Confessions of a Non-Chef (+ Some of My Go-To Recipes)

My dear mother-in-law had knee replacement surgery back in August, so I had been cooking dinner twice a week for her and my father-in-law (she’s now recovering quite well, thank God, and able to cook for herself). At first I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal to make a little extra food, except that a little extra food turned out to be a lot more food that required a lot of planning and cooking. You see, hubby’s family loves and enjoys eating, while mine basically eats to survive. 😉 Whenever we eat with my in-laws, we can expect to sit at the table for up to two hours, eating and chatting the day away. Eating with my parents on the other hand is more like a fast food experience; you get your food, you eat it, and you go. So, knowing how much my in-laws enjoy food, I had to up my game and really put some effort into cooking.

Grrr.

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap/freedigitalphotos.net

If you can’t tell by now, I dislike cooking. Why? Maybe because it involves coming up with a meal that you know (not just hope) will taste good, buying the ingredients that are needed to make the dishes, and lastly, but most tiringly, cooking it. Which is why when hubby came home from work the other day and saw me standing in front of the stove with one spatula in hand, an oven mitt on the other, with a stream of sweat running down both sides of my face and asked me, “You don’t enjoy cooking, do you?”, I put on my best You’re kidding me, right?! face. I thought he would’ve realized this little fact when I made instant noodles for our first dinner together as newlyweds. 😉

So, no, unfortunately, I don’t enjoy cooking. Which makes feeding my family on a regular basis (why, oh why, do they need to eat three meals every single day?!) a difficult task. Throw in one very particular munchkin who always asks me, “What’s for dinner?” and then makes his best Aw, man face when he hears my answer, and you’ve got one frustrated, fed-up non-chef. But thank God for my other munchkin who will eat practically anything I serve her as long as there’s rice and meat in it. 🙂

But thanks to my recent stint as a chef for my in-laws and some serious soul-searching (haha), I’ve had some breakthroughs with cooking. Here are some things I’ve learned that I hope will help you if you’re a non-chef like me or you live with one.

  1. See cooking as a privilege. Okay, maybe privilege is taking it a bit far, but I have come to realize that there’s a lot of responsibility involved with feeding a family. I have the power to shape my kids’ eating habits, demonstrate healthy attitudes toward food, and provide the fuel they need to survive. I get to introduce them to different foods, flavors, and styles of cooking. What I feed them today is essentially paving the way for how they will eat and what they will eat for the rest of their lives. How amazing is that? And cooking in a first world country is seriously a luxury. There’s so much fresh, good food to choose from at the supermarket. Reminding myself of these things helps me not to take cooking for granted.
  2. Find ways to enjoy the process. Let me tell you a secret—I love looking at recipes more than I like cooking. 😉 At with the internet these days, recipes are everywhere. You can search for recipes with specific ingredients or cooking methods or styles (ie. gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, whatever-free) and find a gazillion choices to choose from. And the best part are the before and after pictures. I especially love when there’s a series of photos from the “ingredients picture” to the “mixing picture” and all the way to the beautiful “posed food picture”. (Cooking videos are pretty cool, too, except you need to realize that there’s no fast-forward button in real life and a dish may take more than 30 seconds to make.) 😛 So, to make cooking fun, I take time to look for recipes that I know I’ll enjoy following (aka. easy, simple and fast). Having the right recipe makes for a more enjoyable cooking process.
  3. Make it easy for yourself. I used to wonder why stores sell already-washed and pre-cut veggies or fruit. And why there are sooo many online businesses popping up that deliver meals or ingredients for a meal to your door. It’s because there are other people out there who also don’t enjoy cooking or don’t have the time/energy for it. (Whew, it’s not just me!) I am so, so thankful for anything that makes cooking easier. If you ever see my grocery cart at Trader Joe’s, you’ll find a lot of frozen veggies and some pre-washed ones. If you find me at Safeway or Costco, you can bet I’ll have a rotisserie chicken with me. Finding these “shortcuts” can literally chop the cooking time in half and allow me more time, energy, and sanity to help the kids with homework, work on book stuff, or keep the laundry basket empty for ten minutes.

