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Imperfect Simplicity

How many times have you tried to get that perfect family photo?  There’s a picture of what it should look like flashing through your mind that has everyone posed and smiling for just that split second.  Reality and numerous takes later reveal a different story.

Those rhetorical questions begin running through on an endless loop.  Didn’t I iron that shirt?  Where’s David hiding?  Why are the kids poking each other?  Why are there bunny ears on Uncle Jeremy?  How did their faces scrunch up to even make those expressions?   You just needed ONE photo!  It was supposed to be the scrapbook-able photo capturing family time together.

The saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”,  rings loudly as each click of the camera captured the many personalities of our family.  You see what I had envisioned in my mind was different than the final photo hanging on the wall above my desk.  In the end, it’s actually one of my favorites.  Not because it is going to be hung in a future art gallery capturing what families centuries ago looked like, but because it tells a story that is uniquely us.  Each time I look at the photo it makes me stop and take a moment of reflection.  The “Perfect Family” we see flashing across social media is just a posed-to-perfection snapshot.  It isn’t us, and I’m thankful.

Step-back in time to your childhood when you brought home a hand drawn picture of your family and mom proudly hung it on the fridge.  The figures were unlikely drawn with perfect portions and an accurate number of fingers, but there was likely a theme that captivated an audience.  It was the smiling faces, holding hands, imperfectly shaped hearts and warm feelings jumping off the page. We ignored the imperfections and displayed the artwork with affection because it told a story.

Our Heavenly Father is at work in our lives because He loves us. 

We don’t need to submit an application and attach a perfect photo to get his attention. 

He is unconditionally involved in our lives and knows the whole story.

A trending theme in our society is Simplicity.  The bookshelves, social media, and blog posts are overflowing with how to methods for a simple life, a happier life, a perfect life.  Every entry promotes the benefits and points the path to creating your own happiness. Each one advocating for the 10 steps that draw us closer to our goal with the promise that you can look perfect and happy with just a “few” life changes. It’s just that simple!

Anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed by the busyness of life and consumption of more is attracted to simplicity.  Post after post of real-life testimonies tell the stories of overflowing schedules, impossible to-do lists, and garages packed to the highest shelves and the relief of scaling it all down to what is realistic and manageable.  The dramatic before and after photos hook our minds to read to the bottom to find their secret formula.  It spurs our thinking as we desire simplicity.

Simplicity causes us to purge our lives of what we do not need.  It challenges us to renew our perspective and take a deep breath.  What is important to me and brings me true joy? What in my life do I need to change?

We place all our efforts and time in minimizing our homes, de-cluttering our schedules, and keeping only objects that bring joy.  But what if as Christians we need to take another step and ask ourselves the question, “How is my relationship with God?”   

Our Heavenly Father desires a relationship with us NOW.  Amidst all the imperfections, He alone can complete our desire for simplicity. God wants to walk with us in the day to day, even in the imperfect moments.  Our relationship with Him brings a renewed perspective and lasting joy.

Don’t wait for the picture-perfect life moment to renew your relationship with our Heavenly Father. It is truly in the imperfections of life that He calls us to simplicity.


Kristin Joy

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