Perfection for the Imperfect

Sunday, July 31, 2011

We've had some very, very rough weeks.  The days have been ridiculously hot and I've lost my cool.  Little boys who think they're men push their luck and their Mama's buttons.  I yell too much.  I'm weary.  I'm not enjoying things as I usually do.

I drone a continuous, "Please shut the gate.  Why is the door open?  The flies are coming in.  PLEASE SHUT THE DOOR!  Don't hit your sister.  Don't touch your brother.  Give that back.  Don't throw sand.  Don't throw toads.  Be nice to the dog.  Don't pull the toad's legs.  Don't colour on that.  Don't eat that.  Don't lick that.  Please, PLEASE, PLEAAAASE stop arguing.  Just eat. your. dinner."

I even sunk in the dried up river so far that I completely lost my boots.  I screamed, I ranted, I muttered, "UGGGH!!! Could these days get any WORSE!" and army crawled (seriously) back to shore to find three young kids staring in both horror and wonder at this crazy lady they got for a Mom.  I cried on my walk home - drenched, socked feet, toes oozing swamp goo.  I cried.  My neighbour just looked on in amazement as we trudged into the backyard.

Every night seems to end in an exasperated, "I love you hunny..." and a weary-eyed return to a messy kitchen and 3 hours of chores that need doing before sitting down to the articles due and the Homeschooling to plan.  Nights end at 1am and kids wake by 6.

So, when relatives I haven't seen for decades commented the other night that I'm 'the perfect Mom!', it didn't feel good - it stung.  It stings because they are SO wrong.  So horribly wrong.  I'm nowhere near perfect and some days I wouldn't even accept 'good' as a description for my parenting.

My parenting is this: Imperfect.  Just like me.

But yesterday was different.  I found Perfect.  Not in myself.  Not in our children or my husband.  But in a simple visit to a waterfall.  There is no perfection in human beings - don't look for it - it's not there.  The only perfect on earth is that which is pure, God-made...untainted by free-will or materialism.  And I see perfection in a showering cold waterfall.  In the rocks.  In the crystal clear pools of gathered water.

In a trusting boy, gripping Mama's hand.

I see perfection in all He has given.  It is in nature that I find clarity.  That's why it's so important for me to "unplug".  No hope is found in shopping malls or stores.  We are not refreshed by consuming or looking to ourselves.   Hope is found in the simple, every day beauty of God's creation.

If you need a new start, like me...  if you're worn out and so tired of everything imperfect, find 'perfect' today... close your eyes.  Listen to the breeze.  Find flowing water and dip your toes in... watch your children fall in awe with the simple things and dare to sit and be still and small in nature.

Seek and Cling to Times of Refreshing...



 It was like all that water, rushing over my toes and feet could wash away all the mistakes.  All the frustrations and upsets of the past few days, all the regrets.  

I can start anew...

Roast a marshmallow.  Slap on some Chocolate.  Hug it with crackers.  Bite.  Soothe the soul with giggles and hugs and books by fire-side.  Embrace the moments as they are - refreshments.  Gifts.  
Strength for the journey.

Life is sweet...  but not forever.  Find it today, friends...


Top 10 Reasons to Toss your TV.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Alright, here they are - my top 10 reasons why you should get rid of your Television for good!  (These are all our family's personal reasons as to why we made the big toss several years ago).  We've never looked back!

1. You value your time on earth and want to use it fully and purposefully.  

2.  You care deeply about the minds and hearts of the people in your family.

3. You want to be closer to your husband/wife and children. 

4. You would like to stay away from a consumerist, materialistic life-style.  

5. You value that you and your family members be free-thinkers. 

6. You want to shelter yourself, your spouse, and your children from violence, lust, and negative influences.

7. You want to live an active, healthy life-style.

8. You would like your children to value the simple things in life.

9. You want to live a life focused on others.

10. You want to live a life focused on God. 

DIVIDED: the Movie (why so many young people leave the Church)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A must-see documentary for Christian parents. This was both shocking and eye-opening for me... and I had to share it here.