These are just a few tips I’ve found to make my life as a non-chef doable and enjoyable. And here are some recipes I’ve found that are my go-to meals:

  1. Chicken noodle soup (Ă  la Mamaho): Dump a carton or two of chicken broth, frozen or fresh veggies, and one cut-up rotisserie chicken into a pot and let simmer for an hour or more. Before serving, add some pasta and cook until done.
  2. Asian-style pork chops (à la Martha Stewart): http://www.marthastewart.com/339846/asian-style-pork-chops
  3. Roasted veggies (à la Mamaho): Take some chopped up veggies (ie. zucchini, carrots, potatoes, yams, mushrooms) and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil, add salt and pepper, and bake at 350-400 degrees F for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness and size of the veggies.
  4. Korean beef bowl (à la Damn Delicious): http://damndelicious.net/2013/07/07/korean-beef-bowl/
  5. Salmon fried rice (à la Just One Cookbook): http://www.justonecookbook.com/salmon-fried-rice-recipe/ (I also add chopped pineapples when I make this.)

I’d love to have more recipes to choose from, so my family’s not eating the same meals over and over. 😉 Please share yours with me!

When Taking Care of Others Means Taking Care of Yourself

If you can’t tell from reading the title of this post, I’ve been feeling a little burned out. No, actually, let’s make that an extra crispy, black-as-charcoal kind of burned out. Like these poor pieces of toast.

Image courtesy of flickr.

Image courtesy of flickr.

Between getting the munchkins ready to go back to school and the release of 2 books, it’s been one crazy, busy month! And September’s not even over yet. Aiya. :O I’m not complaining though; I am very, very thankful (especially about school starting again, haha). But I have to admit that I’m tired … and when mama’s tired, she can get a bit grouchy. Okay, make that very grouchy.

I found myself getting impatient and frustrated with the kids more often recently and had to ask myself, Is it them or is it me? Sure, there are plenty of situations when they push all the wrong buttons and squeeze out every last drop of long-suffering juice I have left in me, but lately it’s been more a matter of me already feeling dried up with nothing to give. Especially last week when I was overseeing an all-day Facebook party and discovered that due to some technical glitches I couldn’t leave the computer for more than a few minutes at a time. Which meant I even had to bring my laptop with me when I went to pick up the munchkins from school (don’t try that at home, folks!). When we got home, I was running around like a mad woman trying to cook dinner for ourselves and my in-laws (the tables have turned ’cause my mother-in-law had knee replacement surgery) and check Facebook and help the kids with whatever they needed help with. Whew, I’m tired just remembering that day. 😉 Thankfully, the party went well and everyone was fed and in one piece by the end of the night. 🙂 But boy, was I pooped the next day … and the next and the next. And because I was pooped, I was not feeling my best or being my best. So yes, it was definitely me.

Lesson learned: I need to take care of myself in order to take care of those around me.

A friend commented recently that she realized she needs to drop one of the balls she’s been juggling. When I read that, I was like, Wow, I wish I could do that! But the truth is, I can. And I should. For the sake of my family, but also for my own sake. ‘Cause no matter how amazing a juggler I think I am, my arms need to rest once in a while. And most of all, my heart needs to recharge and refuel so I can be the best juggler wife, mama, sister, daughter and friend that I can be.

Here’s a verse I take comfort in when I’m weary.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

And here’s a beautiful, calming song for you when you’re feeling weary: “All is Well” by Voctave.

How do you know when you’re juggling too many balls?

What Makes Art Good?

I was watching WordGirl with the munchkins and was surprised to find the program had a lot of depth for a pint-sized animated show. In case you’ve never heard of this literary superhero and her monkey-caped sidekick, here’s the 411: WordGirl is the alias of an alien girl named Becky who uses her superpowers to catch bad guys, such as Chuck the Evil Sandwich-Making Guy. Since she came from the planet Lexicon, she has an extensive vocabulary and can define any word you throw her way. Fun show, huh? 🙂 Well, it’s not only fun and educational, it’s quite inspiring, too.

Image courtesy of pbskids.org

Image courtesy of pbskids.org

In the episode I watched, WordGirl was trying to catch a villain who stole artwork for an interesting reason. He wanted to stick the paintings and sculptures he lifted into a machine that would smash them into tiny bits and pieces so he could analyze them. The purpose? To determine what makes art good. Wow. That’s a pretty big question if you ask me.

WordGirl’s conclusion? Art is good because of the artist behind it.

