Friday, December 16, 2011

Less Than Perfect

Less than good news. A tough health complication with one of our sons. When I questioned the doctor about the change in prognosis, he said, "That was the hope. But it doesn't always happen that way." The bubble of hope, burst, the drops puddled at my feet.

What do you do when the answer is one you do not want to hear? When you are facing a long-term, complicated condition? If I look at the long line of weeks, months, years ahead, like the dotted white lines stretched off into the distance on a long road trip, I panic. Searching for hope.

Amy Carmichael wrote,
"In acceptance lieth peace."
For today.
Today's tasks.
This is the time I have.
To use, to love, to live.
With grace, joy, and yes, hope.

The day we made cinnamon ornaments, our house was filled with rich holiday smells. Together with a friend, we made a double batch, copying the recipe here. We mixed the cinnamon, the applesauce and the glue, rolled and punched out cookie cutter shapes, baked and rolled and punched some more. The process took a lot longer than we had expected, our ambitious plans far exceeding the day's limits. The plain cookies were set aside for a few days while schoolwork and doctor appointments and outside activities took over.

I started the painting on my own. Easy, right? With a couple of bottles of puff paint, draw in the simple designs. Not so easy. The paint squirted and blobbed. I was frustrated and whining about my lack of ability to make anything half-way respectable to give as gifts. Martha Stewart does not have to worry about losing her job to me. The guys came to encourage me, said they didn't look so bad, then they joined in to try. We laughed and congratulated each other on our small successes.

The result? Less than perfect.
 Just like life.
 Just like today.
 Just like us.


  1. Hi Maureen, as usual your words and photos are so full of meaning and life lessons....prayers for you, your son and family... and a beautifully, imperfect, perfect Christmas:)

  2. I offer my sympathy with your recent news and health concern about your son. Yes, it will be an imperfect Christmas with imperfect people - that we are, living in a fallen world.

    Jesus shines brighter than all the Christmas lights.
    Karen A.