Shattering the Illusion of Perfection

Who said anyone of us needs to be perfect?

We are all SO FAR from perfection!
Why do we spend so much time
...and did I say, worrying?

I've been convicted over and over again these last several weeks.  It all started when the (in)courage Bloom Book Club launched their Summer reading discussion on Shauna Niequist's Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes

What a great read!  Whether you're a foodie or not, this is definitely one you NEED to get your hands on!  It's a beautiful book filled with stories, memories, recipes (yes! recipes) and challenging thoughts around the idea of opening your home and loving on people around our tables.  Whether it's our families around the dinner table, or good friends around the coffee table, or just random visitors scattered around our homes eating frozen pizza.  What counts are the MOMENTS we share with one another.  
The laughter, tears, and LIFE we get to experience together.  
That's when we meet and experience Jesus' unconditional love.  Isn't it?

Besides... by letting others see me in my imperfection, it invites them to shatter the illusion of perfection for themselves, too.  If I can be free to serve frozen pizza to someone, wouldn't that same person feel completely free to set aside their china and gourmet menu when I come over... 
What a gift of freedom we can give each other!

(okay... let me stop here and give you a little disclaimer.  I am NOT opposed to cleaning, prepping, organizing, planning, or pretty dishes.  I LOVE me some pretty dishes, believe me!  But the worry behind the illusion of perfection is what bothers me.)

Hospitality is a word I always ran away from. 
Definitely not a strong "gift" in my book.  
It does not come easy for me, and it takes me a while to feel comfortable doing it.
BUT, like I said... I've been convicted over and over again about this...
Our church ladies Bible Study (again... another book-related "tool" being used by God) is going through Lysa Terkeurst's What Happens When Women Say Yes to God: Experiencing Life in Extraordinary Ways

 and... boy, did I hear God's voice here again!  
Life with Jesus is not about being comfortable.  
It's about being comfort-able.  
Being able to use my story to comfort someone else.  It's about being willing and open.  It's about hospitality.  
Yes, I said it.  
It's about opening my home, my heart, my life... 

And if that wasn't enough...
For those who know me, you're aware that I became a Blessings Unlimited Independent Consultant in May 2012.  After months and months of LOVING the mission of Blessings Unlimited, I was informed that, after much prayer, the leadership had decided on a more focused mission for BU.  So...  


You can view the reasons for the changes and transitions on this video.  

But basically, Blessings Unlimited mission to "pursue the heart of God and bring blessings to others" became a rich and more focused mission with Mary & Martha... 
"Meaningful Entertaining.... Made Simple".  
The mission with flesh on!  
Bringing blessings to others BY meaningfully and simply loving on others.  
Once again... 
It's about opening our home, letting people into our lives, loving God and loving people in the process.  
The story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42 tells us about 2 sisters whose house was open to receive Jesus and his friends.  Mary AND Martha represent us, they represent ME.  
On one hand I want to sit at Jesus' feet... on the other hand, I often find myself being Martha... worrying, prepping, cleaning, running around worrying about every detail of my imperfect home and life.  But her heart for hospitality is what I lack.  So, yes, I AM MARY AND MARTHA!

So... I've been convicted.  
I need to shatter the illusion of perfection.
It's not about perfection.
It's about the people.
It's about loving God and loving people.

I've been challenged.  
How about you?
Where is that one area in your life you've been fighting this illusion that you NEED to be perfect?
Shauna Niequist said that the 2 areas in women's lives where we struggle with this illusion the most are our BODIES and our HOMES.  


I've heard it said that we're all given the same amount of hours each day...

24 hours.

And 24 hours seem to pass me by so quickly these days.  I've been going through a challenging season of "choosing joy", partially because of the nature of my daily routine.  
Children, chores, church, family, Summer heat (yes, not a big fan of high temps), and... just noise in general.
We're carrying such a busy schedule these last few months and I know that I need to rest. Lack of rest and recreation can really take a toll on anyone, specially if you're always playing catch up and running around making sure the ones who are depending on you are well taken care of.  
So... all that to say... 24 hours can turn into 24 hours of exhaustion if I'm not careful.

Also, have you ever experienced one of those moments when God totally knocks you upside the head to get your attention?  
This morning as I am between laundry and dishes, He asked me to take a breather, take in the sounds of my children whining and crying and playing and laughing and whining again, to stop, and again... take a deep breath.  What a short season this is!  But it FEELS neverending!  Are you with me here?  

So I stopped...

And remembered that today also marks 24 weeks...
Yes, I'm 24 weeks along with my 3rd pregnancy, awaiting the arrival of another life the Lord is bringing into this world.  24 weeks I've been carrying the extra physical weight and reminder that I am physically responsible to take deep breaths, to rest, and to be blessed.
Despite a fast paced lifestyle with busy schedules and numerous demands, I need to take those deep breaths.  To use the 24 hours in my day purposefully, creatively, and thankfully.  

My life is made of 24 hours a day.  And these last 24 weeks have been a reminder of what should be priority.  Choose to take a deep breath today!