I found myself nodding and shouting a silent, “You go, girl!” at the screen when I heard her answer. Why? Because she perfectly summed up something I’ve been trying to figure out for the past two years.

Ever since I started writing fiction, I’ve been reading more fiction, too. And what I’ve discovered with each book I’ve come across is that every author has a voice. Some are funny, even sarcastic, while others are warm and sweet. Then there are those who are more artsy and poetic and others that ooze angst and drama. When you can flip through the first few pages of a story and say, so-and-so wrote this!, then you know that author has found his or her voice.

Because who doesn’t want to be recognized for what they’ve done? But as we know, art is quite a subjective thing. What appeals to one person may not appeal to another—but that’s okay! Because as long as you, the artist, are being true to yourself, your voice will come through. The style and swagger that you inject into every chord, brushstroke or word choice, every pinch of this or that or every step and leap will leave your signature throughout the entire masterpiece. When your art is saturated with bits and pieces of you, it will scream YOU. Okay, maybe scream is not the best word to use (hm, what would WordGirl use?), but you get the idea. Whatever kind of art you desire to make, when you put your whole heart into it—your life experiences, your personality, and your quirks—it will showcase who you are. Your art will be good and unique and inspiring because of who you are.

While some may not appreciate it the way you hoped, there will be plenty more who will welcome the beauty your art brings. And if you can help brighten even one person’s day with your handiwork, then that’s art that’s worth making.

Take a listen to Lee Ann Womack’s song, “I Hope You Dance.” I hope you’ll be brave and share your voice today in whatever art form you can because someone needs to hear it. 🙂

How do you share your voice with others?

Superheroes, Snacks & Surprises

What do superheroes, snacks and surprises have in common? Well, they were all a part of the academic camp that our church put on last week for kids in our local community. Superheroes, because what 5th grader doesn’t love people in capes running and flying around to save the day, and snacks, because growing and learning kids need sustenance—and lots of it. And what better snacks to have than these superhero-themed ones? Any guesses as to what each one represents? 😉 (I’ll leave the answers at the bottom of this post!)

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You might be wondering then, where did the surprises come in? Let me tell you a neat story. 🙂

On the first day, another volunteer and I were walking around the middle school campus searching for ice when a woman called out to us. The first thing I noticed about her were the cool metal frames of her glasses, followed by the eager brown eyes peering out from behind them. She told us she had just dropped her daughter off and was surprised to find out that the camp was put on by a church. And not just any church, but the one she had spotted just the weekend before when she was across the street from the high school where we meet buying boba tea! She said she’s been telling her friends that she wants to go to church, saw our church’s signs that Sunday, and then came across us again on Monday. Her exact words were: “It’s meant to be”.

The other volunteer and I exchanged wide-eyed glances as we proceeded to answer her questions about the service times, childcare and dress code (which she was relieved to find out is “come as you are!”). When we finished chatting with her, we exchanged names, shook hands, and parted with smiles all around. 😀

I shared this story with the person in charge of the academic camp and we were just amazed that God had orchestrated everything to happen at the right time and in the right places. It’s not that it’s surprising to see God do amazing things (come on, He created the universe!), but it was super cool to see that He is working in ways we aren’t aware of yet and that He’s working all things together for His purposes. Even though we may not talk about Jesus during the camp, God is still using it to open doors for people to hear about Him. That’s pretty superhero-ific, if you ask me. 🙂

Speaking of superheroes, take a listen to Charlie Puth’s song, “One Call Away”.

Okie, if you haven’t figured out what the snacks up above are, here are the answers:

  1. Cheese on a pretzel stick = Thor’s hammer
  2. Green-colored vanilla yogurt with Oreo pieces = The Hulk
  3. Sandwiches = Bat cutout for Batman & Star cutout for Captain America

How have you seen God work in superhero-ific ways in your life?

Putting Things Into Perspective

Ever have one of those days months where you just feel pooped? Like the kind of pooped where you go to sleep tired and wake up feeling tired, too?

