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The Brink

January 27, 2014

Mama-ing two small boys pushes me to the brink of me. Stretched to boundaries of what I conceived beyond the realm of possibility. Then my mind escapes that moment, convinces me I can’t keep doing and being. But I do and I become. But with joy?

A backwards parenting resume of all the things I cannot do and am not equipped for. All the reasons why I’m not the best hire. The bold header reads these boys could do better. The lack of experience neatly bulleted down the page. Interesting how tidy these lies come packaged.

With joy? I want that. Need that. But cannot seem to grasp it for more than a fleeting moment. The anger wells up, hot and sharp. If I can’t even find the joy in the doing, in the becoming, then what? Especially then why?

The wisened joy-soul Ann Voskamp reminds me that no one gets to joy by trying to make everything perfect. No? Not even by trying to follow all the rules perfectly? No one gets to joy by trying to make everything perfect. No? The truth is that perfection isn’t the goal? No one gets to joy by trying to make everything perfect. Perfection means I haven’t arrived? Joy won’t be waiting with a hug and kiss around my neck when my day, my morning, my hours, my minutes — overwhelmingly interrupted by two little boys — is perfectly uninterrupted? When my facade is perfectly constructed so that even I’m deceived? No one gets to joy by trying to make everything perfect.

There. The perfection myth cracked. But I’m cracking, too. Tiny spider-webbing cracks encroaching on my life. All running together until maybe the fissure runs to deep, too wide. Then what?

Leonard Cohen shoots straight, telling me

Forget your perfection offering.
There is a crack in everything –
It’s how the light gets in.

Then to remember of what I’m made. Dust and water. Spun and formed as a clay jar. What the ancients would have considered mundanely ordinary. And yet He, the one who is Light, considers us as triumphs of His grace. This cracked, perfection-hungry mama a triumph only in His grace.


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