Friday, February 4, 2011

Reality check

Got a call from a fabulous friend last night. She lives in Utah and is overwhelmed with the pictures of perfection that she feels dominate those she associates with. She feels out-of-place, and it seems that those who project that image of perfection are, sadly, not helping. She doesn't feel that she has the perfect teeth, the perfect hair, the perfect husband and perfect kids that (supposedly) these people have.

I was happy to give her a reality check. What is your pride when laid on the line for the sake of your friend? It made me think of all of the other mothers out there who might just be feeling the same way. The realities of motherhood (at least as I've experienced them) have so much to do with living and learning through less-than-perfect circumstances. Those who have been sheltered from this experience, I pity you.

Things like, weight gain, stretch marks, smile as well as frown wrinkles, pee figure 8's on boys bedroom floors and hours on your knees with said boys scrubbing said floor, cereal for all three meals of the day, improvised dinners based on what's left in the pantry, broken washers and piles of dirty clothes, piles of clean clothes and dives into them on the mornings when there hasn't been time to neatly fold and put away, thinning hair and bushy eyebrows, unshaved legs, mood swings and being in a bathrobe past noon, best intentions mixed with burnt cookies and kids who come home with F's despite theirs and your best efforts, are what make the kind of women we all aspire to be - real, living, breathing, forgiving, loving, compassionate, gracious women. The kind of women who are perfect because they are plump and huggable, because their hands are gnarled and worn from years of making things work. They are loved by us because they don't pass judgement, because they've been there, and they know how hard it is. I hope to be one of these women someday and I wouldn't trade it in for all the touted superficial perfection in the world. The only perfect person was Christ - and I don't think he cared much about his hair or nails.

In deep love and concern for those who feel out of place because they are living reality, and for those who don't know what really matters (yet) - you are known and loved. We are all in this journey together. Let's be kind.

Now, to share Alex Boye's new Relief Society tribute song, which just happens to go with this topic and which I officially love. Sisters, "we see you". (Click on the link below or on the title above)


  1. I really needed that today. Thank you.

  2. no such thing as perfection! we can all put on a perfect, happy face for a few hours a week. if you think somebodys life is perfect you just don't know them well enough!

  3. Perfection is a myth perpetrated by the Adversary. We need not be perfect, but pure. Then we are good enough because it's not based on our outer imperfect, flawed coverings; but rather our heart, which is where our intentions and spirit lies.
    Love you! You are doing a marvelous job as a wife and mother! :)

  4. So very well said, Kerri. When we are continually striving to follow the Lord, we will find more places of imperfection in ourselves than we ever imagined -- because He will continually ask us to stretch and weed out those things that are not eternally important, and that process is just that, a somewhat messy process.

    I believe it was Paul who said that he gloried in his own imperfection because his imperfections brought in the perfection of Christ. A few years ago that finally clicked with me -- that to be truly yoked with Christ means that He will send in His perfect understanding, compassion, and even ability to help buoy up my inability. And that what the two of us accomplish together, WILL be enough....and even eternally glorious -- all because of Him.

    I remember one difficult day when I sat in a dirty, cluttered house nursing my baby and began hearing a lot of suspicious commotion from my other four children downstairs--new messes were being happily created. With exhaustion tears streaking down my face, I asked Heavenly Father why He ever thought I should be a mother of all of these children. I couldn't keep the house even moderately ordered and we were continually in emotional and physical survival mode. So, in my fear and feelings of inadequacy, I asked Him, the God of All, "What were you thinking?! Why did you trust me with all of this?!"

    And He sent to me pure understanding of what was important, "I didn't send these children to you because you would keep a perfect house or do all of the myriad other things that are weighing you down. I sent them to you because I knew that you would love them, teach them of My Love, and that from you they would learn to love Me. THAT is why I sent my precious children to you."

    And I knew that I could do what He wanted. Not perfectly, but I knew that He had confidence in me, and that if I didn't worry so much about the rest, then it would all be okay.

    Thank you for your inspiration! It is beautiful how time evens differing ages out and we all are comrades in our own crusades now. That is sweet to me.

  5. You are such an amazing writer! Love all your posts!

  6. You're awesome Brittanie!

    Couldn't agree more Cheryl - although, I must not know you too well then. ;)

    Thanks Venessa. I agree, intention is so much more important than outward appearance!

    I love you Sarah. Thank you so much for sharing. I have re-read your comment several times now and I am so grateful for your sweet spirit and insights. It is wonderful not to be walking this road alone. You have always been an inspiration to me. Thank you.

    Love you Erin - and thanks. I love that you are my friend. =)

  7. Thank you Kerri for reminding me today about what's really important. You are a terrific Mom, and a fantastic human being -- and one of my very favorite people. I appreciate your willingness to share your heart with the rest of us!Jen

  8. Thanks Jen - I don't know about fantastic, but trying. Thank you for all you and your family do. I am honored to be counted as one of your 'favorite people'! You are surely in that category for me as well. Hang in there - and let us know if there's ever something we can do for you guys.