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Poor doggie looks pooped. 😛

That’s the kind of pooped hubby is going through and has been going through. There was a time not long ago when we were able to meet up regularly for breakfast or lunch and totally indulge in these spontaneous mini dates, but lately we barely have time to talk. We’re like two ships passing in the early hours of the morning or late at night … surrounded by two little talkative speedboats. 😉

We know it’s a stage (or we hope it is!) and that his work will settle down again … someday … (soon, please!), but it’s still tiring and stressful going through the every day stuff of this current hurdle we’re facing. I call it a hurdle and not a mountain (even though it feels like one sometimes) because quite honestly, there are so many other people going through much heavier stuff. I remember to hold onto the memories of what we’ve been through, both the happy, easy, smooth times and the tough, frustrating, crazy times because they both remind me that life is good and we’ve gotten through a lot already with the Lord’s help.

I think it’s all about putting things into perspective. Seeing everything through a lens of gratitude and awe as hubby is doing. I got this text from him this morning and it’s just what I needed to hear.

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Life can be hard and crazy and challenging and (fill in the blank). But God is gracious and constant and kind.

Are you facing a hurdle or mountain in your life? Let me know and I’d be happy to pray for you. 🙂

Here’s a fun song by another one of my and the munchkins’ favorite shows, The Fresh Beat Band (on Nick Jr.). It’s called “We’re Unstoppable” and it’s all about overcoming challenges as a team.

The Truth Behind Fiction

Post updated to add: The Kisses, Kids and Bundles of Joy boxed set that includes the novella I talk about below is now available at Amazon for only 99 cents! Buy it HERE.

So … the good news is that I finished my latest story! The bad? Coming this October, it’s going to be out there for all the world to read. Ah, the weird struggles of a writer. 😉

This story, though barely 20k words, has a lot of stuff in it. By stuff I mean the fun, flirty, falling-in-love bit and the happily-ever-after bit, but in addition to that, it has some of the nitty grittiest stuff I’ve ever written. Because I was crazy and overly-ambitious when I decided to write about a married couple going through a separation.

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Not only do these characters not feel the warm fuzzies of love, they are smack right in the middle of the sad and mad parts of love. The parts that no one likes to go through, much less talk about. And although this is a fictional story with fictional characters, there is a lot of truth behind the fiction. Truths that I’ve experienced and learned in my own marriage. Which is why it’s a little scary for me to lay it all out there.

But I did it and I’m very glad I did. Sometimes we need to read (and talk) about real life stuff. Because that’s the only way we’ll know we’re not alone. There’s comfort in knowing that all of us go through hard times (definitely some harder than others) and all of us struggle. That was my motivation in tackling this story head (and heart) on to try and make it the most realistic that I could, while weaving a thread of hope throughout (’cause I love happy endings!).

I can’t say too much more about it yet, but I’m excited to announce that my story will be part of a boxed set of winter-themed romance stories featuring kids. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to work with some awesome authors in putting this together for you all!

In the meantime, let me share the playlist I made for my story titled, “Tropical Kiss or Miss” (yes, it’s set in Hawaii!). Enjoy!

What are some fiction books you have read that contain a lot of truth?

Making Time for Relationships

I am such a task-oriented person, it’s not even funny. Especially not to the wonderful people in my life who sometimes have to jump up and down with their hands in the air for me to notice that I’ve been neglecting them (sorry hubby and munchkins!). But I was reminded today (thanks, E, for asking me to breakfast!) of the importance of making time for people. Because there are certain things you can only learn in a relationship, such as …

~ listening to others

~ being vulnerable and open with others

~ bearing with each other when dealing with different personalities/preferences

~ supporting someone through the hard times

~ giving your time, energy and heart to someone else

~ receiving feedback from others

~ and so much more!

If you didn’t notice, there’s a theme to the list above, namely the use of the words “others” and “someone”. Moreover, if you’ve lived for any amount of time on this earth, you’ll agree that we were born into relationships and we cannot survive without them.

Sometimes though the relationships we have in our families or with friends or colleagues are not the most healthy ones. Sometimes they’re just plain hurtful and damaging. But the good thing is that there are other healthy, supportive, and reliable people out there in the world who know how to love you more wholly and healthily. And there’s hope to be found in those relationships.

God didn’t mean for man to be alone—and as much as I’d like to think that only applies to the male species, I know us gals need relationships, too. 😉

So, let’s make time for the people in our lives who need us and whom we need as well. To-do lists and deadlines can wait, but love cannot.

Two of my favorite people in the world. :D (Look how tall they're getting!)

Two of my favorite people who have made me more relationship-oriented. 😀 (Look how tall they’re getting!)

