I have a poster in my office that has a variety of short phrases that keep me thinking in fresh ways, even if I'm dealing with the same old things… "celebrate the everyday," "share yourself. tell your story." "simplify," "be real" and "embrace imperfection" are just a few of them. Now there is nothing about myself or my life that is perfect but I must confess I have trouble "embracing" imperfection. I'd rather tuck it away somewhere, or ignore it altogether!
So, I am part of a weekly Bible Study that meets in one woman's house throughout the school year. During the summer months, the rest of us take a turn hosting it at our homes to give her a break. A few weeks ago was my week. The problem… my house was a mess! It's a different kind of mess… not breadcrumbs on the counter, toothpaste in the sink or even inch-thick dust on the living room furniture. Those are all easy fixes. This was all about lots of boxes… boxes from a new, but temporary 5th member to our household, boxes that were stored somewhere else and are now back in our home and boxes of stuff to be sold at a garage sale. At first glance, my house looked fine, because most of those boxes were in the basement. However, our tv (with the dvd player that we needed) is in the basement. Quite honestly, I did not have the time or the room to move them into another part of the house so that we could use that family room for a half hour dvd.
So, what's a girl to do? Well, this girl borrowed a small Hello Kitty tv (that has a dvd player in it) from the daughter of a friend of mine. You may be thinking, so, what's the problem? Well, it does not match anything in my house! Most of our rooms are decorated in warm earth tones with rich burgundys, tans, eggplant, or greens. That tv, as small as it was, would stand out for sure! Hello, imperfection. Never mind the more important issue that probably not all of us would even be able to see it from where we were sitting! We can still listen to the message, right?
So, with the mantra "embrace imperfection," I decorated my buffet with plenty of pink and Hello Kitty memorabilia that the same friend was willing to loan to me. I had pink lemonade, strawberries, sugar cookies with pink frosting and chocolates wrapped in pink foil. (Other people brought food too.) Once everybody got there, my short explanation of our life's circumstances and the introduction of the Hello Kitty theme was met with laughter and applause! They were happy to embrace our Hello Kitty Bible Study! Everybody scrunched together, some moving to the floor in order to see the tv. Everybody laughed together when we either needed to adjust the volume or pause the dvd to discuss a particular point. Hello Kitty (or was it her twin sister Mimmy?) would appear, look at us and then casually stroll across the screen. I must admit, it was a little challenging to get too serious about Bible study that night!
At the end of the evening, everybody thanked me for the Hello Kitty "party." Many said that they would probably not forget that Bible Study anytime soon. We all really did have great fun! After everybody left, I took a picture of the buffet before I cleaned up. I put it in my daily pictorial planner as a daily reminder that embracing imperfection can be fun and simple! It has encouraged me to do the same in other areas of my life as well.
What about you? Does your house have to be perfectly clean before you'll have someone over? Do you have to prepare your very best meal in order to invite someone for dinner or are you comfortable asking them to stay for sandwiches or Sloppy Joes? It is definitely an area I'm working on, but one thing I've learned for sure. Embracing imperfection tends to draw people in rather than chase them away. After all… nobody's perfect!
Have a great week!