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I’ve worked with bees wax a few times in the past, so I thought I knew what to expect.  But as my candle cooled, I watched as a crack opened up from side to side.

“Why is it doing that?” my husband asked.

“I know what it means when a cheesecake cracks.  Candles?  I don’t know,” I admitted.  Yes, this was a test candle but strictly speaking I was hoping not to need two or three test candles. After a quick Google search, I know what the problem was and have found several possible remedies.

One mistake or many, the choice is often yours.  Admitting that you don’t have a clue and seeking an answer can minimize the mistakes we make whether we are making candles or working with people.

I’m not always this good about admitting when I am clueless.  Sometimes, when someone is pressing me for answers, I don’t want to admit that I don’t know.  It is a matter of pride pure and simple.

What I need to remember is that no one should expect me to be perfect.  God is perfect.  Me?  I’m a lot like that candle.  Flawed but servicable and hopeful that my next attempt will go better.


Last year, our church held a series of discussions based on the book Waking Up White by Debby Irving.  Irving sensed racial tensions in her relationships but as much as she wanted to do right, she worried about offending people.  She knew she was missing something, something that kept her from truly getting it.  The book is the story of how this all changed.

Trying to get people to come to a discussion about this book was brutal.  Most of them expected to be told that they had done something wrong.  At best, they had hurt someone’s feelings.  At worst, they had done actual damage.  Thank you but no thank you.  They just didn’t want the discomfort.

The reality that they missed?  We are all products of our past.  By discussing issues of race, we have the opportunity to learn how our upbringing effects what we see and how we interpret it.  These discussions allow us to be products but not prisoners.  We can see a new way ahead.

Not that we will ever be perfect.  Perfection belongs to God alone but God does give us opportunities to grow.

It’s up to us to take them but first we have to see them and recognize them for what they are.  Opportunities to leave behind something broken and replace it with something better.


There are times we just don’t want to face the facts.  Sometimes someone we have idolized says or does something ugly.  Or someone points out something we’ve said or done that doesn’t jive with Christ’s commandments.

Whichever, whenever, wherever, our human tendencies are always the same.  We deny.  We excuse.  We try to shift the blame.

Does that change reality?  Not in the slightest.  We are human and we don’t have that ability.

Take a deep breath.  If that doesn’t work, take another.  Pray for strength if you need it.  Remember that humans are flawed from one end to the other.  Perfection belongs to God and God alone.

Now open your eyes.  The facts will still be waiting for you but so will God.


How often do we wait for or expect perfection?  We wait for the perfect moment to start a project.  We look for the perfect rug, vase or mirror to finish decorating a room.  We get mad when things aren’t perfect.

Which is pretty hilarious given the fact that none of us are perfect.  But that’s okay.  God uses us anyway.

In fact God makes a habit of fishing us out of the bent basket and sending us off to do what needs doing.  Just look at those he called in the Bible. Moses had no skill in public speaking and suggested that his brother be called instead.  Martha was a do-er but it seems to have come with a temper.  Why isn’t she helping me?  Make her do it!  Paul?  He started his career persecuting the Jews. King David?  Thow shalt not commit adultery seems to have slipped his mind.

Yet, they were called by God.  Just as we are called by God.

Don’t wait for the perfect person to show up to do the job.  If it helps, think of yourself as perfectly imperfect.



My Mother's Day may not be your cup of tea, and that's okay.

My Mother’s Day may not be your cup of tea, and that’s okay.

Mother’s Day is a tricky topic. I’ll admit that this is my 3rd attempt to write a Mother’s Day post.  Part of this issue is that, for me, Mother’s Day is a mixed bag.

I know for a fact that Sunday will not be a day to celebrate me and nothing but me, morning to night. Part of the reason is that Mother’s Day and my husband’s birthday have a sneaky habit of coinciding.  Then there’s the fact that my son is coming home from a school trip at 6 am after driving for 10 hours.  He’s going to need to get some sleep and then get some homework done. I’m hoping we can squeeze in lunch out and the latest Avengers movie.

Yes, the Avengers.  That’s my version of a wild and crazy Mother’s Day dream.

Not your cup of tea?  Then don’t pick it up.

Part of the reason that Mother’s Day is a mixed bag is that it means something different for everyone. There are the women who want nothing more than a spa day and a massage.  Me?  I’d rather spend time at the archery range as a family.

Then there are the women who have lost children.  Or have never had children.  Or who have lost their own mothers and grandmothers.  For many of them, Mother’s Day is like knowing someone is about to tear off a band aid.

The chance that we are all going to get a perfect Mother’s Day is pretty slim.  But what can you expect?  Perfection is for God alone.  We, on the other hand, aren’t even close, but that doesn’t change something important.  We may not be perfect, but we are His. He created each and every one of us, different as we are.

There is no one perfect Mother’s Day, because we all need something different out of it simply because we are a marvelously diverse bunch.  And that’s okay, because that’s the way God made us.



Have a Mary Little Christmas

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