Allowing the Present to be Imperfect

Meet my Guest:

Emily doesn't know this, but one of my greatest highlights from the Blissdom '09 conference - with my roommates Emily and her sister, The Nester, and Melissa - were our late night talks.  

One night in particular, we lay awake for hours talking about important things dear to our hearts, important things like young girls. My Balcony Girls group, and then Emily's passion for walking alongside high school girls as they discover old truth in new ways, experiencing authentic LIFE with God. 

It was also encouraging to hear the inspiration and passion behind each of our blogs. (Yes, Nester was lightly snoring in the background--sweet music to our ears--but we filled her in on all the details in the morning. We didn't want her to miss out.)

I felt a sweet connectedness to Emily. A true sister, indeed.

Her words are deep and beautiful ... now you can read for yourself. Welcome, Emily!

It was their idea to have a tea party. 

As the early hours of the day stretched out before us, it sounded like a great idea. Sure! I said, half believing they would forget by lunchtime. They did not. So we headed off to the Dollar Store to gather supplies for our spontaneous tea party. 

Now I have to be honest: I am not a spontaneous kind of girl. At least, not when it comes to having people over. I have loosened up over the years, but I am definitely of the belief that a hostess needs notice to prepare and plan and perfect. 

Which usually means I don't have people over, if I'm honest. 

Even though this little party was only for my girls, my three-year-old niece, and the other women in my family, I was still tempted to clean the entire house even though we would only be in the playroom.

I am so glad I let that expectation go. 

The girls had so much fun picking out the napkins and treats. I even let them buy fake flowers. I know real ones are better, but they really wanted those bright orange flowers. Why not? They made a memory. They decorated with streamers and had swiss cake rolls and sang I'm a little tea pot. 

And the best part? My family loved it. 

They were thrilled to get a call in the middle of the day with an invite to a tea party that afternoon.

Allowing the present to be imperfect does not come naturally to me. But sometimes, it is the only way to live. 

Today, it meant letting the little brother bring his truck noises to the table, serving chicken nuggets at a tea party and buying fake flowers. 

Thank you, Miss Sandy, for always encouraging us to value connection rather than perfection. 

Do you struggle with allowing the present to be imperfect?

Are you a spontaneous kind of girl?

Emily and I would love to hear your story!


Bevy said...

What a sweet story. Thank you for the reminder to grow in the area of "letting go". I feel as though I always have to plan ahead and prepare. And though my daughter is VERY young and we aren't doing tea parties yet... the day will come and it starts with me. I like to say, "My house may not be ready, but my heart is. Come on In!" - that is always in the back of my mind as inspiration to & for myself. I want so badly to grow in "spontaneous hospitality" - and it's neat to see when God does send those opportunities my way. Because He has, and I am slowly learning to let go.


That is so beautiful. Over the years I have tried to "Let go and let God" handle things. Yet, it is very diffuclt when you have always been a perfectionist. The problem with perfection is that it really never can be achieved. It is a struggle every day. Thank you for sharing.


Kelli said...

This is so precious... and so me. I stuggle with desiring perfection and sometimes miss out on the important stuff, which is the people you invite into your home. The things which we worry about are not even noticed!!! What is truly important is having a good time and sharing our lives with the people we hold dear!!

The Nester said...

Why did this post bring tears to my eyes? I loved it.

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

I am a spontaneous kind of a girl, as you know, but it's still hard to transfer that from heart to action.

And of course, I knew your sweet sis in love would be right there for that precious tea party. :)Her expression is just as magical.

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

What a fun party!! I’m not good at being spontaneous – too many control freak perfectionist tendencies that I need to work through! :)

Donnetta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donnetta said...

I'm thinking that it's exactly these type of moments that our children will remember and take with them into adulthood as memories.

What a beautiful memory created for everyone involved that day! Thanks for sharing this with us!

Blushing hostess said...