Here’s a fun song about relationships, Paul McCartney’s “Got to Get You Into My Life”.

Who are your favorite people? 🙂

When The End is So Close (But Not Close Enough)

Oh sigh! This is how I’m feeling this week …

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I’m at the point in my WIP (work-in-progress) where all I can say is, “This story is killing me!” The characters are getting tired of me, I’m getting tired of them, and we (yes, all the voices in my head, haha!) just want to get this book done. The finish line is so close, but not close enough. I’m on the second to the last chapter and it’s taking me forever—the same kind of forever the kids experience during a car ride longer than 30 minutes—and I am pooped. So pooped that one evening after we were done with dinner, I just fell over onto the dining room chair next to me and shut my eyes. Hubby watched me go down and promptly murmured, “Oh no.” Don’t worry, he’s used to my writer’s drama by now. 😉 After venting to him about my struggle to finish my book, he stated (a little too matter-of-factly!), “That’s normal. The last 5% always requires 95% effort.”

Argh. That is so true. And why is hubby always right?!

I can remember having this similar struggle during my firstborn munchkin’s birth when the nurse told me (after hours of intense labor!) that I STILL had to push him out. Years later when I ran a 5k with my (much younger and energetic) sister, I was the one pushing myself up that final hill to reach the finish line. These days, each time I write a book, I also have to push through the uncertainty and frustration of writer’s block to get to the last page. In all these situations, I wanted to give up even though I was so, so close. Why is that?

Fatigue is probably a good reason. Actually, it’s likely THE reason. When we start out doing a project or task, we have all the optimism in the world that what we’re doing is going to be exciting and worthwhile. But that’s before we face the bumps in the road and have to work hard to overcome those obstacles. So by the time we’re nearing the end, we’re weary and maybe very disillusioned. That’s why the last 5% requires us to give all we’ve got—and then some.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to do this with my writing. One thing that’s been helping is to tackle each 1% of this last 5% by itself. I’ve found that forcing myself to write in short 15 minute spurts keeps me focused and limits the amount of time I’m staring at the screen. I also reward myself after the 15 minutes are up with some TV (for research purposes, of course!) or a walk or a snack. There’s been times when I’ve been so focused and productive during the 15 minutes that I have no problem going over that time, so I keep on typing! And the more I can focus and type, the closer I get to the finish line.

All righty, all this talk about finishing is motivating me to go write! And here’s a song I’ve had on repeat to help me do just that. Check out Justin Timberlake’s new song, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”, a catchy dance tune that will put a smile on your face. 🙂

What do you do to get through that last 5% of whatever it is you’re pushing to finish? 

Taking the Practicality Out of Relationships

Ask any of my girlfriends and they’ll tell you I have the best mother-in-law in the world. God totally blessed my socks off with her, and I’m forever grateful that we have a good relationship. The original Mama Ho is a sweet, spunky lady who once caught a fish with her bare hands when she was a little girl. She LOVES pizza, possibly more than my cheese-lovin’ son does, but moreover, she loves her family through her words and deeds. When the munchkins were small, she stayed with us for extended periods and helped us out by cooking and cleaning. There were times when I found her on her hands and knees cleaning our bathrooms, and boy, did I feel terrible (not to mention, embarrassed about the state of the toilets)! Even when I insisted she didn’t need to do that, she would always say, “You’re busy with the kids; I have nothing to do” and continue to bless me. She also prays for us with the sincerity and earnestness of a mother’s and grandmother’s heart.

These days, she and my father-in-law have their own place about twenty minutes away and just so happen to live about ten minutes away from hubby’s workplace. And because my mother-in-law is always thinking about how to help us, she’s been cooking for us for the past few years. Twice a week, hubby will stop by her place after work and pick up a hot, home-cooked, yummy meal, and bring it home. Let me tell you, it’s amazing to have dinner just show up on the dining table. (If you can’t tell by now, cooking is not one of my favorite pastimes!) And my mother-in-law takes her “job” so seriously that she hardly ever misses a day and she’ll even be disappointed when she can’t cook for us.

