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One of my go-to phrases is “gosh I gotta get my life together!” Well let me tell you… my life is not together, not even close. I’ve switched my purse three times today, I haven’t showered, my hair looks like something out of a scary movie, and let’s just assume from all the coffee I have had today that my breath probably smells.  But you know… life is still good.

In the last couple of months I have tried mercilessly to “get my life together.” I’ve tried to keep my house spotless, every birthday card on time, every Christmas present perfect and my life running like a well-oiled machine. However, something very ironic has happened in all this mess: the more I try the less my life “gets together.”

Up until leaving for Christmas break I had a pile of clothes on my floor and Christmas presents that still needed to be mailed out (oh and much more that needed to be taken care of!) But I loaded up my car with my over-packed bags and drove to be with my family.

I’ve realized that life is not meant to be perfect, it is meant to be lived and lived abundantly. Christ came to give us life abundantly, not life perfectly. A perfect life is not always a joyful life. I have quickly realized that if I spend my whole life striving for perfection I will miss all the moments worth remembering and cherishing.

I will miss loving people for the great parts of them and the not-great parts. I will miss sitting in the hospital room waiting for good news from my mom’s cancer doctor…like I am doing now.  I will miss throwing together a quick dinner tonight so that I can make sugar cookies with my brother. I will miss real life.

Across from me in the waiting room is an old man who is clearly suffering from dementia. His wife is very patient with him and often re-answers his repetitive questions.  He’s currently talking about his son and daughter. He has asked numerous times why he is at the hospital and who they are waiting on, but he seems to remember everything about his children.

These are the things I want to remember when I am old (and possibly also have dementia)…the things that matter and the people that have made my life. I want to remember the abundant but not perfect life that Jesus gave me, a life of freedom from sin and the freedom to love unconditionally.

My life is not always happy and is never perfect but is the wonderful, beautiful mess that God wakes me up to each day, and I love it. Please stop trying to be perfect and instead just enjoy it. Life is a short ride, and if you spend too much time seeking perfection you just may miss it.