embracing brokenness

I like to do everything “right.” I like to have it together – no matter what I might be doing. I like to think I can figure out or do just about anything. I want everyone to be happy.

You can see where this is leading, can’t you?

I’m not sure why it is so hard for me to see it…

I struggle with being imperfect, messing up, arriving late, and hurting others. I’m frustrated when I know I’m not good at something. And I’m miserable when I feel that I’ve let others down.

That’s not a good way to live – because those things happen all the time.

I am a broken, imperfect person.

We all are.

Imperfection is not such a bad thing – or so they say. Imperfection simply means that we are like everyone else. We need each other. And we need Jesus.

It also means that I need to learn to say that I am sorry (I’m still working on that), that I don’t know, or that something will have to wait. It means I need to give grace to myself, accept that I’m not great at everything, and ask for help from others.

Sometimes, there are things I can work on and improve. Other times, I need to admit the weak areas and ensure others help fill in my gaps.

And when I learn to do those things, I can give more grace and acceptance to others when their imperfections and brokenness inevitably affect me.

Right now, I feel a bit frustrated that I continue to be frustrated with this issue. This is not a new discovery for me. I have been in this battle against perfectionism for a long time. It just happened to noticeably raise its ugly head again recently.

That is part of the battle – that crazy-maker, relentless longing that holds on to that tiniest impossible delusion that I can actually beat this thing and get “better.”

And so, here I am – sharing my brokenness with you – hoping you might join me in this journey, acknowledge and embrace your brokenness – and give yourself grace. Maybe you will even accept my brokenness if it happens to bump up against yours occasionally.

May we give lots of grace to ourselves and each other.

How do you typically deal with your brokenness?

Image – Kintsugi pottery – A broken piece made more beautiful and valuable by filling the cracks with gold. (Credit: riho-kitagawa-JuDPjcutors-unsplash)

abundance from imperfection

My sister’s plum tree bends to the ground heavy with plump, fresh, purple fruit. More than they can ever use… even more than they can give away!

The interesting thing for me is that this tree is not “pretty”. It grows crooked, scraggly, cut harshly on one side to get it off the roof of the house, mostly ignored, and often maligned for the mess that it makes.

… yet despite all those negatives, it yields A LOT of fruit.

I found much encouragement and hope in that tree this morning. I thought about my less-than-perfect, oft-neglected and criticized life, and realized that there is hope for fruit from my branches also.

That plum tree reminded me that it is not only the flawless, attractive, meticulously protected lives that produce fruit. Certainly attention and care are helpful in most situations, but I believe that there is much potential even in less-than-ideal circumstances also. It was as if that tree said to me this morning, “Take hope! You can produce a great harvest too!”

Have you ever felt that you were not good enough (…not smart enough, not old/young enough, not talented enough) to accomplish something with your life? How do you find hope?