Not Perfect, But Perfect

“People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it” (~Edith Schaeffer)

Our beach trip.

I described it as sublime in my last post.





Which it was.

But in reality, it wasn’t perfect.

The trip down found me in tears, talking on the phone with my Nanny, weeping over Pappy’s and her absence. This was my first year at the beach without my grandparents. There was a bitterness, a pain, a longing that rose up. I dialed their number and heard my Nanny’s voice, and I immediately choked back a sob. We talked about our trip, about missing them, about how different it was, then I heard the tears fill her voice, “You’ll have fun, though. Try not to think about it. We love you.” How could I not think about it? I told Brian after I hung up, “Some days I just don’t like life.” He knew what I meant. This sadness, this grief. I can’t explain how, but it dances with the joy in my heart.

And vacation?

It’s vacation. And it’s beautiful. But it’s still a vacation with sinners. There were cranky days and hard moments. There were tears and there were broken words. There were sleepless nights and too many mosquito bites. There were sunburns and thunderstorms. There were arguments and meltdowns (both the children and mine). There were frustrations, and there were my expectations.

Oh, expectations.

I am a perfectionist.

So, do you want to guess what my expectations were?

Yep. Perfection.

And it wasn’t perfect.

But there were bike rides, kayak journeys, tag chases and Red Light, Green Light games on the beach. There were amusement park rides and miniature golf games and birthday celebrations (Happy Birthday to my big brother, Mike!). There were boogie board rides and waves to be jumped, castles to be built and bocci ball challenges. There were ice cream cones on the boardwalk and fireworks over the sand. There were books to be read and rays to be caught. There were Uno matches and Sorry games and Scrabble boards and Trivial Pursuit quests. There were yummy foods and fresh fruits and lunches on the beach. There were times apart and times together.

So my expectations?



But we were family.

And it was perfect.



8 responses to “Not Perfect, But Perfect”

  1. Beautiful post. I want vacation to be perfect too and many many times have to be reminded (by my husband) to let it go. Look at all those great smiles. Looks pretty close to perfect to me. And a great reminder as we head to the beach.


  2. Sigh…we are not going to the beach this year, sadly. I will miss it, but there is always next year, right?

    Your vacation looks like it was incredible. Like Jenny said, look at all those beautiful smiles!

    It is so good to get away. But it is even better, to me, to come back home again. Glad you’re back!


  3. Emily Massengill Avatar
    Emily Massengill

    I can’t believe how long Bella’s hair is getting!!! She is so beautiful (always has been 🙂


  4. Welcome Home! You have been missed here…


  5. I love the way you capture the beauty in the realness of your vacation. It would be so easy to only share the ‘perfect’, but it’s the real that makes it worth remembering.

    And yes, sometimes I just don’t like life either – especially when it comes to changes and grandparents not being a part of every moment.


  6. To think of how shallow life would be if family life were always perfect. For me it’s often those moments of imperfection, asking for forgiveness, extending grace and continuing forward together into smiles and warmth of heart again that give the depth, compassion and oneness to family.

    “But we were family. And it was perfect.” Yes, I do believe it was exactly as you have said. 🙂

    So enjoyed the collage of pictures!!


  7. Your Post. It is Perfect.

    (Life. Hmmmmm. Can’t say I’ve not spent some time with that thought. A lot. I’m working on it. But…well. Life is apparently not supposed to be comfortable… I dislike when that is so apparent, when it is the sun shining in my eyes when I’m trying to steer and see where I’m going. Life, here. Sometimes I can’t see past it -sometimes it is just obnoxiously hard. Imperfection in us and around us… But for the Grace of God…I can settle down, but sometimes…)

    Love you guys. 🙂


  8. I love the quote you launched the post with, and this line, “It’s vacation. And it’s beautiful. But it’s still a vacation with sinners.”

    So true–we long for the perfect ________________ (fill in the blank with “vacation” “first day of school” “church” “husband” or whatever). And then we (I) have to realize that this whole doggone world is populated with sinners (myself chief among them).

    As you discovered, it’s not perfect, but it can be good. You have acknowledged and accepted the sin, folly, and imperfection and then found and noted the good, the lovely, the peaceable and pure moments. And that’s, as you say, perfect.

    This is an excellent reminder to look for and celebrate the “perfect” in an imperfect world.


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