“They look good, not professional, but good,” he answered, reminding me of a time when we had started dating. He had been blunt, honest like that, trustworthy. Still was.
“Well, let’s just throw them away if they’re not professional perfect,” I popped off defensively, frustrated.
I could see they were not professional perfect. A perfectionist might call them a beautiful mess.
The icing bows were a bit wobbly, the main icing not always shiny smooth. I stood there in the kitchen, 7:30 a.m. and panicked for a moment. There was not time to redo. Even if I could, perfection was not guaranteed. I came face to face with my lack of perfection, with who I am – and I had a choice. That choice was to either beat myself up for not achieving the best or embrace who I was and find joy in that.
I made a choice, looked at my husband, smiled, and said, “They’re like me. Shabby Chic. I can be happy with that.”
“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me” (2 Cor 12:9).
Being defined by my imperfection rankled me for years. It all sent me on a quest to build perfection – an impossible quest for me. No matter how hard I tried, I could not unroot my imperfection. Yeah, there is always a typo in my writing. I stutter through direct conflict. So many people can run logical circles around me. I manage to put my foot in my mouth when trying to encourage. My kitchen is a mess and I gave up on ironing long ago. I even lose my temper with my boys.
One day, God whispered, “I don’t expect you to be perfect on your own. You cannot be perfectly you without me.”
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10).
Shabby Chic is defined as “where one is comfortable, not having to worry about imperfection. Yet elegant and charming.” Shabby Chic might mean “scratched, full of holes, bad paint job, lovable eyesore.” God wants us to see we are valued and loved in our imperfection. He wants us comfortable with who He created us to be, not worrying about our imperfection. When we worry, we take our eyes off of Him. When we beat ourselves up, we are beating up what belongs to Him, damaging what He created.
Coming face to face with my imperfections allowed me to see the beauty of my Shabby Chic soul that God loves. Perfections is not what He wants from me. All my heart is what He wants, and I give it all to Him like the widow with the mites
“But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on” (Mark 12: 42-44)
I hold on tight to my Design Team (The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit). I like who I am when I am with them. This Shabby Chic heart raising Shabby Chic children, catching joy in a Shabby Chic day, living a blessed but Shabby Chic life – and making wobbly icing bows on cake dress cookies – My Design Team loves me perfect in my Shabby Chic imperfection.