Accepting the unfinished

It’s okay to let things be, even though they are unfinished and incomplete.

I have written books that will only exist in computer files, rough and unread. I have made plans for houses that I will never live in again. I have started learning, only to forget.

Incomplete. Unfinished. Wanting. Imperfect. Partial. Lacking. Fragments. Inadequate. Deficient. Garbled. Half-done. Meager. Rudimentary. Undeveloped. Unpolished. Rough. Sloppy. Failed. Broken.

But I am not looking for perfection. In everything I try, I grow. In everything I attempt, I learn.

And that is enough. It is enough to learn and grow and to move on and leave the fractions behind.

Sometimes the attempt teaches us so much that it does not need completion.

My life is a whole, not because it a collection of what I have completed, but because it is a collection of unrealized ideas that slowly became who I am.

And there is no use in finishing something without potential. Realizing problems and moving away from them is not failure, but wisdom. 

Sometimes, I keep trying. Today . . .

I move forward.

essay, fractured

so much

I keep writing and the words are difficult to express. Life is so much bigger than I ever imagined. It is filled with so much more joy, sorrow, questions, answers, doubt, and faith. It is so much more complicated sometimes, and yet in other moments it seems so incredibly simple.

When I moved to our new home, I knew it would be difficult. But I did it anyway. And it has been difficult. But there have also been such good moments: working on this house and cleaning it out and making new things like doors and curtains; playing games or reading books with my children in the evening, exhausted but knowing that it’s important to give them those moments; the kind words and the prayers from my friends and my family; looking outside at the beautiful fall farm landscape that surrounds me.

I miss my husband quite a lot. We’ve had deep disappointments, doubts, and discouragement, but at the end of it, I know things will work out for our good. That doesn’t mean we will have an easy life and get everything we think we want–it means that we will be able to learn and to be made into better people. It means that we will have experiences that will make us a little more kind and a little more humble. It means that we will look back and be so glad that everything happened the way it did.

I am at a place where I can’t accomplish my to-do list anymore. It’s simply too big and I don’t have the time of day to accomplish all of it and properly take care of myself and my children. So I try to take care of the things that matter most. Then the laundry doesn’t get folded and the house never gets dusted and the microwave is still dirty. It is a strange feeling to leave so much undone, since for the most part throughout my life, I have been able to accomplish whatever I set my mind to.

But now I have to prioritize things. And I get quite a peaceful feeling in knowing that the things that don’t really matter will wait for later.

I’m not perfect. My computer sucks me in. The kids watch too many movies sometimes. I forget to put pellets in the fireplace and the fire goes out.

But I’m going to keep trying. That’s hope right there: I’m an incredibly flawed person and life is hard and I’m going to keep at it anyway.



I am home. It will never really be my home–it belongs to more than me. My Grandpa built this house, and it is a house that has to be loved in order for it to continue to exist. I do love it: when I wake up and look across to the golden hillside in the fall, or I see the kids playing and having fun. I love this house because I have come to it as long as I can remember, and my kids now play with the same toys that I did. This is house is unique: thick cement walls, vast storage areas, and trellis on the ceiling. Right now, it is a rectangle that we live in, no doors separating us. But we don’t mind, really. The kids run outside or hide under beds. I discover stuff in closets and pull out bags to sort it. I think of plans to change it and yet I am sort of happy with how it is right now. Completely imperfect, and yet we can exist here.

I can throw away my moving boxes now. I can tear things apart and put them back together again. No one else will live here. No one else will fix the problems. I have lived temporarily for so long I am not sure how to adjust to permanency. It is new and weird to me, and maybe it will never really feel totally permanent at all. It will just be my life, day after day. And maybe when I have combined what was with what I have created, it will become so much a part of me that I won’t even consider it anymore–home as an afterthought, because home feels so right.



reality is never quite what you expect

more full of joy than you imagined

yet pulling back at you is the struggle

everything is bigger than you imagined



what do you want to be when you grow up

becomes a fairy tale because

your dreams are merely fantasy

and you are instead left with that fact

that dreams never really come true

because life is different from your thoughts


failure is an unexpected detour, turning onto

the unending route of reality

the destination forgotten because it never existed


and yet this is not a roller coaster of ups and downs

it’s a journey in a landscape

failure is not a trench, but a valley of everything