Very pretty and how lovely for them! Still a perfectionist, but definately interested in trying!

Maranda {evoked} said...

This post is awesome! My mother loved having people over when I was young, but things needed to be perfect! So we would spend the whole day cleaning and be too exhausted to fully enjoy the evening.

I have really loosened up the past few years and have recently had several people come over last minute. I purposefully did not over-clean! I straightened up the counters and let the sleeping cobwebs in the dark corner lie. When you are relaxed, others will be relaxed. If you are constantly stressing about how dirty your house is and "please forgive the mess", doesn't that make your guests feel as if they are an intrusion?

People are more important than waxed floors...and I thank you for this lovely post today!

MyJourneyBack said...

Oh what a great post and sweet story. I loved it. Thanks for sharing.
Many Blessings,

emily said...

Sandy, your readers are so dear! And so are you, of course.

I am learning from you all and my own reminder to allow the present to be imperfect. One day, it comes easy. The next is a whole new battle to live in the moment, isn't it? Here's to joy in the journey.

Gina said...

What a great reminder! I always struggle with perfection and even more so with spontaneous things-I'm letting God tweak me in these areas. I don't want to miss out on amazing memories like you've shared, Emily, because they weren't planned out in advance. Thanks for the great reminder!

Yvonne Todd said...

Thank you for the reminder... and the inspiration... Yvonne

Amber said...

So sweet. Your girls are going to remember this for a long time! And it was ALL their idea. :) Thanks for sharing your perfect bit of imperfection!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Sigh. I have two girls who are grown now, and if I could turn back the clock to do another spontaneously imperfect tea party, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Beautiful post Emily!!

I loved our late night chats too Even with Nester snoring away in the background :-) Tee hee.

JadeLD said...

Wow that pink fairy castle is so cool! Is it bad to want one of those when you're 26. I've just got to have kids - particularly girls so I can have an excuse to buy those sort of things! Toys like that make me wish I lived in the USA!

That's a great story, tea parties are so much fun, my wee sister had a tea party for her birthday (22nd proving tea parties are for grown ups too!) and we all had to come with homemade hats - actually you've just inspired me to write a post about that later today! Thanks for sharing this story.

Sandy said...

Emily, thank you again for making my day! Your words are always inspiring and rich. I love our passion for girls!
Hope to see you soon! xo

An Accomplished Woman said...

Emily is so sweet. I agree that I struggle with the "imperfect" label. When I walk through my house, yard, etc, I see the things that need to be done; i.e. weeds need to be pulled, dust needs dusting, etc. However, when I go to other people's homes, I see the overall picture and their beautiful yards or homes. I am working to apply that type of view to myself. If people care about weeds and dust, do they really care about me?

You are worthy to be loved with all your imperfections. Including the weeds!!!


Melissa Stover said...

i'm pretty spontaneous with my own family, but not with friends as much. i'll have my family over anytime. they've seen my flaws and messes so i don't worry. but with friends i feel like i have to do more.

Hayley Powell said...

What a blessing to read this today! This is sooo incredibly like me, and a major struggle I have of allowing imperfection! My husband is a minister, so our home is open alot - and, I am in a constant whirlwind trying to make everything "perfect". Thank you so much for sharing, and helping me to remember to "value connection rather than perfection"!

Jenn @ youknow... that blog? said...

I do love to be spontaneous, but NOT EVER when inviting people over. I'm with you - I like to plan and perfect, and it gives me hives to just "let it happen". On someone else's turf, I'm easy going and I don't even notice if things aren't 100% tidy or perfect. I'm sure it would be the same the other way around, but still...

This is a great story - loved it :) I also love the princess castle - wherever did you find it?!

If you have any time left in your day today, I'd love it if you could swing by and participate in my Silly Haiku Wednesday (it's fun and easy, I promise!)

See you again soon!

Miss G said...

Emily, I love the way you write! This inspired me today. Kelly