This past weekend, we gathered at my parents’ home to celebrate ThanksMas – an event created by my mom to ensure we gathered at some point for the holidays, since each of us (including them) would be away at some point over the next few weeks. It was so much fun and it reminded of me of past memories, when our family would gather around the table or in the living room, to eat delicious food and share stories — cringeworthy as well as funny.
The composition of my family is….well, hodgepodge. We are the most imperfect group and, somehow, God saw it fit to put this batch together for what has been and continues to be one of the most enjoyable, close-knit, heart-wrenching, memorable, topsy turvy journeys I have traveled. We ARE imperfect and, at times, that has been something I have really struggled with – especially when that reality ran head-to-head with my expectations of how a situation or a conversation should have occurred. I have let members of my family down in just as many ways as they have let me down and, still, we sat around the table last night, having dinner, laughing at one another, and leaving with the promise that we would be together again soon.
I don’t think it is time (alone) that has helped me realize that this combination of diverse personalities is exactly what makes us love each other the way that we do. I believe it is the realization that I….me…James…I am flawed, imperfect, and in need of forgiveness and grace on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis…that, THAT has made the difference.
I am so very thankful for my imperfect family – for the memorable moments as well as the moments I would soon rather forget. Nothing, absolutely nothing has been wasted. Whether in my own home, asking for the grace to face the new day, or seated around the table with people who know both my strengths and my weaknesses, the beauty and joy of God’s restoration unfolds over and over.