Which is why when hubby changed jobs a couple of years ago to work in the city, he still made a weekly trip to my mother-in-law’s. Back then, his commute home consisted of a one hour ride on BART (the Bay Area’s public rail service) where he usually had to stand the whole time due to a lack of seats. Then when he picked up his car in our home city, he would drive another 60-90 minutes (roundtrip) to get dinner. By the time he reached home, he was pooped. 🙁

It wasn’t long before I began thinking that it wasn’t worth it for my mother-in-law to continue cooking for us. I really didn’t mind making dinner if it meant hubby could come home earlier and not have to sit in bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic. So I relayed my thoughts to hubby, but was shocked to hear his perspective.

“But my mom loves to cook. I don’t mind picking up dinner. Sometimes letting other people help us, helps them.”

WHAT?! All the practical, no-nonsense alarms went off in my head and I wanted to spew off a list of reasons of why it didn’t make sense. It was not efficient, economical or a good use of time. Right? But then, hm…. I thought about his statement and began to understand what he was saying.

As a square gal, I often get caught up in the logistics of things. I want to make sure I use my time well and get the best deals. I aim for practicality and efficiency. I want things done my way (which is of course, the best way, haha). But if there’s one thing I’ve come to realize since becoming a mom, it’s that not everything can be planned, organized or controlled. When people are involved, the intangibles outweigh the details. Personalities and preferences come into play. Feelings, motivations, and needs must be considered.

Because sometimes it’s not about you. Okay, most of the time, it’s not about you. When you have a relationship with someone—a friend, spouse, child, or other family member—you can’t always be practical. But you can always choose to love. And sometimes, loving means doing things that don’t follow your plan. It means seeing the bigger picture. It can mean letting others help us even though it’s not the most efficient thing to do. Because most all of the time, loving someone means treasuring the person’s heart. And that makes the most sense of all.

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong/freedigitalphotos.net

Take a listen to this beautiful song, “For Good”, sung by Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel (from the musical, “Wicked”) that sums up how our relationships touch us. I love the lyrics: “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good”.

Who in your life has taught you the value of relationships?

The Quest for Perfection

I was a naive freshman in college, walking around with a load of books on my back and a new, strange world of possibilities in front when someone posed this question to me:

“Do you think it’s possible for us to be perfect and without sin? Even for just one second? Like maybe when you’re in the middle of worshipping God?”

That someone was my small group leader, an outgoing, assertive girl two years older than me. We were sitting in her apartment, along with a couple of other freshman girls, talking about the Bible. The discussion was interesting, if not ordinary, until that question popped up.

There was silence, and something in my brain or heart didn’t feel right about her theory. I had sat through enough sermons and Sunday school lessons to know that the whole point of Jesus dying on the cross was to save us from our sins. If we could be perfect for even a second, why would we need to be saved? Couldn’t we then try a little harder to be perfect until we got good at it? That’s a rhetorical question of course. Even if we did everything we possibly could think of, or didn’t do anything at all, we still wouldn’t get any closer to perfection.

Because perfection is not a feeling or an act or thought or even a state of being. It’s more an essence, something intrinsic, and at the core.

But the thing is, even though we can’t achieve perfection, we’re always on the quest for it. We want the best results at school or work, we want the ideal marriage, we want the healthiest kids. We even want the cleanest and shiniest produce at the grocery store. (Tell me I’m not the only one who inspects a dozen pieces of fruit before picking the “perfect” one. LOL)

Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix/freedigitalphotos.net

Why then do we have an obsession with perfection? Maybe because we were made to appreciate beauty. To be drawn to wholeness. To desire goodness.

Perfection isn’t a bad thing. But when we look around at the world, and the people in it, and especially ourselves, we see quite the opposite. There’s a lot of imperfection out there and there’s just as much in us, too.

Sounds pretty hopeless, doesn’t it? But it isn’t.

It’s a good thing we can’t be perfect and without sin. Not even for one millisecond. Because the burden to be perfect would be too great. It would crush us. Instead, it crushed the only Perfect One who took our place on the cross. That’s the perfection of the Gospel. That’s why tomorrow is Good Friday and Easter Sunday is even gooder. 🙂

Perfection isn’t the enemy. But if we’re going to pursue perfection, may we pursue Jesus, the only one who can make us whole.

Take a listen to Tori Kelly’s song, “Hollow”, which she has described (when she was a guest mentor on The Voice) as her prayer to God. I love these lyrics:

“I confess my weakness
Till you pick up the parts that are broken
Pour out your perfection on me now”

What have you been chasing in your quest for perfection?