Official Divided the Movie (HD Version) from NCFIC on Vimeo.

Saving a Bird, Losing a Life, Learning those Lessons...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

 This weekend as we strolled through an outdoor trailer salesfloor, my son spotted a struggling bird.  Tiny, sweet, and obviously distressed, it spun in circles on the hard stone, desperately trying to gain control.  Wings flapping and body twisting, we watched, all five of us with furrowed brows.

Riding home, keeping careful watch...
My hubby, always the practical one, pulled us along, urging, "there's nothing we can do".  But our children just stooped and stared, deeply concerned for this helpless creature.  I sat on the side of a trailer step and watched.  The bird's neck was twisted - badly.  To most, it would have looked like a hopeless situation - but I saw the "what if"  in my son's eyes.  I knew what we had to do.  I told a bewildered hubby we were taking 'him' home.

After the kind staff handed me and old box with a rag in it, our six-year-old bravely and easily picked up our new birdie friend and placed him gently down.  We drove home with the bird in tow as I wondered what on earth we were doing.

Once I got a real good look at him (or her?), I realized his neck must have been either broken or severely injured.  His head had a huge cut/scar on it and he could barely lift his head upright.  Instead, it hung completely upside down when it tried to stand up.

 I had little hope, but begged for some of what my kids had in their eyes. 

I braved my fears (I truly don't like birds much), and when we got him to our kitchen, I picked the poor thing up.  He happily drank from a siringe (tiny bits at a time) and we wrapped him up snug and put him 'to bed'.

Online bird sites suggested wrapping like this to help him feel safe.  It worked, he slept!

Laying in bed that night I realized, sometimes, we do things that seem crazy for our children.  I didn't know the first thing about caring for a bird.  I called every wildlife 'rescue' number I could find online and in the phonebook and the only 'real' response I got was from the local Wildlife Control Group who said if it's 'only' a sparrow (which we thought it was), they'd simply 'dispose' of him, were they to pick him up.  That sat heavy within me and I squeaked out, "Oh, then no thanks" to the gruff lady on the other end of the phone line. 

My children were watching my every move on this journey.  They watched when I had compassion and took the bird home, they watched as I carefully cared for it, they watched as I expressed that I truly 'didn't know' what would happen but refused to let someone kill him just because he was sick.  Children always watch - closer than we think.  And, as I had already explained to my hubs on the way home with the bird, "I'm doing this for the kids - they need to know that we do as we say.  God's creatures are precious, we need to care for the ones who have no one.  Even little birds under trailers."  He smiled and shook his head, like I knew he would.

We cared for the little guy for the past three days and this morning we saw huge improvements!  Straighter neck, stronger stance, trying to fly!   What a great feeling.  I couldn't believe this hopeless situation had seemed to turn around.

Then - misery.  We had to go out for a short while, so I left the bird in his box outside.  When we returned, he was gone.  We searched all over the backyard and finally found him, lifeless inside a watering can.  It seems he'd fluttered INTO the empty can  (I still have no idea how he did this, considering the opening is incredibly small) and must have died from the extreme heat beating down on the dark green canister.  We were all quiet and horribly saddened by what happened to our friend.

Tonight, I'm feeling a little down but also thankful.  Thankful our children were able to experience the good feeling of helping a needy animal - especially a wild one.  And thankful that they have a firm understanding of who we are as a family - we care for God's creatures, and that surely includes little hurt birds with lesions, crooked necks, and missing feathers. Thankful the kids were able to bury their little friend with Daddy beside them, and understand the difficult lesson that life doesn't last forever.  Sad things happen.  Lives are lost.

Thankful still, that they believe this simple truth - no matter how small the life, it is still LIFE.

So, tonight I thank God for our little friend and the strength I saw in him - and pray peace on his tiny, yet fierce birdie soul. ;)

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