Trees, Perfection, A Mother's Words

(Perfect:  being entirely without fault or defect; flawless.)

I remember the afternoon it happened.  It was an abnormally windy, August day.  I was standing in my bedroom on the top floor of our town home, folding the laundry strewn across my bed.  I wasn't far from the window when I heard a loud CRAAACCCK...then a deafening CRASH and BOOM!  I dropped to the floor--startled and scared--certain that the life flight helicopter (that often flies right over my roof) had crashed into the front of my house!

I ran to the front door and opened it, only to be met with lots and LOTS of green.  Large, leafy green branches threatened to muscle their way into my home.  My entire doorway was filled with...well...a tree!

My heart sank with the realization of what had happened.  My tree, I thought.  My gorgeous tree!  It had made me happy in the springtime, with it's delicate, popcorn-like blossoms.  It had made me happy in the summertime, providing the front of our house with blessed shade.  And in the fall, it had delighted my heart with it's vibrant orange and red leaves.

Half of it was lying against the front of my house!

I admit I mourned the marring of that tree for a long time.  In my eyes, it had been perfect.  For months after those high winds took part of it down, all I saw was the lack of symmetry in the branches.  The broken and scarred trunk.  It made me sad.

I don't see those things anymore.  The imperfections.  They don't matter as much to me.  Instead, I sit beneath that tree and wait for Lilly's school bus, and think about how it does not need to be perfect to be beautiful.

(Enough:  occurring in such quality as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations; to fully satisfy.)

Last week, I accompanied my mom to the ABC 4 studios to appear on the local news.  My mom--an incredible woman and advocate of mothers--currently serves as the Utah president for American Mothers, Inc.  She and I were asked to contribute (via an on air interview) to a special report ABC 4 had been running all week called, "The Perfect Problem."

As women, we frequently feel pressure to be perfect.  (These pressures may come from various social media outlets, our peers, our environments, etc.)  There are pressures to be perfect mothers, to throw perfect birthday parties, to prepare perfect meals.  There are pressures to have perfect homes and perfect children.  There are pressures to have a perfect appearance and a perfect wardrobe; to be perfect in our careers.  There are pressures to be the perfect wife, the perfect homemaker, the perfect woman.

But here's the thing...  Not one of us is perfect.  We'll never BE perfect.  We don't HAVE to be perfect.  Like my tree, we do not need to be perfect to be beautiful.  All we have to do is our best.

I LOVE what my "Mama Jenneice" said in our interview.  Her words have stayed with me, days later.  I think they are pearls of wisdom!  She said, "I just think we have to be okay with ourselves, and say, 'You know what, I am the best that I can be.  I am enough for me, I am enough for my family, I am enough.'"

I'm not perfect.  I am enough.      


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