Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Where I Choose to Focus

For our Real TalkTuesday prompt today we are talking about imperfection. In the beginning of her post Marvia asks two questions: "What truth of imperfection is rising up in you?" and "What have you learned about being imperfect?"

I know that I am imperfect. All of us are imperfect. We live in an imperfect world.  Those of us who know God have a very real and certain hope that we will one day be made perfect, but this does not mean that we just sit around wishing the imperfections would all go away. I believe God uses even our imperfections to teach us things, to help us grow as He works with us changing us from the inside out. We were meant to interact with other people. Imperfect we may be, but we do have something to offer others. 

Last week I looked around at the imperfections in my house and yard. We have stuff which causes areas to look cluttered. Our windows are dirty. Our yard is overgrown in many areas, and it will take some time to get it all taken care of. Now I could choose to keep people away from my home until everything looks nice, but I learned a long time ago that if I tried to make my home perfect I would never have people over. There was an opportunity coming to meet some ladies I call story sisters. 

So this past weekend, instead of focusing on the imperfections I chose to focus on a couple of areas where I thought we would spend most of our time. I did a few simple things to make them homey and inviting. The dining room table I decorated with tiny pumpkins and a candle that gave off the aroma of pumpkin bread. Outside on one side of the front porch I have a picnic table, so I hung some colorful pansies in planters right next to the table. 

Saturday my daughter, Jamie, and her family came to visit us with plans to stay for a week. On Sunday, she and I welcomed special friends Jennifer Upton and Abby Norman for a visit. Jamie has spent time with them before, but I have only had contact with them online. When you have never met someone in person, you could begin to feel a little nervous, but that did not happen with those two. Because of our interactions online I felt that they were already like family. I could sense that we were "kindred spirits" to borrow the phrase from Anne of Green Gables. 

When they got out of the car, Jennifer was the first one I hugged and I remember her saying, "Are you real?" Then I echoed the same question. We have had a lot of interaction online but have never met in person. It was really special to finally get to meet.  Then I went over to hug Abby and I asked her the same question. I was so thrilled that they could come and we could finally meet that I almost cried. 

We had a delightful time getting to know each other better. Our age difference didn't seem to matter. We talked about various things, laughing together, walking together, eating yummy food together, and celebrating our sisterhood. There were still imperfections all around us, but I don't think any of them will come to mind when we think about that day. What we will remember are the hugs, the laughter, the apple pie, and the special bond that we made a little stronger that day, and we will look forward to spending more time together in the future.

What if I had worried about the imperfections? What if I was afraid I would be too embarrassed or they would think less of me?  Think of what I would have missed out on!  What about you? Have you let fear and imperfections keep you from doing something you really wanted to do? 

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