Being okay with imperfect

By the time Thursday rolls around I’m a little weary.  I might have skipped washing my hair so I could sleep in till 6:10 a day.  Or two.  My days begin promptly at 6:00 AM and don’t end until kids are in bed at 8:30.  And goodness knows a whole lot happens in those 15 hours every day of the week.

It’s not like we sit around in our pajamas all weekend but there is something very lovely about having Daddy here to share in life with us.  He even gives the kids Sunday morning off their farm chore duties.  Pretty awesome (even if his real reason might just be that he loves it when we get to church on time!).  The “doing it all together” instead of just me makes me slow just a bit.  So getting to the Friday finish line, having taught, shuttled, directed, cooked and trained my way through the week feels like a feat.  Every single week.

Which brings me back to Thursday….I had just taught a room of 9 and 10 year olds at our literature co-op.  I don’t know why but I’d been so nervous about it (I think it had something to do with not wanting to embarrass my kids who were in the class).  So nervous that I sweated through my nice shirt and had to run to the van at break to get a jacket.  Classy.

We made it home and I hoisted the brute of a two year old out of the van and tucked him in for a nap.  I made a promise of a good snack and a movie (with the ulterior motive of wanting an hour long nap).  Just as I was about to fall onto the couch in my less-than-fresh clothes, someone yelled “It’s Miss Vicki walking up the drive!”.   Miss Vicki is our Children’s Pastor at church. Yes, we had a meeting scheduled and no I did not remember it.

There was a puzzle undone on the floor.  The counter was covered with stuff of all sorts.  The need for a vacuum was high.  I remembered my shirt issue just as the doorbell rang.  I opened the door with a big smile and invited her in.  The kids took over chatting and I excused myself upstairs.  A clean shirt.  Some perfume.  Lip gloss for good measure.  Who was I kidding?  Lip gloss?  Had I seen my own downstairs?  Like lip gloss would fix it!

She is a gracious woman.  She moved a sweatshirt from the couch and sat down.  We talked and dreamed about a tea party for all the girls and moms at church.  I exuberantly offered to host it here.  And I did explain, “Really, my house can be clean and tea-beautiful, I promise!”.  I hoped she believed me.

There was a time just a few years ago I would have DIED to have this day play out.  And I would read blog after blog about people with more kids than me with perfectly laid out days and systems in place at every moment that ensured no chaos.  Ever.  But that’s not us.  And finally, wonderfully, that’s okay with me.  I’m learning to simply do what I do:

Smile big.  And invite people in….to my heart, my life, my mess.

So whoever you are and whatever you do, just be you.  People don’t need perfect.  People really just need love.



And such a big heart it is!


You just described the symptoms of a happy home 🙂 Your words, as usual, are so wonderfully encouraging. Thank you for always wearing your heart on your sleeve and reminding us mommies and wives what is really important in life – love.


Oh love this. I myself was certainly horrified when the neighbor came by unannounced and my house was a disaster! Couldn’t even pretend to find a place for her to sit…sigh. I sure picked up a bit when I knew she was coming back a few days later! But you are right, I think letting people see our mess helps them feel like we won’t judge them in return for their own. Love you!


a hearty amen, yes doesn’t it help trump any fear of judgement? why has it taken me 10 years to learn this!!??


I love, love, LOVE this! And I love you for writing this! Honestly, I don’t really want to be invited into people’s perfect, I want to be invited into people’s mess and I want people to be ok with being invited into my mess – because that’s were life is lived – in the mess, in the confusion, amidst the dirty dishes and the never quite finished. Truth be told, no matter how hard we try to project an image of perfect we are all messy and unfinished and when we invite each other into the messy and unfinished state of our homes and situations and daily circumstances we come closer to inviting people into the messy and unfinished state of our hearts and that’s where true friendships and deep community is really formed.


Ah how I smile reading your words…makes me think back to that day you all came for dinner and how terrible a week I’d had and what a wreck things were and how we a-l-m-o-s-t cancelled at the last minute because I couldn’t manage to pull a dinner together. We didn’t know you super well and I didn’t know if our less-than state would be okay (though now I know, and I’m so glad). We reveled in sharing that evening with you and who knew we could get such delectable Indian food delivered all the way “out here”? It is so much more lovely and I’m a million times happier, just being me, nothing more or less 🙂 Thank you for sharing life with us!