Tuesday, December 8, 2009

peace without perfection

"This is how we know what love is:
Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
We ought to lay down our lives for our brothers...."
[and let our sisters dress us up like girls].
1 JN 3:16

there was a time in the not-so-distant past that i would've primed and primmed my children for their annual christmas card photo. once in matching smocked outfits and later, a christmas sweater vest for parker and a smocked bishop for chloe. parker having a december birthday has typically added to the stress of the holidays. i'd worry over every detail and hand-made invitations. everything had to meet some unwritten expectation that existed only within myself; an unattainable perfection that i assumed would - when i finally attained it - bring peace.

but what if ...

what if the peace comes only through letting go and not trying harder? throughout this year of having my perception and my heart radically altered, i began to experience peace in the midst of chaos. peace without perfection. the peace that passes understanding. and something really strange began to happen: i stopped trying to make things look perfect. and as it turns out, peace and imperfection are not mutually exclusive. who knew.

i uploaded this photograph to facebook earlier tonight under the caption, "Photos you won't see on our Christmas card", but the truth is, this photograph captures more of the essence of who my children are; who God created them to be and the joy that they bring to our lives more than any perfectly posed professional photograph ever could. parker gets offended if i mistakenly serve his food on one of Chloe's princess plates; he is quick to correct me if i accidentally put a pink or purple lid on one of his primary colored sippy cups, verbally reprimanding, "no, mommy, this is a guwl one". yet, when his big sister wants to adorn him in her best girly attire, he obliges. that is love. and if you ask either of these two where they came from - where this love comes from - they will tell you what it took me years to learn myself, "from God".

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:4&6

don't worry. be happy.

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