Perfecting the Art of Imperfection

January 5, 2011 | 30 comments

Well, that was easy.

I’ve already accomplished my New Year’s resolution.

A week ago, I declared that 2011 would be the Year of Imperfect. And I testified that I would wear that badge boldly. And I wouldn’t stress out too much if I did less-than-the-unattainable-best, and I would maybe even laugh at myself a little bit more.

Yes, I would be boldly imperfect!

Mission accomplished…

(My mama always said I was an overachiever.)

It’s been an imperfect week all right. Since I said goodbye to perfection a week ago, I:

— Invited a vocalist to sing at an upcoming Christian retreat, but left the wrong phone number on his answering machine. Instead of leaving my number, I gave him the number for my parents’ home. I haven’t lived with my parents for 21 years.

— Have a half-dismantled Christmas tree in my living room, that I can’t find the time to put away.

— Have a plunger sitting in front of one of our toilets. A few weeks ago, I accidentally flushed a Mastercard down the toilet. We’re waiting for the plumber to show up. This adds a whole new dimension to the hazards of credit-card use.

— Received an email from the kindergarten teacher, letting me know that I’d forgotten to send Anna’s snowboots. Before her recess, I jumped in the car to deliver the boots. Trouble was: I forgot to put the boots in the car.

But I can laugh. And I can thank the Father whose power is made perfect in my weakness.

“The thing that is really hard,
and really amazing,
is giving up on being perfect
and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”
— Anna Quindlen

Photo: Cross in snow. My backyard. Just because … He is here.



Pardon today’s disjointed post and all the dust that you might find around here over the next few days. I’m in the midst of a blog redesign.

Today, I’m also spending some time at BibleDude’s place, where we’ve been journeying through “The Story of God, The Story of Us” by Sean Gladding. I’m writing today about the deep sense of gratitude that this ordinary girl has for her King.

Also today, I link up with Ann Voskamp’s “Walk With Him” Wednesday series. She asks us this week: How are you making new habits this year? I want to adopt Ann’s habit of Scripture memorization again this year. She has a doable plan for memorizing Colossians in one year. Her plan includes a “commitment booklet” that we can download and print. Shall we do this? We can!

by | January 5, 2011 | 30 comments


  1. Andrea

    Hope you are having an awesome New Year!!

  2. Anne Lang Bundy

    ROTFL about that Mastercard. And questions ~ how? why? and why not? (Why not cancel for another card?)

    You're great. The quote that most helped me with perfectionism, from Michael J. Fox, is this:
    "I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business."

  3. amy

    so funny! i love this jennifer:)

  4. Megan Willome

    I've been needing a theme/goal/resolution. Imperfection sounds attaianable.

  5. David Rupert

    "My momma said I was an overachiever" — my you are full of spice today!

  6. Michelle

    I love the picture.
    It would make a great postcard.

    Welcome to 2011!

  7. Amy Sullivan

    This made me laugh because it is SO me. All of it. Well, almost if you throw in a "lost my keys or cell phone for the 5th time this week", it would really be me.

    Heading over to Bible Dude's to check what you are up to.

  8. Peggy Arteberry

    What a beautiful picture of a cross!

    This post made me giggle… I see so much of myself in it… and I thought it was just menopause! *Whew!*

  9. Jeanne Damoff

    This is great! Congratulations on a goal well met, and 50 points for making me laugh.

  10. Beth.. One Blessed Nana

    Oh you gave me a laugh today at the vision of the mastercard swirling down into the abyss! so funny about the perils of credit cards too… you are a funny one Jennifer!

    But you always point us to Jesus and I always gets a word. thank you.

  11. jasonS

    That is pretty spectacularly imperfect! It's always a good thing to find the joy in all those areas of our lives that don't quite measure up. 🙂 Great post. Thanks Jennifer!

  12. Laura

    I LOVE you, Jennifer! You are in good company with this one. Can't wait to see the new dress! Love to you.

  13. Amy DeTrempe

    Imperfection is so underrated at times. I remember taking something to my child's school, but finding I left it at home. I had to laugh at that one. At work today I almost put my home address on a document instead of the place I work, and I've worked there for eleven years. Thankfully I caught that one before it was finalized.

  14. Lyla Lindquist

    I'm working off three different toll-free numbers these days in my work. And yet the other day I still rattled off one I haven't used since I sat in my adjuster's cubicle over a year ago. Extension and all.

    This imperfection, it looks good on you. And surely you see here all over your comment box, you stand in a large crowd.

    Anxiously awaiting the unveiling of your new digs.

