tend it lovingly; daily…and you would reap your rewards. Marriage is no different. Put the love of your life as a top priority; love them with your whole being. It’s the beautiful nuances of a relationship that will see you through…not the grandiose gestures.

None of us, nothing we have, or anything we do will ever be perfect. But, there is absolute beauty all around us…in the people we love, the home we create, and the lives we live.

Its not perfect, but it sure is beautiful.

Slowing Down

Ann VoscampIt’s not entirely our fault, really. Instant gratification is what we’ve become accustomed to… Sure, we can blame it on society…maybe we should take a look inward at our own impatience. “We want IT, and we want it NOW!” Why are we in such a hurry? What are we missing as we fly through life?

We order movie tickets online, call ahead seating. If the line at the drive thru is too long they come to the car…so we won’t have to wait too long. Oh, hell! Amazon will deliver within two hours, and throw in a cookie…because Heaven we need a TREAT!! My own kids forgo half the rides at amusement parks….Wait for it…Because the lines are too long. My heart truly bleeds for them.

What have we done?

This racing around, demanding things happen this instant…It’s creeped into my heart and soul. I’m impatient in all areas of my life. Instead of enjoying the day to day, and trusting the journey I’ve been given. I find myself restless about the future. Constantly questioning and Praying about where I should be; where my family should be….what our path should be.

But, here’s the kicker…I haven’t been Praying…I’ve been “demanding”. That’s really no different than when my kids demand something of me. Seriously, Talk to the hand!

Only He knows exactly what I need, and maybe…just maybe I should be Still. And Quiet. And Pray.

There is no reason to rush; I’ve missed so much. I’ve always believed that things happen for a reason, and somewhere along the way I’ve let that fade from my heart. My heart and Hands are open. I will trust the journey…

Breathing in. Breathing out. Being conscience of every moment. Everyday.

Ann Voscamp: Fo all Us Hop-ers

Your Home is Fragile

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Taking care of a house is pretty easy. Pay the bills, keep up with routine maintenance, basic cleaning, mow the yard every so often, and that’s pretty much it. Taking care of your Home…now that’s a different story. Your Home reaches beyond the walls of your house and encompasses all those you love. Your Home is fragile, and must be handled with utmost care.

My Home is my refuge…It’s where I can totally be myself, it’s where I snuggle with my children, have my morning cup of coffee, reconnect with my husband. Home is where my kids run in and out nonstop, laundry piles up, and someone is always hungry. Home is where a Tuba rattles the window, kids splash in the pool, and grown young men come home for dinner. Home is a proud phone call, dirty socks in the hall, and a fever that won’t budge. Home is tears of unbridled joy, tears of sheer madness, and tears of heartbreaking sadness. Home is where I shed the boundaries of the world around me.

I thought about that last sentence, and it occurred to me just how far my Home stretches.

Yes. This. Home is where I shed the boundaries of the world around me.

Home is not only the people we live with. Oh no, we are greater than that. Our hearts are bigger than that. It would be simple if we walked in our front doors at the end of the day and turned our emotions off. Truth is we are not made that way….Thank Goodness we are not made that way. Home is all of the people we are comfortable with…the people who love you no matter what…with make up or without, the friends who don’t point out that you’ve worn the same pair of yoga pants three days in a row, the friend who says “are you wearing that?”.  The people we can just be ourselves with. You know who I’m talking about. The friend who “just gets it”, the friend who always shows up no matter what time it is, your “ICE”, the person who brings chocolate, or the person who brings wine. It’s the Sweet Friend who just lost their beloved Daddy. It’s the Friend who’s at a turning point in her marriage. It’s the Friend worried about her Husband’s health. It’s the Friend who’s plate is so very full. Reach out to these Friends. Hold their hands, love them, let them know you’re there. These relationships are so special…they need nurturing and care just like those you live with.

I cannot stress to you how fragile your Home is. These are relationships that must be nurtured and protected like the most precious flower. These relationships cannot thrive without your attention, and you cannot thrive without them. Reach out to the family and friends in your Heart and Home…tell them you are there for them, laugh with them, cry with them, just be there for them.

xoxo
Amy