The Write Word

Perfect Houses - Gingerbread and Otherwise

There they were, the gingerbread 
houses of my dreams. 
 Perfect miniatures made of cookie sides, 
sugary snow coating with candy pieced doors, 
windows, shutters and roof detailing,  
even little gumdrop evergreen shrubs.  
Beautiful, just beautiful.  
And we could make them ourselves.  
Sort of.  

The package included everything you needed 
to make this picture perfect mini village.
The gingerbread planks came in a solid sheet 
and as I began to break them apart, 
some of them CAME apart.  
Not at the seams.  
No problem, I’d just glue them
 together on the inside with icing and it 
wouldn’t show on the outside.  
Or so I hoped.  

Then came the attaching of the sides & roof. 
 Let me pause here to say that I discovered, 
and quick,
 where the former torture experts 
who labored so effectively under 
the rule of Saddam Hussein went.  
They relocated to the labs of the 
Wilton Company where they plan 
and write directions for Gingerbread House Kits. 

Despite their best efforts to drive me 
over the edge with their directions 
I persevered and built the houses 
by a better plan. 
 I doubled the icing and glued
 those babies together by making a SOLID brick 
of icing with gingerbread sides and tops.  
After surviving an HOUR of 
“Is it done yet”, 
much akin to Chineese water torture, 
I turned the wee ones loose on the village. 

I helpfully placed the box, with its 
beautifully decorated photograph prominently 
displayed as a helpful guide 
for my children’s work.  
But no, they did not need it.  
And try as I might to make careful, 
thoughtful suggestions like 
 and “Maybe the door would be best piped 
on the house front… not the roof” 
they persisted in doing it their way.  

So I backed off and let them at it. 
 I watched as gumdrop shrubs disappeared 
into little mouths, candy beads and sprinkles 
were added willy nilly with no rhyme or reason.  
Doors were put on roofs, 
“So the helicopter pilot can get in easy”,  
shrubs were planted on the roof 
“They will get better shade and save electricity” 
and half the candy confetti was 
sprinkled on the ground, 
“So the puppies will have something to eat”.  

Needless to say our village looked nothing 
like the village on the box.  
The Wilton Candy Masters would have 
hung their heads in shame.  
But to me, it looks beautiful.  

No,  it is not the picture of perfection.  
But it is something even more lovely.  
It is the artistic expression from the 
hands of 3 of the most important 
little people on the planet. 
 It is a reflection of my children’s 
individuality and creativity.  
And to me it is priceless.  Imperfections and all.

I suppose that is how my 
Heavenly Father sees my life.  
Not as picture perfect, because it is not. 
I take the pieces He gives me, 
some I have cracked in my impatience, 
some I have dropped in my haste, 
some I have misplaced or misused. 
 The perfect pieces were always there, 
just not always handled properly. 
 The instructions were there, 
just not always followed as carefully 
as they should have been.  
And I have suffered from it. 

So I continue to work with the imperfections 
that are left, and I have the hope, the promise, 
that when I am done, and when the work is completed, 
it will be beautiful.  
So I work to build a life that honors Him, 
  1. cracked pieces and all.