  15. Jennifer

    Laughing out loud at the boots comment–I was making a special trip to the post office today to mail off a package. Problem is I left the address on the desk. You're in good company with a bunch of other imperfect people.

  16. Graceful

    I was just thinking, "Oh no! It's been so long since I've been to Jennifer's place that she's gone and launched a whole new look and I didn't even know!" Then I realized, as I read on, that this is a recent development. I LOVE it, by the way — so beautiful and fresh.

    Okay, and I am laughing and laughing about you going to school to bring the boots…without the boots. That was like the morning I had to return to the house THREE times before I could make it to work — kept forgetting critical items (like my lunch — absolutely cannot forget the lunch!).

    Anyway, I love that you are embracing the imperfect this year. I am going to hop on board…it shouldn't be too hard to achieve my goal! 😉

  17. Tea with Tiffany

    Jennifer, you are too cute. I am glad I am with good company. 🙂 I have a kitchen faucet that has leaked for months. First it was the cold side, which we finally fixed. A simple washer, but hard to get to. And guess what? As soon as we fixed the cold side, the hot side started to leak. So I have a system where I turn it off and on under the sink. The rest of the family cooperates. And with Christmas, we just had other priorities. Haha

    I live in an imperfect home too. I am imperfect, but do struggle wanting to be perfect. Not..

    It's so good to know God loves us just the way we are. And that when we are weak, He is strong.

    Look forward to your blog redesign. I'm in the middle of one myself. I made my own header. Creative play for me. Still have to do a lot more add ons, ect.

    Thanks for your friendship. Happy 2011.


  18. Linda

    Oh Jennifer – this is so me! I won't give you the whole litany of imperfections – but the other day I put the butter in the pantry. Heaven only knows what I was thinking!
    I really like the new look here. It's "perfect."

    I'm doing a memorization thing on Beth Moore's blog. I did it once before and the benefits are absolutely amazing.

  19. Deidra

    I have long believed that perfection is overrated. Some people think I'm making excuses, but I believe it with all my heart.

  20. Shaunie Friday--Up the Sunbeam

    Jennifer–I'm so glad to be in such good company on this imperfect business!! I can so relate!!

    Love the new blog design!!

  21. Paul

    Okay, Jennifer (and Lyla)! What’s with the boots aversion? Because you blog, you don’t slog and boots therefore are unnecessary.

    Paul W

  22. Ann Kroeker

    Well, you may be imperfect, but this gorgeous blog layout isn't! It looks *perfect* to me! 🙂

    As for imperfection, if you need some inspiration, head on over to my place, a veritable showcase of imperfection.

    Just ask Charity. She's been here and can vouch for my totally imperfect family, home, landscaping, meals…

    I can be your coach–your "imperfection" coach. I'd be really great at it, as I've had a lot of practice.

  23. Joan Davis

    Your post of wonderful imperfections put a huge smile on my face today! Thanks for sharing and blessing my day!

    Living for Him, Joan

  24. elaine @ peace for the journey

    Love the new look here; a perfect fit for all your imperfections this year! So glad I'm not alone. May the words you write on this new canvas in 2011 be rich, from the heart, and full of Jesus.

    I love visiting your "home."


  25. Keith Roghair

    nice. new layout is looking fresh too!

  26. Connie Mace

    ooohhh, I do so love this "perfecting the art of imperfection."

    We could put together a pretty wonderful, really real book if we each kept record of our imperfect, humbling moments…the community of imperfect speck people of dust inhabiting a dot in the vast expanse of His Holiness…thank you friend for sharing your list…mine is too lengthy for this comment box:)

  27. Sharon

    The boot thing…. That is me every week! (smiles!) The blog design looks like it won't be an unperfect thing this year- it's looking good! God took perfectionsim out of me a few years ago when it became a god to me. I am so much more relaxed, but sometimes guests see (gasp!) dirty dishes in the sink or a pile of books on the table, but that's ok, I'm free to care about the truly important things. Enjoy the imperfection this year.

  28. Cheryl

    Oh girl, I can so relate to all of this. The need for allowing imperfection and the funny bits of chaos.

    I'm learning to breathe through it all this year. Bless you friend!

    And LOVE the new blog design, graphic, photo and tagline. Well done!

  29. Debra

    I love that quote! I'm writing it in my journal. 🙂

  30. Pamela

    This is an awesome post–the words pulled the emotion from my heart as I "listened." The sight of all those names listed made me think of my childhood church and those who love it, found forgiveness from sin, learned to grow in grace. Names like my own–representative of my generation who cut there eye teath on the pews and knelt for the first time at the altar and, like you, learned the finger play, "Heres the church…"


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