I had it all planned:
when they would all arrive
what I needed to do beforehand
how I wanted my heart to feel when they got here
Not wanting to become “the frazzled friend” I often turn into when hosting a get-together, I banned myself from Pinterest and my own desire for perfect.
I wrote out a timeline and recruited help from a friend. Together we would be prepared. Simple appetizers and decorations. A few pretty touches. We could do everything ahead of time so I would be ready before anyone got there, with time to spare and room to breathe.
I wanted to feel calm and happy when friends arrived. I wanted to greet each one, face to face. I wanted to let her know, not only was she welcomed, she was wanted.
But even the simplest of plans don’t always go as planned.
A crisis at work kept my husband from getting home in time to help pick up the house. Traffic was horrible and my friend/co-host got stuck on the other side of town, unable to come early and help with setup. The food wasn’t ready. The kitchen was a mess. And my three hungry kids kept asking when dad would be home to take them out for pizza.
I was not calm. I was not happy. Things were not getting done, and I could feel myself coming undone.
Deep disappointment and a slight sense of panic came crashing in. Why do I even try? I so desperately wanted to enjoy this night. These friends. And then I remembered . . .
I still could. I didn’t have to let my “far-from-perfect” reality crash the party. My plan, to NOT become “the frazzled friend,” still had a chance to survive.
The most important part of gathering friends that night was to be with them. To be present. To create a place for women I knew so we could connect and share our hearts, our stories, our lives. And all of that was still possible.
When Jesus stopped by to hang out with His friends and enjoy a dinner party with Mary, Lazarus, and Martha, He didn’t care what they were having for dinner. He wasn’t concerned about dishes in the sink or the decor of their home. He just wanted to be with them. (See Luke 10:39-42)
Letting friends see our imperfections may be the best gift we can give them.
Having everything all-together can be intimidating. As women, it’s so easy to compare ourselves, our homes, even our party-hosting skills, and feel less-than.
Maybe someone needed to see how very not-all-together I am. Or perhaps someone needed to hear my heart as I shared openly about my struggle that night. Maybe letting friends see my messy imperfections made being together even better.
I am learning to go to Jesus and ask Him what He wants. And every time, He shifts my perspective of my failed plans and my frustrations with “imperfect.” And He reminds me that being present always trumps being perfect.