This time of year seems rushed. I feel rushed to buy gifts and wrap them beautifully. I feel rushed to get a holiday party on the calendar, rushed to find a sitter, rushed to wear something festive. Rushed to have it all together.
And here’s the thing. I don’t.
I don’t have it together in the slightest.
The other night our book club celebrated a year of togetherness. A year of attempting to finish one– yes, you read that right- one dang book over the course of 12 months. It’s truly my favorite type of book club. And before we gathered at a new, made-from-scratch Italian restaurant, the text thread began.
What are you guys wearing?
A dress and boots, came a reply.
Black pants and a blouse.
Dress and tights and booties.
I looked down at my Sperry-clad feet, jeans and a button up flannel and felt the shame of simpleness. Maybe I’ll turn around and go home and change, I thought.
But then I decided to just go. And be with my people. And forget about having it together and trust I have permission to come as I am.
You see, as much as I want to have it together, life is reflecting how very little I have control of, and how very much I have yet to grow. And respond with how I actually am. Not the version I want to be.
I feel confused about messages encouraging genuine-ness but then see flawless photos and wonder, how do these co-exist? And then I breathe in and exhale out. I’m not a professional marketer. I’m doing the best I can.
I think of how humbled I feel in this season of parenting. How I want to ask a question of our boys and hear a quick response, one of respect and sincerity, and sometimes I feel like I don’t even know how to connect with them. But I keep showing up and trying and sitting with them. Even when they refuse a hug or yell from the hall. I clearly don’t have it together as a parent.
I look around at our small cottage and note the simple decorations this year. Some years I go bonkers. But this season? December has been a full month and I didn’t have it in me to pull out boxes and clear space for more. Instead, I’m noticing my margin and embracing what is. And I’m choosing to notice a consistent theme of not having it together when I so desperately want to. And I realize this is the very place I want to live from.
That’s where I am.
And I wonder if you are there too. Not feeling the Christmasy fuzzies this season.
Not feeling like you’re rocking it in marriage or your job or in relationships or in wrapping those gifts to your Pinterest expectations.
And here’s what I want to tell you:
Come as you are, sweet friend.
Come in your jeans and unfancy dress.
Come with your minimal (or no) decorations.
Come with your grief or your sadness or your feelings of inadequacy.
Come with your brokenness, even while you silently wish you appeared polished.
Come with your desire to simply show up and be unconditionally pursued, even if you have nothing left to give.
You know my friends at book club dinner? They could’ve cared less what I was wearing. And when I dropped one of them off, I shared about how this not having it together thing is teaching me dependency, a deep-rooted invitation to live out authenticity, even though I feel so dang uncomfortable.
I feel like I’m in a tight cocoon. I’m ready to bust out and be a butterfly, I confessed. And then she spoke the most beautiful words and I want you to hear them now. Because maybe like me, you don’t have it together either and perhaps you’re finding such freedom in embracing who you are, where you are. Just as you are.
You, my dear, she smiled, you are already a butterfly.