For just a moment, I remembered it- the image of my perfect life.
My home- clutter free, clean, well decorated…serene.
Well-behaved, responsible children who are, you know, keeping their little acts together.
Me? I am fit. I never miss a workout, eat healthy too.
My wardrobe is impeccable.
A Goldendoodle beside me- never shedding, loyal, so stinkin obedient that I didn’t even think of needing a leash.
Then I shook my head and looked around.
I was standing in the middle of my weedstrewn yard wearing yoga pants, a t-shirt, an old sweater and rain boots. My morning hair stood out in alarming directions.
My kids had barely made the bus, leaving a trail of chaos all over the house in their wake.
My career? Meh.
I missed another workout, choosing sleep instead.
I bent over in the rain, a pink plastic doggy bag on my hand to clean up after my companion-
A 70 lb rescue mutt with PTSD.
He was firmly attached to the leash in my other hand. When he brushed up against my leg, he left so much hair behind that I looked like a mutant.
And you know what?
It is ok, I thought. This is real.
I spent so many years in pursuit of perfect, so determined to become something more. Occasionally, rarely, I achieved my goal but not without great cost-
To the people around me who simply wanted to be loved by me.
To my own weary heart.
But most of the time, I had to fall back on pretending to have it together. (Can I just take a moment here to say to everyone who is doing this on social media how much you are hurting yourself and everyone else in your sphere of influence? Let’s just stop already…)
Anyway- so exhausting.
The day will come when my kids are gone from here. There will be no more rushing to meet the bus. No more dirty socks under the coffee table.
No more daily kisses.
No more snuggles before bed.
I don’t want to spend the last few magical moments either striving for perfect or pretending we have already arrived.
After all, if I do that, the mom, how will my babies ever believe that their worth is rooted not in their excellence but in the truth-
We are all image bearers of The Living God.
This morning, my 17-year-old emerged from her room holding two tiny origami sculptures in her hands.
“Which one do you want?” she asked. “The dragon or the swan?”
I closed my eyes and held out my hand.
“I want the one that is least perfect,” I said.
“Then it is the dragon,” she replied as she placed the sculpture in my hand.