Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Simple Pleasures


In many things, I have been satisfied only when they meet a certain level of perfection.  If it is imperfect, even mildly, such as a stray line on a drawing, improper grammar in a belabored sentence, dust in a deep crevice, I have difficulty finding joy in the finished work.  I am compelled to erase, rework, dig deeper, even if I have been mildly rebuked to simply let it go.

God has been working in me to find the beauty in these imperfections, though.  He teaches me, slowly but surely, how to move on after He has forgiven me of my sin.  He teaches me that the blue painted mug with a few mis-strokes of paint that I created still has the capacity to hold my hot tea and that the blemishes hold no baring on its purpose.  But perhaps what speaks most loudly to me is finding joy in my imperfect legs.

It is easy to me to find joy in my legs.  They are strong.  They are useful.  They daily help me to achieve my goal, not just in getting  from place to place, but being able to experience the freedom of running.  I would not trade them for anyone else's.  They are the ones that carried me 26.2 miles.  They are the ones that not only put up with my abuse of training day in and day out, but they got stronger because of it.  They did not melt under pressure.  They did not feign injury.  They simply took the challenge...and ran.

But  my legs are far from perfect.  They have parts that are too fleshy.  They like to store fat in places I really wish they would not.  Cellulite, yes, they have allowed it to reside in that place just below the skin, and right on the front of my thighs for everyone else to see.  The beginnings of spider veins begin to spread their tentacles over my muscular calves.  But although they are far from perfect, I cannot reject them.  I cannot lament their short-comings, for they have proven themselves worthy of the task.  Their devotion is fierce.  Their strength is tried, tested, resilient.

I have come to the conclusion that perhaps if I, of all people, can learn to love something like my cellulite-ridden legs, God can love me despite my own character flaws.  Because although I am far from perfect, He has promised not to reject me.  He does not stand by and scoff at  my short-comings, but rather He fills me with His grace and makes perfect my weakness.  He knows that I am surrendered to Him, that my allegiance is with Him alone.  He knows I have been tried.  I have been tested.  I am fighting the good fight and together, we will win the race.

I'm linking up with Dayle at Simple Pleasures.
Project Simple Pleasures2

19 comments :

  1. I appreciated your thoughts. we all struggle with things we don't see as 'our' perfect. Our Father does do all things well; and we are secure in His love.

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  2. I know you tire of my saying this, but you truly are an amazing writer and often intimidating to this lady. :o) I'm just teasing! I marvel at the depth of your writing and how they always inspire. I'm not sure I could ever come up with such depth, even if I tried. :o)

    Love to you!

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  3. Legs. Perfect simple pleasure. Susan

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  4. Well, I really needed this--I am not a "spring chicken" any more but once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away was considered fairly good lookin' by some. But my legs, oh my legs--they do store these little bags of fat here and there and the veins are no longer called spider veins--I think they are more like varicose or something like that. LOL

    But I am drawn to conviction by your post--yes, I used to run when I was in my late forties and early fifties and oh how I wish I could run now or even walk at a really brisk clip--but I do appreciate these legs, they did get me to the grocery store today to spend way too much money to stand on them for hours cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my big family.

    God forgive me for not appreciating them more. Thank you so much for this revelation.

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  5. What a thoughtful, heartfelt post. 'Imagine there's lots more ladies who look in the mirror tonight with "new" eyes .... thank you!

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  6. You are right. I agree that we need to appreciate and accept ourselves warts and all :-) Not in a vain or prideful way-but thankful for who and how He made us! blessings..Trish

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  7. Jen, this is such a rich, rich post. It takes "simple pleasures" to a whole 'nother level. I know it will bless all of those who read it, for we all struggle with our own imperfections. Thanks so much for sharing this with us today.

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  8. Jen,
    Oh, I get you. I can take something good, something others would be happy with, but find fault. God has been calling me to love my imperfections too, and I didn't know you were a runner! 26.2 miles? Holy cow!

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  9. What wonderful encouragement and spiritual words. Such a comfort to know He loves me the way I am, but desires for me to stay close to HIM and take care of myself.

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  10. I absolutely love every.single.thing about this post.

    It speaks to me in so many different ways! As a fledgling runner, your dedication and fulfillment is inspiring. As a mom of three who struggles daily with my less-than-perfect body, I am humbled by this - "that the blemishes hold no baring on its purpose". As a woman who is relentlessly hard on myself, who is constantly rebuked for not letting things go, thank you - for the reminder that the only one concentrating in my imperfections is me.

    What a blessing this was to me today. Thank you. So much! Thank God for his unconditional love!

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  11. Absolutely beautiful! I love the way you have written this. When anyone complains about walking, I always tell them that God gave them legs for a purpose, so use thenm! :) Wishing you all the best, Tammy

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  12. Oh, I knew we were friends~ha! I love to run as well. The thing about 'running' is we are all headed towards the same goal when doing a run (to finish right?) yet everyone has a little different stride, a different look to us, yet all headed for the same goal. Our 'run' with the Lord is much the same way don't you think? Happy running Jen!
    Marlece

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  13. How creative....and thought-provoking....to consider 'imperfect' legs. There are so many parts of me that I consider imperfect....you have reminded me of what's really important about them, instead.

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  14. great post. thank you for being so open and I know there are things about me...yuck...but then I think...if He loves all of me..then I need to learn to also.

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  15. Beautiful post. Loved reading it and reading your reason to blog too. Response or no response, keep on writing your revelations. Someone is always reading and God knows how much even the quiet ones need to view your journal. :)

    By the way, I am sure that as a runner your legs are way better than you think. I was kind of reminded of the church, Christ's body, as I read this. All, including the imperfections of the spider veins and cellulite, fit together perfectly.

    Blessings and thank you for stopping by.

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  16. I'm a walker, not a runner, but so many I know are running marathons now. I admire you!
    Thanks for coming by my place and for leaving your kind comment!
    Elizabeth
    http://www.justfollowingjesus.com

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  17. I love this because I relate to you in so many ways. Not only do I have less than picture perfect legs, but I am also an odd perfectionist in many ways.

    I smiled at the grammar part. I had to force myself to write differently on my blog than this former grammar teacher would have allowed in the classroom. Actually, it was liberating.

    (I do admit to feeling the need to write an entire post disclaimer about my intentional fragments, though. Ha!)

    I love this simple pleasures post. I really do. You speak a great truth.

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  18. Oh, this was wonderful, and just what I needed to read today! From the bottom of my heart: thank you!

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  19. Thank you Jen for this honest post. I have been beating myself up over some imperfections lately and had forgotten that God loves me where I am, just as I am...imperfections and all. I hope you enjoyed your "bed" day. It sounds wonderful!

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