Saturday, November 29, 2014

Present over Perfect


The morning begins with three missed calls and an email from our son. He calls from the other side of the world while he floats out at sea. Opportunities for him to call home are few and far between. I could tell from his email that he misses home. We are missing him too.

I respond with what may be my longest email to him so far.

Because my heart longs for him to know God, I end the email with the verse from Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."


After pressing send I crawl back into bed next to my husband with tears in my eyes. He wraps his arms around me and we lie there for the next thirty minutes holding each other. There are still tears as we lie there for how much I miss our son and for how happy I am to have my husband home.

We let go of one another but we are not quite ready to leave the bed. Instead, we scan the TV stations for something to watch. Taking the day slow sounds like a wonderful idea. We land on “Cheaper by the Dozen.” Tears find their way to my eyes again. This missing stuff doesn't get easier.

The feeling of sadness will not lift. Plans for the day include putting up our Christmas tree. I tell my husband, “We need a new tree. Our tree is small and lopsided.”

I open up my computer and log on to Pinterest and start searching Christmas decorating ideas. Of course the pictures are all shiny and perfect. Nothing I could do would ever compare.

With “Cheaper by the Dozen” finally over and tears semi dried up, yet I know full well it wouldn't take much for them to fall again, I decide to join hubs for a morning workout confident it will lift my spirits.

As I ride a stationary bike, I finish reading the book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. In the book Donald Miller talks about a bike ride he took across country. Friends of ours have a son who recently did the same so I sent them a text to suggest their son read the book. I add to the end of the text message, “Let’s do dinner soon.”

I open up the audio version of Bob Goff’s book Love Does next. I’m now on a treadmill as I listen along. I hit the pause button after Chapter 3 because this time around I want my husband to follow along too.

I scan through my library of eBook’s. A while back I started Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist so I decided to carry on where I left off.

“I sometimes hate this house for not being what I want it to be, and I sometimes hate myself for not being that either. But little by little, my funny old broken down house is teaching me that good enough is good enough.” – Shauna Niequist

Shauna’s words remind me of our Christmas tree; the one I told my husband was small and lopsided.

I did not get far in the book before my phone rang.

“Hello Mom.”

My cup runneth over. God is good, ALWAYS.

He tells me that he started reading Love Does again. I sent the book to him in a care package early on in his deployment. “The Jesus stuff is hard to read but it’s funny,” he says. Maybe it’s wishful thinking but I imagine Bob Goff’s words leading my son closer to Jesus. Always have hope, I say to myself.

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Hubs and I return home. I look up at those gorgeous eyes of his to inform him how wrong I am about our tree. Our tree is enough because it’s ours. Present over perfect . . . that is my wish for this Christmas season.

What is your wish for this Christmas season?

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48 comments :

  1. I LOVE this! I am so glad you wrote it. Thank you for just bring such a dose of love in to my day, Beth. You bless me so very much!
    Hugs,
    Dawn

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  2. Oh, the story of your lopsided tree brought me a smile, Beth! I'm so happy you had the chance to speak to your son. I want to be content - content with all the Lord has provided me: my ever patient husband, the ability to spend the whole month of December simply adoring the birth of Christ and sharing this with my children. I seem to be tuned out of everything else - for once in my life I am not drawn to shopping, lists or the like. I think I'm going to enjoy this Christmas! Blessings to you and thank you for sharing this lovely post!

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    1. I am feeling much like you, Carrie. It's a wonderful feeling, isn't it? So nice to see you here. Thank you for stopping by and for your lovely comment. Blessings.

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  3. Such beautiful thoughts, especially after the 'enough' of thanksgiving and the seemingly 'never enough' of Black Friday. What we have is enough because it is ours - love this sentiment - Thanks for sharing a weekend brew :)

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Tania. I look forward to stopping by to pay you a visit. I love how linkups give us the opportunity to meet new bloggers. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Blessings.

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  4. Your words always touch me and having two sons like you, my momma's heart aches at times for my dreams for them to come true. God's plan is perfect and I need to let go, live in the present and know in my heart that this is my perfect because God is my center. So blessed by you and thank you for linking up with The Weekend Brew.

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    1. I just had a conversation with one of my sister-in-laws about that struggle to let go of our children and trust in God's plan and perfect timing. So grateful for His patience. :) You are a blessing to me, Mary. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Much love. xoxo

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  5. A beautiful post, Beth - so touching. I will also be praying for your son. I can only imagine how your heart aches for him on so many levels. But I truly believe that God has him, and is leading him to the foot of the cross. And I will pray for your peace as you let God do His work in your boy. Letting go of our children is the toughest thing. Sometimes I am only consoled when I remember that God loves them far more than I do. So glad you had the chance to talk to him.

    And your tree? It reminds me of Charlie Brown's (Peanuts) tree. In my mind, that was the very best Christmas tree of all. Nondescript, with nothing to brag about - but in my mind it symbolized the humble beginnings of the Savior of the World.

    JOY to you and yours!

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Such a beautiful reminder, Sharon, and one I needed. "God loves them far more than I." Thank you, sweet friend, for how you always encourage my heart. So grateful for you. JOY to you and yours! :) Much love. xoxo

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  6. Beautiful post- "present over perfect" I love that. Hugs friend.

