Thought-Collage Thursday // I gave up perfection{ism} for Lent

If you happen to see me and I look dazed and confused

It’s probably because I have been collecting songs for the fashion show. And high-energy club music makes — me — craaaaaaaaaazzzzeeeey!

I may or may not have a throbbing pain behind my left eye, while my right eye is twitching. I won’t say. But I am enjoying these three songs, only the first of these made the show cut. But the other two are fun, too!


Sometimes a small phrase turns a very nicely written article into something quite fanciful~

Dessa Wedding

Nibbles, Tredessa’s wedding 2011

That happened with a Laura Gaskill piece at Houzz on Sunday. She was advising us all to “Cultivate Everyday Joie de Vivre.” Upon her fourth suggestion, “Entertain with Abandon,” in which I felt fully encouraged to have guests over often without worrying over perfection, she wrote,

“Offer aperitifs and nibbles as soon as guests arrive to put everyone at ease.”

“Offer aperitifs and nibbles.” Doesn’t it just sound divine?

Well, it does, but of course, I don’t do alcohol {teetotaler, here}, so I won’t be – serving aperitifs. I’ll serve lemonade or green-sherbet punch,  and root beer floats a-plenty, instead. Sorry.

But there will be nibbles. I could not and would not have guests without nibbles. Of this you may rest assured.

I LOVED this blog post today:

How to Fail and Still Win, a Guide to not losing your cool. Donald Miller. Big fan of his writing and life’s work.

Because yesterday, I was feeling completely ill-prepared for an important meeting with people whose time is very valuable. I really wanted to cancel, even though I knew I would be enriched by them.

Then this simple Donald Miller post, just spotlighted my rather exuberant tendency to treat any bump in the road like a major wreck , to beat myself to smithereens when I have not achieved perfection. How did he know what I was thinking this morning? The conclusion:

“The next morning I got up, made my to-do list and pushed on. It’s a long season, after all. You’re going to drop a couple games on the way to the Superbowl.” -Donald Miller

Thank-you, Donald Miller.  And so I am pushing on.

They just don’t make TV like they used to

My silly little secret is that I loved music so much, any kind of music and song, I used to watch Lawrence Welk on TV every Saturday at 5 pm – when I was 14! I knew his bubbly brand of American standards and Martini music weren’t “cool,” but if there were going to be singers with bouffant hair in fancy dresses and fabulous, colorful sets and antics, I was going to watch!

Last Saturday evening, PBS was airing a Lawrence Welk “special.” They sometimes take a theme and air the best of his many years on television. This particular theme was the month of April, all bright and spring-y and hopeful and romantic.

I totally got sucked in to the special. Of course, it still isn’t “cool” for some one of my generation to be watching Lawrence Welk, but I was thinking – these people, these singers and dancers and the orchestra – they worked so hard to entertain. They are certainly considered quaint by any of today’s standards, but I found the show beyond enchanting.

lw collage

Check out the “rain” in this video. So low-tech, So perfectly charming.

Effort. Lights, Pretty clothes. Color. Sentimental songs. I loved.

Lawrence Welk would absolutely have served aperitifs with his nibbles!

Lumosity Brain Train

I love those silly Lumosity things. It’s my brand of gaming. Sometimes I do the daily suggestions then try them several times to beat myself. :)

I assumed my weakest area would be “flexibility.” But it is my highest scoring area, with speed and problem solving right behind.

Attention (What? Where were we?) and memory are tied for my weakest areas.  I used to have this amazing memory, like – AMAZING (In 1974 April 17th was a Wednesday – that type of memory)…but I can’t quite recall when that was…before the flood or something.

Sometimes I just don’t know what to do.

Or what to say. Or what to think. Or which way is up or right or the best. I feel surprised at this age and stage to not know as much as I once thought I did, to not know what is expected of me or how to make hard things work.  Sometimes I just don’t know…which is tough on a striver like myself.

And this is really the bravest thing I will admit today. Or maybe over the course of many days.

I did try to give up perfection for Lent. But…

I was remembering my younger self – back when I thought I knew an awful lot about a great many things. And even if I didn’t know, I still had a strong opinion. I really miss those days, sometimes. I really thought I was going to conquer everything before the end.

Now I know much better, which is to say I know very little. In my life, there is so much I will absolutely never know, ever learn, never experience. And while it wreaks havoc on my pride to know less than ever, to be less certain and able to tout my absolutely correct and utterly right viewpoints and finely tuned belief system, I’m wondering if that isn’t the point, anyway?

But it boils down to this, I really want to know {need to know} and never forget this thing: Jesus loves me. I am in my 50s and I have yet to comprehend the depth and breadth and width and height of it – this lavish love.  “Jesus loves me, this I know,” and that knowing  is still where I often find myself stuck. I am glad the Ephesians needed understanding for this, too. :)

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3

Anne Ortlund, in Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman, said she jotted in her Bible margin next to that passage, “How do you put the ocean in a teacup?” That is the question!

His love

Amelie was practicing her cutting and gluing skills in pre-school with Nonna today. I masked off the shape of the cross and we talked about all the things for which we thanked Jesus – besides dying on the cross for our sins and then beating the devil by being raised from the dead.

amelie and her cross

I may or may not have misspelled “Easter.” Proving my point. Ha!

But as she cut and glued and looked through the newspaper and found more images, she just kept saying, “I know Jesus would love this – let’s give Him this!” Instead of thinking about what He has done for her, her love response was to give Him something in return!

“We love Him because He first loved us.”  1 John 4.19 NIV

This, is turns out – is pretty perfect!

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