present over perfect...

there's a writer, shauna niequist, whose books i really love. she's the kind of person i want to sit with over bread, cheese and wine and talk about the ins and outs of life with as there's a tone to her words that echos within my own life and marriage along with an ever-present reminder to slow down.

she recently wrote a blog post in which she speaks of her husband and their life together and it really resonated with me as there’s definite truth in the trust and safety that two healthy people can bring to a marriage. alas, this is less often the case with most. last night, a group of women in my church got together to plan the beginning stages of our upcoming christmas dinner and part of that meeting was hearing an excerpt from the chapter of her book, bread & wine, entitled “present over perfect”. i’m sure i don’t need to tell you how much the title alone echoed within the hearts of everyone there (hello mary and martha…).

i was married to my first husband for 10 years before he passed away and while we loved each other and were, i believe for the most part, present, neither one of us was emotionally available – especially for the hard and imperfect parts of not only our marriage but also of ourselves. looking back i put this down to the actual fear of those imperfections not being received by the other.

now, after 9 years of marriage to michael, we're in a completely different place. as most of you know, this wasn’t always the case; to say that we’ve been through a lot is a massive understatement; we almost didn’t make it. is it health that we experience now? to a degree, certainly. maturity, wisdom, grace? perhaps various forms of all three separately and together. i think a lot of it stems from our commitment to be present which has definitely become more important than being perfect. we looked for perfect back then. God…tried so hard to find it. but you know…we didn’t get healthy until we stopped looking for it and what a miracle that has been in and of itself.

there’s so much freedom to be found in letting go of what “A” HAS to be or look like in order for “B” to work. today, i'm grateful for the reminder.