Macaroni Angels and a Boil Water Order

Wednesday January 4, 2012

I’ve wanted to write about both of these things for several days. I had an epiphany while driving home from school today – I suddenly realized how these two things are like.

I love my macaroni angels. You see the front above. I love the back, too, where the childish scrawl says “Andrew,” followed by the date in my hand.

They’ll hang on my tree until they fall apart. Right alongside the posterboard cutout of a stable with a bit of real straw stuck to it…and a Baby Jesus with stick arms and legs in the manger.

I have a friend with a designer tree. It’s lovely. Ever year, its beauty takes my breath away. But try as I might, search as I will, I never see a single macaroni angel hanging there. And I think of mine and smile.

Because my tree? Its beauty doesn’t take your breath away; its bits and pieces represent moments that took my breath away.

Beauty in imperfection. Love in the making.

Our Christmas Eve was kind of like that.
The day was busy. We have a Christmas Eve birthday boy in our family, so the Eve is busier than ever. The mom in me tries to make his birthday as special and separate as I can. His celebration at lunch is followed by family Christmas Eve dinner, then the opening of family Christmas gifts.

Having a technical husband and son who work in churches is not unlike any church staff family. Christmas Eve service? Multiple services? They need to be there. So we juggled that as well on Christmas Eve.

We enjoyed Christmas Eve dinner together and two left to work another service, with a promise to return to open family gifts afterward. I started cleaning up the kitchen and suddenly the power dipped and then went out…kind of. Long story short, we lost half the power in half the house. I couldn’t see in the kitchen to do the dishes, but I did notice the water had slowed to a trickle.

I abandoned the dishes and sat by the tree (where the power was still on). The birthday boy and I did some last-minute wrapping and had a good conversation. By the time my husband and son got home, not much had changed. Still half power; still no water.

We opened presents and enjoyed the evening. The water was back by 11 PM, but since there was a boil water order, we couldn’t use it for much. The power can back on at 3:30 Christmas morning.

I’ve learned (often the hard way) not to expect the perfect Christmas, and I’m not on the hunt for the perfect New Year, either.

For the imperfection, the simple, the human, and even child-like all frame my need for Someone greater.

My macaroni angels and my boil-water-order Christmas both remind me.

It’s not about perfection, but the beauty in the imperfection.

It’s about the love in the making.

Linking up today with Laura at The Wellspring for Playdates with God, Jen at Finding Heaven Today for Soli deo Gloria, and Jen, whose button you see below. Click on over and come along with us!


Laura said...

I absolutely love your macaroni angel, Laura. We have a few ornaments like that too. And the actual putting them on has been quite the test of the perfectionistic expectation. We all do it together, so I just let the things hand where they may. This is a beautiful story and an important lesson. I so love how you love your family.

Victoria said...

I love this post! I'm glad you were still able to enjoy your holiday and I hope your time off was restful!

Anonymous said...

You have such a grateful attitude that glows from this post. Being thankful in all things promotes faith. It's obvious in the way you responded here.

Unknown said...

just smiling reading this! hope your new semester is going well!

a joyful noise said...

I am not a designer blogger and most of us are also NOT. Each of is unique and in our own way we minister for Jesus. I love your macaroni angel!

Jean Wise said...

This has got to be my favorite post! Great illustrations and your voice shines through a lesson we all need reminded of. Thanks, Laura!

Jennifer @ said...

Well, I think you macaroni angel is stunning. Designer, even?

It has a beauty unmatched, really, by a department-store imitation.

I'm really delighted that you linked this story up in community. What a blessing.

OneMommy said...

What an absolutely beautiful post!
Something we all can learn from - life isn't about perfection. And beauty is found in many forms. Hold onto those perfect macaroni angels, b/c they ARE perfect, just the way they are.
Happy New Year.

Catherine said...

I love my special hand made ornaments more than my pretty ones. And your Christmas is definitely one you'll remember for years, which makes it perfect. :)

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