• Kate Clinton

Here is to Imperfection

I can't do a lot of things right, but I can bake one delicious cookie. I have about 10 different types I usually bake, depending on the season. People are constantly asking for them. I think teachers request getting my kids in class just so they will get my cookies. But I have a confession to make. In the process of plating those perfect cookies, I burn some and throw them away. I under cook some and feed them to my kids. I break some of them when I try to move them. I drop some on the floor (don't be concerned, I have never given any of those away!). I have forgotten an ingredient and had to throw away a whole batch of dough. But I pick out the perfect ones and plate them and give them away. Nobody sees the behind the screens disasters.

Don't we tend to do that with our lives? We only show the almost perfect parts. We are reluctant to show our true selves and imperfections. We post the perfect family photo on social media, but fail to mention the temper tantrum and diaper blowout that happened during the photo shoot. We show up at church with our makeup on, dressed in something other than black yoga pants and put on a perky smile. When someone asks, “How are you?” we smile and reply with a big fat lie, “Oh, doing great!” We work hard to cover up the pain that we experienced that week.

And not only do we try show our own perfect life, we compare our hard, lonely, disheartening life to someone's perfect life that they are trying hard to show. We know we are only showing our perfect life. Why don't we understand they are only showing theirs? Why do we try to compare our mess to their once in a while perfect life?

What if Christian women were more open about their struggles? With their imperfections? That motherhood isn't all that easy? And what if, when those Christian women shared their hearts, there wasn't judgment and gossip? Just love. What if the non-Christian women in our lives got to see our imperfections and blemishes and our constant need of Jesus? How would their lives change if they saw we were actually different than all the other Chatty-Kathy's of the world?

In Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is. In verses 37-40 He replies “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. 'Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.'” We tend to shy away from being honest with our struggles because we worry about what others will think of us. What if we knew they would respond with the love of Christ?

So often in the isolation of motherhood, in this world filled with fake perfection, we feel as if we are the only ones that struggle. Often times, when we are brave enough to open up about our battles, the woman you are speaking with usually ends up telling you hers. You both cry and realize you are not weird and alone in your struggles. 1 Corinthians 10:13 is a great reminder of that. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.”

I have already told you about my cookie secrets. I guess I will confess some more about myself. I am usually in my pajamas (black yoga pants and a t-shirt) until around 2:30pm. I hate taking the time to shower. I run and take a quick shower before I get the kids and change into more black yoga pants. I often walk into a room and realize I am the biggest girl in the room and feel insecure. Sometimes I don't like one or more of my kids, even though I will always love them. I have IBS and constantly worry about where the closest restroom is. I get upset too quickly and yell dumb stuff I don't mean. I have to pluck all kinds of hair off my face. It seems like every kid I had increased the number of hairs I needed to pluck. I told my husband if I ever go into a coma, he needs to bring some tweezers. If he doesn't, they may send me off to the circus as the bearded lady in a coma. I think I will stop there before I embarrass myself.

Now it's in your court. Be honest on social media. Tell someone how you actually feel. Listen to others without judgment or gossip. And the next time you see me, don't be staring at my upper lip for any hairy proof of my confession. You being open about your experiences could very well be what a tired soul needed to hear. Here's to imperfection!

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