Thursday, January 9, 2014

Imperfect Pearls

Dear Girls,

In the last twenty-four hours I have yelled at you, Katelynn, like a mad woman, for not wanting to get out of your sister's side of the car (last night) and refusing to get your shoes on (this morning) and had a fight with Dad for being "unjustifiably offended" by something I said (right before bed).

Way to go, mom.  Good job.

Even as I write this I can hear that voice inside me whispering, "But she had been demanding and disrespectful nearly all day long yesterday and that last one was just the last straw.  And him!  All I was trying to do was have a simple conversation about something.  He didn't even listen to what I was saying.  He didn't even try to understand where I was coming from!"

Part of me believes that my reactions fit the circumstances.  I am only human, after all.  It seems I have a threshold for the amount of crap I can take in and still manage to keep my words and attitudes smelling like roses.  And man, some days my cup runneth over--with crap.

And then there's that part of me that hesitates to even be writing about this because there's this thing that goes on inside of me and a lot of other women that makes us want to present our life as a pretty little highlight reel of precious moments that make it look a certain way.  A way that it's really not all of the time, is it?

A quick check of my Facebook and Instagram profiles would be evidence of...what?  All of the beautiful stuff and none of the ugly?

I mean, I think that's fine--to a point--because I am happy and our life is beautiful and we do have a wonderful, close, family.  Usually.  And I do believe wholeheartedly in being a light in this dark world instead of another negative, bitter soul.  So I try to be that bright spot in others' news feeds.  

But yet here I am today.  Using the word 'crap' to describe what's going on inside of me in this moment .  And boy is it easy for me right now to sit here and think of all the ways my family has poured that yuck right into me over the past day or so.  With your constant needs and complaints and demands and negativity and ungratefulness and more needs and more demands and just so. much. crap.  

I this okay?  What in the world am I doing here if I'm not bearing my heart?  Even when it's full of...crap?  I feel like you need me to be transparent here.  Because I know for a fact that you both are going to have days like this yourselves.  Lots of them.  And I guess I just want you to know that I relate. None of the pearls on my string look alike and you know what?  A lot of them are misshapen and imperfect.

Some nights I do sit and quietly string my pretty, shiny, round ones just so.  I smile and reflect on a day when I've gotten most of it right.  And that's great.  Let's rejoice together. 

But sometimes?  Oh boy.  Sometimes I look at my pearl and the color's not right, the shape is dumb, and it annoys me how no one's concerned about how hard I tried to get it to form "the right way" and so I throw it across the room to be found and dealt with in the morning.

You will too.

So let's smile and laugh AND cry together.  Be real with each other.  Life can be so beautiful, yet so ugly and imperfect too.  At the same time, even.  I know.

Yesterday started off great.  Yet by the time I drifted off to sleep it had turned U-G-L-Y.  (And I ain't got no alibi!)  But seriously, there's no excuse for the way I reacted to you, the ones I love most.  True, I am only human.  And I do have a threshold.  But I draw from a God whose grace is constantly flowing and never ending.  My job is to receive that and then turn around and pour it directly into my man and my girls.  If it gets stopped up somewhere in my heart--that's my issue, and I need to fix it.  A lot of days that is so hard to do.  I thank God for His grace that allows me (and you) to do just that.

So...the next time you find yourself stringing one of those "ugly" pearls, know that I get it.  Our strings aren't just made of those perfect little gems that we're proud of.  It's okay.  I promise to show you my ugly ones too, so that you know you are not alone.  You are never alone. 

And I am so sorry for days like yesterday.

For now, you'll have to excuse me.  I need to go clean out my cup.      


What about you? Are you willing to put your imperfect pearls on display? (There's not a more beautiful way to preach the gospel to your kids or the people around you.)

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