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    1. Thank you, Katie. And thank you for sharing with your friends yesterday. Much love. xoxo

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  7. Beth,
    My heart is right there with you...so beautifully expressed how you long for your son to know God and His great love for him. I know the pain of waiting on prayers to be answered and so I celebrate that your son is reading again. We never know the path God will choose to draw His children unto himself. Present over Perfect is just what I needed this morning! love you dear friend!!
    Love and ((hugs)),
    Bev

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    1. Thank you, Bev. Your comments always encourage my heart. Much love to you, friend. (((hugs)))

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  8. The lopsided tree is a reflection of us--lopsided. Beyond Jesus---there is no perfection in this world. Such a great post!

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    1. Oh Lulu, I love that. So glad you stopped by and THANK YOU for this wonderful comment. Blessings to you.

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  9. mmm ... our God is present in the bittersweet joys of this season with loved ones here ... and not. thank you for sharing a bit of your holiday with us, friend.

    as ever, hugs.

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    1. You always bring a smile to my face. Thank you for that, Linda. Much love to you and yours. xoxo

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  10. Hi Beth! Yay! He's reading the book! That is so cool, and if you didn't take the opportunity to send it to him, it never would have happened. We make our little attempts, and the Lord makes the MOST of them! I'm so glad you were able to speak to him too. When does God stop giving us gifts? Never :)
    My wish for Christmas is to be present to it all. Not to lose focus. God help me to do that.
    Blessings!
    Ceil

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    1. God help me too! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Ceil. Much love. xoxo

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  11. what a beautiful story, Beth. I work for my son, so I am blessed to see him every day. I cannot imagine how it feels not having your children close by. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Mary, and for sharing. Blessings to you.

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  12. Such beautiful words! Thanks for sharing your heart with us, may you experience lots of peace and perfect moments in the present! Visiting from InspireMe Monday

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Katha. Blessings.

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  13. I never really understood those verses in the Bible about how Jesus yearns over us until I had children. I, too, am yearning for one of my children. She's in a dark place right now, and all the medication in the world won't help if she doesn't invite Jesus back in to her life. May God be with our children and with us as we wait and yearn.

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    1. Prayers lifted for both our children to know Him. I know the waiting can be so hard but I keep on praying and trusting. Thank you for stopping by and for sharing. Blessings.

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  14. I loved this post, Beth! I was hoping for an ending in which you kept the perfectly imperfect tree. My hope this Christmas season is that God would be glorified more than ever and the commercial side of it so much less so. Blessings to you and yours.

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    1. I was looking at my tree again today and just smiled over it's lopsidedness. I'm starting to fall in love with it's imperfections. Blessings to you and yours, Heather. xoxo

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  15. God is always always ALWAYS good! Love this!

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  16. This is beautiful Beth and I am so happy you finally got to talk to your son. God is planting seeds!!!! Love you my friend.

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    1. Thank you, Lori. It was SO wonderful to hear his voice. Love you. xoxo

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  17. Such a beautiful and transparent post, Beth! I love how you share your love and life! So glad you were able to talk to your son. What a gift! May your week be doubly blessed, beautiful friend!

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    1. Thank you, friend. You are always such an encouragement to me. So blessed to call you friend. Much love. xoxo

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  18. I feel exactly that way about each son - the ones who are all in for Jesus and the one who isn't yet - and your post just hits the spot in my soul. So very happy you got to talk to your son - and that he's reading the book you sent him. Praying those God seeds go deep! Shalom, Beth!

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    1. Saying a prayer for your son too. We keep planting those seeds and trusting God. Blessings to you, Maryleigh.

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  19. I must say I received my Christmas early.
    My adult son began work today after 5 years of unemployment.

    xoxo

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    1. Praise God! Such wonderful news, Michelle. Thank you for sharing.
      xoxo

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  20. Beth,
    I love how God met you where you were and I'm so happy you got to connect with your son...Prayed Rom. 15:13 for your son, you and your hubby as I read...many blessings to you.

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Dolly. They are felt and appreciated. Blessings. xoxo

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  21. My wish is always health and strong faith for my family. I love that your son is reading Love Does, it is such a wonderful book and Bob is so nice. I spoke with him a couple times for our LifeGroup to set up a call. He has such a gift with people and with words. Glad you kept the tree you have, it holds the most memories. Perfection means different things to different people. Blessings to you, my friend.

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  22. You know I love those three words. Present over perfect. It's a continuing theme in my life and I'm so glad our favorite author is writing a new book about it! :) Love you, sweet friend.

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    1. I am looking forward to her book! Loving Cold Tangerines!! Love you, friend. xoxo

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    1. I smiled a big smile seeing your here, Deidra. Thank you so much for the visit. Blessings. xoxo

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  25. Oh Beth, don't ever lose hope. I have a brother who I pray for almost every day. The situation is different, but heartbreaking nonetheless. I'm praying for your son today. I'm so glad to hear you got the opportunity to speak with him. Yes, God IS good. All the time.

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    1. There is always hope. I know that and hold on to that truth with all my heart. We keep on praying. Thanks, Abby. Much love. xoxo

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Much love to you.