Tuesday, November 25, 2014


I have started this post several times, trying to wrap my heart and head around the realization that my first baby is five years old.  I know, I know - just wait until... she's 10, 15, 20, 30, I hear the voices say, and I am, I am waiting with joy.  If she is this lovely, precious, joy-imparting after just five years, what embodiment of beauty will she be in those future days?  

The party, the birthday, it was joy.  The scavenger hunt to find the new bicycle tucked into the back of the ministry bus - joy.  The sharing of a birthday with two friends, the ear piercing that makes her look so grown - joy.  Seeing her read aloud on the laps of those who taught me to read - remarkable. Watching in awe the caring love my little girl-sisters have for one another, the kind of love that didn't get jealous over the birthday girl's attention but that participated in bestowing it - beauty.  

This joy and beauty is not without imperfection. We have our share of grabbing, shoving with hands and words, pushing each of us to be in the front.  This big girl, now,  she has her momma's perfectionism, the one that shows its face when the laundry pile won't fold perfect smooth, when the letter won't form perfect under her pencil, and she grits her teeth and her forehead wrinkles, and she moans with frustration. 

And I hear the words coming out from between my lips, the ones I hear in my head over and over some days:  It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful.  I bend low over her head and say them again, a reminder that beauty isn't in perfection but instead is often wrought in and through imperfection. 

Don't forget, sweet one.  You are imperfect yet you are so beautiful.  The work of your hands will never be perfect, but it is beautiful.  Let go of flawless to find joy.  We can practice together, you and I, and remind each other of the truth.  

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