I don’t have to be perfect!? Neither do you!? Did you know that? Like, I can be as shitty a person as I want to be, and when I wake up the next morning, He still loves me. I wouldn’t want to live my life as a shitty person, but I have, at times, lived my life that way. Like yesterday. Yesterday I was sure God would be like, “That’s enough! One more time and I’m taking away David’s amazing job!” He didn’t though. And do you know what He did instead? He allowed for an hour-long nap in the midst of a beautiful kiddo-nap-trifecta. With a knowing gaze, and not a wagging finger, He Loved.
I’m afraid of imperfection, of nearly everything. I’m afraid of not putting lotion on after showering in the dry Denver climate, and that my legs would appear scaly, and who could love a lizard posing as a lady? If I didn’t take my make-up off at night, my pores will clog so badly that I’ll start to break-out and also, get wrinkles, and who could love a pimply, wrinkled 27-year-old? There’s this fear of not watching the news, thus missing all the world’s happenings. What if Papa, or anyone, asks about my take on the Greek financial crises and I answer, “I have no idea.” While drooling. I’d probably be drooling, too. And what if I haven’t incorporated the Pantone color of the year!? If an old art school friend is visiting and notices I don’t have enough of the color “Marsala” in my home they’ll tell everyone?! Missing the gym for two weeks (or more) terrifies me. I skipped the gym for over a year when I was diagnosed and could swim my mile again within a month after training again—DON’T EVER FEEL SHAME FOR NOT WORKING OUT!!! Do I read enough, again…drool. And weeds. I get a little tight inside thinking about weeds,
but I try to bless them now. That was a revolutionary day for me, figuring out the weeds were not actually out to get me. That they didn’t want to spitefully ruin my gardens, keeping me from feeding my family with the veggies, or decorating my home with the flowers. The weeds are actually doing what God has created them to do; they’re trying to get by and survive—just like I am. They are alive and LOVING IT! I BLESS YOU WEEDS!!
But I don’t have to be perfect. My skin doesn’t have to be perfect. Neither does my brain or home or yard. And I don’t have to be afraid! So if you see me and I have skin flaking off my calves, or giant zits and wrinkles, or my strong arms have deflated and now hang loooooow—it’s okay. I know my afflictions are real, and I am loved anyway. Please don’t ask me about the Greek financial crisis or my thoughts on Cecil the Lion getting shot, because I was busy raising three kids (and growing one) this past month. I have no Marsala in my home because I cannot stand this year’s color, so no, you will see none of it. And finally, (inhale…exhale) if you arrive at my little Victorian bungalow and notice the front walk is no longer visible because weeds are gloriously reproducing—it’s okay. They needed a win.
I believed that people would somehow love me more, that I would somehow love me more, if all those boxes were checked. Now though, I get to live in the wild, awful splendor of humanity. I get to be a human. And because I get to be a human, that means I can extend the same courtesy to other humans, which makes me a little less awful to be around. Because how awesome if we could all just be humans together?! It’s such a hard Truth to cling to, especially in America where we are all supposed to function like mindless machines. I’m not always good at this human thing. Actually, I’m rarely good at this human thing. I just want to confess that. Again though, I can be a total ass cat and He would still offer me eternal Love; He would still have me. And didn’t He mold the mud, and breathe into it, and create humans? There must be something inherently lovable about simple existence, simple humanity… I don’t know who said that we are human beings, not human doings—I’ve heard the saying several times—but that person was legit.
One of the best parts? My children don’t have to be perfect now, either. They don’t even have to be good to get my love. (I will let you know how successfully I remember this sentiment the next time one of the girls curb stomps the other one while naked in the front yard.) They just get to be humans. Today I’m going to try to be as human as possible, so I can receive as much grace as possible, so I can give grace as much as possible.
Claire……I laughed through most of this post!!!! I love your clever writings and honest statements!!!
I am such a pathetic human!!! That is probably why we were drawn to each other…..Love you……….