Her hands were long and slender, fragile skin polka dotted with years of living and loving. They tirelessly stitched ruffled curtains into a twirly skirt for her granddaughter. She didn’t mind making forts on the stairs, or riding a bike, or just eating strawberries together. “My Strawberry Girl,” she called me. “Grandma Edie” might as well have been named “Wonder Woman,” because she really was the most wonderful woman my 6 year old heart could wrap around. The last thing she ever made for me was a red, crocheted purse in the shape of a berry.
Swollen with arthritis, her fingers stroked back hair from sticky cheeks and adjusted blanket capes as she played and loved her grandbabies. Those hands, young and inexperienced, had applied clean bandages and wiped foreheads in a military hospital as the world warred for the second time. They held the heart of an Ohio-raised soldier boy as he slipped a simple ring on her finger, and they started a new life in the wake of post war America. Those hands wiped tears and stitched dresses and made cakes as she raised her family, and just when they emptied from one responsibility, she eagerly picked up another.
Looking back at childhood memories of my grandmother, I see jeweled, perfect moments, sweeter than sun ripened fruit.
And I’m caught off guard, because I can see now that the perfect, twirly skirt had unfinished edges, and the strawberry purse wasn’t entirely symmetrical. There were no Pinterest-worthy activities/crafts/games, just one beautiful heart leading her beloved grandkids into unscripted adventure.
She gave what she had, and it was enough.
Can we just all take a collective sigh of relief?
Maybe settle into our skins a little and relax, for goodness’ sake?
In her book For the Love (affiliate link), Jen Hatmaker likens finding balance to chasing unicorns. (If you haven’t read her book, go out and beg, borrow, or steal a copy immediately. Seriously, it’s the funniest book I’ve ever read. Does that even make sense…putting seriously and funny in the same sentence? But anyways.)
I’m going to adapt her unicorn analogy to perfection, and say trolls. All this pursuing of perfect looks a lot like chasing trolls. We’ve all heard about them, we all have a vague idea of what they looks like, but has anyone actually caught one? And for goodness’ sake, why would you want to? They are ugly little critters.
Can you even imagine what it would be like to live with perfect? I think it would choke the air right out of my lungs.
Not even the Pinterest Moms have it all together.
Our job is not to chase trolls, perfection, or any other distracting and imaginary thing.
It’s to chase Jesus. Fill up on Him. Delight in Him. Savor Him.
And then splash all that love and peace and joy that He pours out on us…onto others. Indiscriminately. Imperfectly, even.
Make a twirly skirt with unfinished edges. Eat strawberries. Kiss the man. Hold those babies. Use paper plates. Sing off key.
Live secure in the knowledge that who you are and what you have to give is enough.
Especially since you’re not chasing trolls anymore.
Grace and peace and blanket fort adventures, friends.