Has it really been over a month since I last posted to my blog? This blog – just like all parts of my life – seems to grow by a consistent two steps forward, one step back, process.
But a slow rate of growth is still counts as growth nonetheless….right???
I have a vision in my head of what this blog can be. And it’s pretty great. But there is a lot of discipline, learning, work, and experience that needs to happen before my blog or my writing can get from where it is now to where I believe it can be.
If only it wasn’t so challenging to maintain enthusiasm and commitment during this time in between vision and accomplishment.
It’s amazing how often the tension of this familiar struggle characterizes other areas of my life that matter to me as well.
Because it’s so easy to get lost or stuck in the gaps between
- enthusiasm of vision
- present reality – which is marred by shortcomings, flaws, and failures
- celebration of accomplishment.
However, our Thanksgiving feast this past weekend reminded me of some important truths about how to navigate through the discouragement created by a reality that threatens to overshadow our initial vision and our hope of accomplishment.
Our Thanksgiving dinner was lovely this year. But it was far from perfect. There was at least one significant flaw in every dish. To be honest, I was the only one aware of the flaws because they didn’t significantly affect the flavor of the food. However, several tiny flaws are still frustrating to someone who desires to be an exceptional cook by putting a lot of planning, time, and effort into special meals.
As I sat down to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with my family, I glanced around the table. The appetizing feast in the center did not entirely measure up to the vision I had planned. And yet the smiling, handsome faces seated in the chairs enabled me to understand that focusing everyone’s attention on the flaws of our Thanksgiving meal would distract us from the beauty that was also so very present. I could still accomplish sharing a meaningful and memorable evening with my family despite the mistakes that had been made.
Because imperfection doesn’t lessen beauty, value, or worth.
Often times if we are willing to look at flaws through fresh eyes, it is the imperfections that highlight all the things that are still good and right.
The same is true for families and communities.
Cooking a holiday meal from scratch is hard.
So is loving the imperfect people that surround our tables and fill our homes.
So is building and maintaining a blog.
But my focus in all these areas is becoming less and less about creating, engaging, or presenting something flawless.
It is about:
- doing things well.
- learning, growing, and evolving through mistakes and successes and experiences.
- giving, receiving, and sharing – grace, compassion, help, and celebration -with my family, friends, and community.
- persevering in joy regardless of all of the ways that I, or my relationships, or my pursuits can fall short.
Whether I’m building community, a family, or a blog these are the habits and attitudes that I will practice to maintain enthusiasm and commitment during the time in between vision and accomplishment.
Not denying or hiding flaws, but not being consumed by them either.
These are the truths I want to remember as I nourish my families and my community with food and love and grace, regardless of whether it’s a holiday feast or a daily meal.
What about you? What did your Thanksgiving experiences teach or remind you?