Growing up, my mom was a great cook! She made all the traditional “comfort foods” that were simple and delicious. But somewhere in elementary school, my dad discovered the Frugal Gourmet and Emeril Lagasse. He learned to make dishes that we couldn’t pronounce and even seasoned foods while yelling “bam!” like Emeril (sometimes unsuccessfully, but that’s a whole different post). For years, my dad was the sole chef in our home and friends from college can even attest to visiting our house just to eat his food!
We have since added spouses and babies to our family, and gatherings that center around food are one of our favorite things to do! A few years ago my mom decided she wanted to make us all dinner. While that wasn’t out of the ordinary, she chose to make pasta “with the good sauce, like they do in the restaurants.” Fancy restaurant food had never been part of her repertoire, so we weren’t sure exactly what she meant. But if someone wants to make you food, you don’t ask questions!
Well, apparently, restaurants mince up the meat for their meat sauce, so my mom wanted to do the same. Unfortunately she didn’t know that you are supposed to mince the meat by itself. Instead, she added it to the red sauce and put the whole thing in the food processor. As I was pulling garlic bread from the oven, I heard her shriek and then saw her double over in laughter! My oldest daughter walked over and looked at the food processor and said, “Ummmm, what is it?” Through her tears of laughter my mom blurted out, “ALPO!!!” Putting the sauce in the food processor had resulted in a thick, gritty, pinkish, unappetizing glob.
We ordered pizza and still laugh every time we talk about it.
When people ask about my favorite memories, those are the ones that come to mind: the ones where something went wrong and we had the ability to laugh about it. When things don’t go as planned the story is often better for it!
Life isn’t perfect. But it’s a beautiful mess if we embrace the imperfect-ness. As a mom, I have to remind myself that my kids need to see me make mistakes. They need to see that even at my age, I still need grace.
“The Lord said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can dwell in me!” 2 Corinthians 12:9
We were never meant to pursue perfection. We were made to need Jesus to fill in all the voids of our lives. So try! Try to learn a new skill. Try that “thing” that you don’t think you can do. Try to make restaurant pasta sauce! And if you don’t succeed, that’s okay too. Pursue imperfect-ness so that others can see us in all of our real-ness. That’s the good stuff where memories are made.
Share with us a time when things didn’t go as planned but you have great memories from it!
By His Grace,