Notes from my week in Italy:


We are merely moving shadows,

And all our busy rushing ends in nothing…

And so, Lord,

Where do I put my hope?

My only hope is in You.

Psalm 39:7



One thing I am coming to love about Italians is their seemingly peace-filled coexistence with imperfection.

These are people dedicated to beauty. Artists, creators, storytellers, masterpiece makers. They have spent centuries improving this Eden they call Italy.

And yet… nothing is perfect.

Bricks crumble, houses lean, tiles crack, weeds grow. Life happens.

And instead of scrambling to fix it all and paint it all perfect, these people just settle comfortably into their sun-drenched skin and live.

They raise less-than-perfect children in their less-than-perfect houses where they cook less-than-perfect pasta with freshly picked less-than-perfect tomatoes.

Nothing goes to waste.

Who needs massive box stores when the tiny Farmacia down that twisiting lane will sell you 1 roll of skimpy, scratchy toilet paper at a time? And why bother with wash cloths? Or daily showers? A quick rinse of who-knows-what in that thingy-ma-jig in the bathroom and we’re good to go.

And yet beauty is everywhere. Ancient beauty— worn and lived and survived and thrived and lived-a-little-more kind of loveliness.  So different from this gotta-have-every-scratch-covered-over kind of plasticity that drives my life.

I rest here. Breathe a deep sigh of relief from all my striving, my lists, my worry about getting it all done in time to do more…

And this morning while I sit on a cracked stone bench in an untended garden of imperfect artistry, my soul sinks into silence.

List-less. Sun-filled. Quieted.

Cease striving, He whispers.

All your rushing, fixing, improving, redoing, list making, achieving is simply wearing you down, rendering you useless to Me.

I don’t require perfection...

I make beauty in your brokenness when you simply soak Me in.

Of course.

I forgot.


And so I’ll spend this day remembering that all this less-than-perfect world I relish is just a backdrop for His beauty.

And I’ll soak… and cease striving… and know Him.

From my heart,