You know all those perfectly manicured lawns?
Those living rooms with the perfectly arranged pillows, and the lamps with the shades that are never tilted?
The flowers that never wilt, the floors that are always perfectly waxed?
And even my own pictures where everything is perfect?

Well. I think those are prepared just for the magazines. :)

Life at the Cottage at 341 South?
It’s perfectly imperfect.
And you know what?
I love it.
Okay, to be honest: most days. :)

That in itself is a tribute to the continual workings of a gracious Lord in a perfectionist woman, that I can learn to enjoy life amid the mess.

If you’ve read here for any bit of time, you know that I also have designated clean-up times each day. But we also have designated play time and learning times.

We do some hot breakfasts, but I also am teaching the girls to get their own cereal some mornings.

Some mornings? It seems like an epic fail.

a game of puddles 004a game of puddles 003

But those are also the mornings where little girls learn – simple things like competence, little things like how fast to pour the milk, good things like cleaning up a mess, but hopefully most of all, the ability to laugh at oneself even when we make mistakes.

Those designated play times?

We don’t always know where in the house the kiddos will end up. My shower time was stalled one evening when I came upon this.

perfectly imperfect 007perfectly imperfect 003

And I just laughed. Little girls are trying to create a home, learning to make something cozy and cute, and eventually putting things away neatly at the end. :)

My windows that always have little finger prints all over them?
It’s a sign that I have a healthy little boy who is walking around everywhere, learning and discovering, looking out the window at the squirrels and birds, and best of all, the return of his daddy.

Zoe is Six! 184Zoe is Six! 185

The floor that could be mopped every day [it isn’t] and still be dirty?
It’s because there is LIFE in this home, and children growing and thriving.

The legos and Little Kelly’s and Polly Pockets that seem to be lying in wait everywhere for some unsuspecting foot and a yelp of surprise?
They are there because imaginations run wild, and little girls learn to make play rather than having to be entertained.

It’s perfectly imperfect.
Some days those magazine houses look tempting.
Some days I’d like them for at least an hour.

But I wouldn’t trade my Works of Art for those homes anyday.
My Works of Art are real people.
We’re together, we are a family.
Today, we get to enjoy each other, living and breathing.

What a gift is this perfectly imperfect life!
It’s really a reminder of how much I’ve been given.

So today, instead of frustration:
thankfulness for the creativity of my children,
gratitude for health and life,
laughter for those bumbling learning efforts,
kisses to wipe away those crocodile tears,
patience, because I was once a child too…


13 thoughts on “Perfectly Imperfect.

  1. Breana

    Beautiful! I remember visiting ‘perfect’ homes as a child, and let me tell you, the perfectly imperfect ones are MUCH more fun!! *smile*

  2. Sherri

    Oh, that’s beautiful, Clarita! So…”my shower was stalled one night”…pun intended? :) I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful tile in your shower! If the tile work was done by your husband, tell him he did a great job! :)

  3. Elizabeth

    Oh Clarita…I loved this. “Imperfectly perfect”…what a perfect way of putting it.
    We had an epic failure this morning at breakfast. A glass milk jug crashed to the floor. A little girl crying. I stood there dumbfounded..what do I clean up first? the milk? the glass? I ended up choosing the glass. Such a mess, but it was an accident. Anyway, your cheerio picture reminded me..see I already forgot! Haha.

    …and yes, somedays those magazine houses look tempting, but I wouldn’t trade either.
    Have a Great weekend friend! XxOo

  4. Michellele

    I am honestly still struggling to get this through my skull. I was doing better with it until we moved into this house where everything is so tiny and so the mess looks fifty thousand times better. As soon as anyone does ANYthing there is no clean space to be seen anywhere and my brain just kind of wants to go bajookas. I have been praying for God to give me so much more patience, especially with the accidental messes; but I still need to pray a lot more. ;) Thanks for the good reminder! PS: I adore that ruffly shower curtain!

  5. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

    Aww, I do know what you are saying! It’s one thing to have a designated playroom or basement and the messes stay out of sight – it’s quite another to have it right there in the middle of everything, AND it’s magnified when the house is small! Yeah… I so know! And I’m learning right there with you! ♥

  6. Shelly

    Hello~ what a lovely reminder! Honestly, I just told Phil yesterday that sometimes it doesn’t even seem worth it to slave away on cleaning things around here, if 24 hours later, I’m feeling that it should all be done again. . . And my feet are still aching from the first round!! But really, we have a beautiful life . . . It’s just not always as CLEAN and beautiful as I would wish. :)

  7. Shannon

    How well I know! Some days I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels because they are behind me creating as fast as I can clean up. Oh well, some day…

  8. amber

    yes! i’m all about the perfectly imperfect!
    beautifully put to embrace what is and not waste it by longing for what isn’t~

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