Yesterday, we received a dear friend’s precious and quite perfect looking Christmas card and accompanying letter in the mail, and for just an infinitesimal moment, I felt a twinge of jealousy.
This was from a friend I know well, completely treasure, and I suddenly realized there’s more imbued in the message than the perfect photo and letter could tell.
It was an awakening for me, and I was reminded that as I gaze through thousands of Facebook posts, seeing perfect families in perfectly coordinated clothes celebrating in the most perfect way, wondering why their lives look so perfect…
..when mine is far from it…
that sometimes the perfect photos and perfect stories don’t disclose it all.
And when I open twinkly, glittery Christmas cards from friends where their children and grandchildren grin brightly in their matching outfits–those may also not tell the full story.
For us, 2016, has been quite different from our imaginations and has not felt anywhere close to what our Christmas card may have portrayed.
My workload has increased, but it hasn’t been enough to offset our enormous and mounting medical bills, attributed to both my husband and me.
My husband had a serious medical emergency a couple of months ago, requiring emergency surgery, along with a couple of other surgeries thrown in for good measure.
We’ve had a few other not so pleasant things creep up throughout the year as well.
We’ve had some family issues and devastating blows that make life a bit more difficult and sad and worrisome.
We are still adjusting to life in our new locale, and at times, really missing our former lives.
I guess it is a testimony to the fantastic people we left behind–you just had to be so nice!
And, navigating the empty nest isn’t always as easy as it is cracked up to be. I loved having my kids at home!
While our timely mailed Christmas Card may look as if we have our act together…
frankly, we are a mess. We have bad days. We get tired and cranky. We argue sometimes.
But, it is a lesson for me and for you.
No matter how knock-out amazing someone looks from their Christmas cards and letters, or from their Facebook photos. No matter how stunning their decorations display on Instagram…they likely are struggling in ways that you will never know from the outside looking in.
However. Please remember this.
This life. The one you are living right now, today. It is the most perfect gift you will ever have. So, let’s take today. Let’s take this Christmas and choose to make it beautiful and memorable and imperfectly perfect, with whatever you’ve been dealt and with the people you are with today.
No more comparisons. And whatever messes we find ourselves in? God is greater. He has it all covered. He loves you the way you are. Today.
Despite your struggles and my struggles, we are in God’s hands today and always.
So. have a messy, imperfect Christmas. So what if you didn’t make cookies. So what if your pie crust didn’t hold together. It doesn’t matter.
The Christ Child. That’s who matters.
God Bless You and Merry Christmas from my imperfect home to yours