So there I was at WalMart this morning (yes, again) and at the check-out I dropped a red paint chip square from Home Depot and quickly! The man behind me reached down, picked it up and then handed it to me. With a smile.
Wow. I thanked him and that one kind, old-fashioned gesture made my whole morning.
If you've read here long, you know I often speak about expecting Good. As in good things from God-- blessings, favor, special treats, awesome weather or scenery, answers to prayer and provision for all our specific needs.
Expecting godly good is a Good Thing.
But when I expect perfection from Life, well, that's just begging for headaches.
I mean, in perfect Saturday afternoon weather I sat outside, barefoot, painting two old dining room chairs palest yellow. The whole world felt incredible with a paintbrush in my hand and autumn leaves overhead and swarms of sparrows fluttering past my head like a hundred tiny whispers.
And yet? Occasionally cars drove past with stereos blaring. Once in awhile two neighborhood dogs barked and part of the time, somebody down the street used a leaf blower. As always I could hear the hum of the traffic over the bridge, but then, I've grown to find that weirdly comforting.
But here's the thing--in our world, I'm learning to take the good with the bad. To seek beauty in all the millions of imperfections surrounding me.
There are no perfect friends. No perfect neighbors or neighborhoods. No perfect spouse, child or relative.
No perfect town in which to live. No perfect job or supermarket, department store or movie theater.
No perfect house or yard. No perfect computer, phone, book, tv series, movies.
The perfect everything awaits us in Heaven.
So having realized all that, I'm finding my world becomes more beautiful, actually, when I stop expecting perfection from anybody except God, Himself.
While I become more patient and tolerant, God becomes greater and this world becomes less--and then it's the middle part, the Land of Balance, which reaches a sort of imperfect perfection of its own. A shiny, glowy place with no ridiculous expectations, but only appreciation for what is there, what's been given to me. Here. Now. In this imperfect land created by a perfect God.
I bought red paint for our front door(!) and hopefully I'll paint it tomorrow. Already I've painted the new door knocker and wreath for it. Oh, and do you love this door, or what? The stenciling is such a great idea.
Last week, Kim shared some cute tiny homes with me. My very favorite one is here (scroll way down) and oh! How I love the photos with the sun streaming inside. This would make a great vacation cabin beside a lake or beach (the old me would have wanted to own a vacation cabin, but the new me would be content just renting one for a couple weeks).
I think often we're disappointed because we wanted something more than God wanted us to want it.