All posts for the month December, 2014

Perfectly Imperfect

Published December 18, 2014 by Dawn

In between Santa and the Grinch, there’s an ugly Minion on my Christmas tree. Well, I say he’s ugly. Actually, I think he’s cute. He’s just a little … imperfect.

I made him a few weeks ago during family craft night. My kids and I tried our hands at decorative ornaments, and ended up with three minions. My daughter’s turned out just like the picture we took the idea from. I helped my son (he fell asleep and I finished his), and also made my own. I messed them both up. I was a little too ambitious with the glitter glue. Our two minions have droopy silver goggles, which makes their faces look distorted and, well, ugly.

I was going to fix them, because that’s what I do when I mess things up. I immediately try to fix them, and erase any evidence to suppose they were ever imperfect. I even toyed with the idea of throwing them away, because I can’t stand to look at something that I’ve made that screams “failure!” But I haven’t yet, and so I’m sitting here looking at him. And his ugly little face is looking at me. And for the first time in my life, I have decided to make peace with the imperfect in my life.

This is new. Trust me. Just two weeks ago, I was fixing some painted tiles I had made because they had become scratched, and dust had settled into the clear coat while they were drying. Which wasn’t a big deal on most of them, but I had some pure white tiles that showed anything and everything, and I was so upset that they weren’t pristine like I wanted them to be. And then while I was “fixing” them, I kept smudging things, and messing up paint, and I eventually got so frustrated, I hurled a tile onto the floor. And put a deep gouge in my wooden floor. Over an imperfect tile. Over a work of my hands that didn’t turn out like I envisioned it. I hated it! I hated all of them! There were tiles laid out over my whole table and it seemed like a huge display of my own inabilities and imperfections. As if I needed to be reminded of how incapable and imperfect I am. I was overwhelmed with hatred and self-loathing.

I’ve decided to make peace with this minion because for the first time in my life, I want it to be okay to be imperfect. Because no amount of self-loathing and no amount of furious fixing will ever make me perfect. It’ll never make my kids perfect, or my life perfect, or my job, or my family, or my house, or my efforts. I’ve finally come to the realization that perfection is an illusion, and I’m done chasing it.

Not only do I want to be okay with imperfections, I want my kids to be okay with them too. I want them to look at their failures and be able to move on, past them, and try again. Or do something else. Because this chasing after perfection has literally paralyzed me for years. And depressed me. And made me hate myself. And even hate other people because they aren’t perfect either. And I think I’ve missed out on a lot of life that way. And I’ve missed opportunities to love, and to grow, and to be happy. All because I am not perfect.

The most wonderful thing I’ve realized from keeping this little minion on my tree in spite of its flaws is that this form of acceptance is something of our Creator. So many of us hate ourselves, and hate others because we’re imperfect, and their imperfect, and we imagine that God is so distraught over our imperfections that He’s going to reject us and throw us out, or fix us. And I believe that He does intend to fix us if we are willing. But I don’t think He hates us. I don’t think we stir up a passionate hatred in Him with our failures and our flaws. Because God is love. And as long as we are repentant and we keep coming back to Him, He’ll have us. And He’ll love us. And He’ll keep us. He doesn’t reject us. His Word says He will never leave us or forsake us, so He’s in it for the long haul. He’s committed to the works of His hands, and so we don’t have to hate ourselves when we mess up. And we can give grace to others when they mess up. Because we are all imperfect people wholly and dearly loved by a perfect God. He makes up the hedge in our lives, and in Him, we are the righteousness of Christ.