Monday, April 5

Ink and Pages

""Someone once said that reading is a dress rehearsal for life. Through a well-crafted story we experience the good, the bad, and the ugly without any of the consequences. We get to learn from others' mistakes."

 I read this quote on one of the blogs I currently follow: Steady Mom. It got me to thinking about the beauty of reading-the exciting journeys and adventures it inspires- and the incredible power of the imagination.

I am an avid reader... at least I used to be, before life happened and my son was born.
Now if I get 30 minutes of reading in, it's a fabulous day for "me" time.

Don't get me wrong, I relish every second spent with my little guy. But on those lovely days when he sleeps for three hours and I get the opportunity to delve back into reading, I am reminded of how very much I enjoy this activity and how grateful I am that my mother so strongly encouraged me to read. She opened up the world to me, and I intend to do that for my children. No endless hours in front of a TV for them! (A strong proclamation considering the only child I have right now is a 10-month old...)

I just finished two books that when juxtaposed reveal such interesting truths about love, relationships, and the appearance of perfection. The first, Perfect Life by Jessica Shattuck, is an examination of the friendships and relationships experienced by a group of college friends some years after graduation.

The second, Recipes For A Perfect Marriage by Morag Prunty gives a portrayal of two marriages, that of a woman living in New York, and that of her grandmother in Ireland.

Both books, while the former is secular to the core and the latter full of spiritual wisdom, illustrate the principle of illusion: all that glitters is not gold, and what can appear to be a perfect relationship can be anything but. 

I often look at other people's relationships and wonder how they make it look so easy. I look at my own relationship, and sometimes miss the good in worrying about the difficult (but only sometimes: there's so much to be grateful for).

It's amazing how many times we can focus on the perfect, this illusive ideal that somehow manages to become the standard. I know in my head that perfect is impossible to accomplish. But my heart longs to be perfect, to have it all together, to be "that mother, that wife, that woman" that other women want to be more like. 

Sometimes I look at other women, and I want to be like them. I think to myself, "Man, she's got it so easy. Her kids ..., her husband ..., whereas my son ... and my husband ..." Or I could covet someone else's financial security, someone else's house, someone else's good fortune...

But that's where reading such books as Perfect Life and Recipes comes in handy. All that glitters is not gold. I may have my own crosses to bear, but I have no idea what someone else's challenges may be. We must be careful what we wish for. What appears to be perfect often times is anything but.

Many times, we can present a front of perfection to the world as a wall behind which to hide the reality of our problems and trials. If we could just appear to have it all together, maybe then everything would simply be okay.

I am so grateful for all that I have. I have a wonderful music ministry, which God continues to expand in His will and time. I have a beautiful marriage, which is not perfect, which is continuing to blossom, and which brings me joy unlike anything else. I have a wonderful son who teaches me unceasingly and calls me daily to sainthood. I have so many blessings. So what if life is still hard sometimes? The challenges keep me from complacency and stagnancy, keep me reaching to Jesus for the strength and grace to persevere.

Little by little, I'll learn from my own mistakes. I'll take what I can from other's mistakes. I'll keep moving forward, keep living life. Lord, keep my eyes focused on You, rather than on those around me. You alone are perfect, and can bring me to perfection. And that is good enough for me.

1 comment:

  1. Glad the reading has begun. We'll turn off the tv and read together at night!


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