Unfinished made perfect

Her very first journal entry ever read sad.
It's fall 2010 and it's hard for me. My mother has cancer and my sister Amy has epilepsy. My brother Caleb is hard to take care of and Rosy is hard to please. September 28, 2010

 I talked to her about finding the silver lining. About thankfulness as a choice. Encouraged her to add a few lines. In red, below the black pencil of pain, another sentence is added. The sentence that really breaks my heart.
I'm thankful that my mother and Amy are still here. 

I have this idea in my head of who they are, these four children. I know this: they bear the image of God, they are full of creativity, passion, justice, beauty. And they live in a broken world, and side by side with the characteristics of the image of God they bear, there is pain, brokenness, confusion, anger, hopelessness and despair. While I want all my mothering moments to help them live out the path God placed them on, I have to accept it. As a recovering perfectionist, this is the hardest thing to be okay with: the fact that I will inevitably leave them with a hole for a Parent who is perfect, perfectly loving and good and constructive in discipline and criticism and fills them with love, joy, peace, patience, perseverance, meekness, humbleness, and a desire for self-control. I want Him to say of them what He said of the men chosen to carve the Ark of the Covenant:

I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. (Exodus 31:3-5)

I want to take it back, what I said to her about the silver lining. This autumn of the Second Heartbreak has taught me about accepting where I'm at. Being okay with who I am today. Understanding that this person, the person of this moment, is the redeemed beloved of the everlasting King. Not the person I will be when I complete the tasks on my to-do list, or read the latest book I'm reading to understand myself, or finish my Bible reading challenge, or love my kids really well for just one single day (or hour, for that matter). This. moment. I. am. made. perfect. by. the. blood. I need to see that in my children, too - the hurting girl who should just be comforted for hurting. Not every moment is a teachable moment in the way I have conceived teaching. Maybe what she needs to learn in this moment is Grace. Undeserved favor. Maybe I need to teach her more about what it means to stand before Him redeemed, here and now, and less about the habits of character that mold a perfect little Christian. To see Christ in brokenness.

To my journal-wary girl, the one who hasn't yet written a second entry, I have something to say. Not a correction this time. I want to say to her, I see you. Just the way you are right now. And I agree with the Lord of the universe: I think you're wonderful, and worth my sacrifices, and beautiful in your pain. I love you more than words will ever say. More than life itself. You are my beloved, my Katrina.


And because I can't resist, a few more from our late-night, craziest-parents-of-the-year skating session in the dark:

Linked to Ann Voskamp