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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Perfectly Imperfect

My two year old daughter loves puzzles.  Her eyes dance with excitement when she finds that last glorious piece that completes one.  She also enjoys getting all of the puzzle boxes out and…combining all of the pieces…which isn’t as fun…for us. 

My husband came home tired from work one evening to a living room floor covered in mix-matched-puzzle-mania.  The next morning, our daughter found the beloved puzzle cabinet locked, courtesy of a puzzle-weary daddy.  Then, I got to thinking – there must be an easier way to enjoy the puzzles.  A simple solution would be to number the back of the pieces of one puzzle with the same number, so that if (uhemI mean - when) they get all mixed up, the sorting will be less painful (with no locks and chains involved).  You know, as parents, we’ve got to think outside the box (pun intended).

My son did a little “thinking outside the box” in choosing a gift for me for Mother’s Day.  There was a book fair at his school last week and I am a sucker for books.  Well…now I am.  I used to despise reading when I was a child.  It was truly like pulling teeth for me to read and I could not for the life of me fathom that someone would actually read for…PLEASURE?!  During those years, I thought that curling up with a good book would be just about as fun as curling up with a porcupine.  I even vowed in college that I wouldn’t read another thing after my last final exam.

Over time, I realized that I was missing out by not reading more.  So, I grabbed a few books here and there – you know, short ones with pictures and slowly progressed to chapter books (tee hee hee).  Now, I truly LOVE to read.  Sometimes I just can’t get enough and will sacrifice sleep to read just. one. more. page….Zzzzzzzzzz.  Anyway, back to the book fair – while my son was picking out a few books of his own, I was browsing.  One of the books I picked up made me chuckle out loud and my son took notice.

The very next day, he secretly took some of his own money stash to school and bought me that funny little book (The Klutz Book of Brilliantly Ridiculous Inventions).  I was so impressed by his thoughtfulness.  Now, I’m looking into finding a PogoPlunger, Sibling Blinders for the car, a Lawnmowing Tricycle, and Bug Zapper Earrings.   I’ll keep you posted on my findings.  It’s obvious that my son would rather see me laughing than cooking up strange new recipes (hence, the reason I didn’t get the cookbook instead).  And, I feel especially loved that he just wanted to hear me laugh – I love you, son!

Along with reading funny stuff, I truly love inspiring stories.  I’ve found some wonderful and thought-provoking quotes of inspiration on Pinterest.  There’s also some awesome craft ideas and recipes, but I know that “pinning” them on my board quite possibly might be as far as those actually go.  (I try…)  But, who can’t use a good quote, huh?  How about this one for starters:  “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel” ~ Steve Furtick.

Wow.  That one struck me as the rock solid truth and I had never heard it worded quite that way before.   No one really “posts” or “shares” their behind-the-scenes.  So, all we see is the highlight reel and it seems that our life isn’t quite as fabulous in comparison. 

If I posted the, um, “reel deal,” it might include:  I’m late every single place I go.  I am constantly playing the thermostat game with my husband (I like it cold – he doesn’t like the bill…when I like it cold).  If I don’t get enough sleep, I’m incredibly grumpy (and every single night I go to bed late and realize it’s a horrible idea every single morning).  I worry too much and many times, my anticipatory anxiety ruins my precious, present moment.  Etcetera, etcetera.

No one likes to report the “imperfect pieces” of their puzzle.  However, we can’t have the highlight reel without the behind-the-scenes, right?  It’s what makes us who we are.  In fact, it’s the perfectly, imperfect puzzle that we are as humans – as moms.  The last few puzzle pieces – the ta-da – the highlight reel, is only possible because of the behind-the-scenes edge pieces – the sometimes not-as-exciting pieces of our puzzle.

I would be completely remiss not to mention the puzzle piece that I am seeking most – the piece of…well, peace.  One of my all-time favorite prayers is the Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love,
where there is injury, pardon,
where there is doubt, faith,
where there is despair, hope,
where there is darkness, light,
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so
much seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
Because it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in
dying that we are born to eternal life.

What greater treasure can we have than peace?  I pray that I can guard it from the thieves of doubt, fear and despair.  And on a lighter note, I will pray for patience when my children steal my peace and quiet – especially at midnight when the “Coughing Chorus” enjoys practicing across the hall…ugh, those allergies!

This year, my children got me a beautiful Mother’s Day card with a pink Superman logo on the front.  It was about how Moms are just the right mix of “down to earth and save the world.”  I loved it.  After I read it, I said, “Hey, where’s my cape?  Moms have superpowers, right?”  My five year old daughter responded, “The superpowers aren’t in the cape, Mom.”  I said, “Well, where are they?”  Oh, you are gonna love this….she said, “They’re in your heart.”  Well said, my love, well said.

So, I will rest tonight knowing that my children love their perfectly imperfect Momma and so does the good Lord above.  Hope you all had a perfectly imperfect Mother’s Day, too!


  1. Love the inspiration.....and I was thinking how much easier life can be when we number the pieces to the puzzle of life with God, first and then the last pieces falls into "perfect" place.