We are supposed to be knotted, marked and bruised…

Today’s postcard brought to you by an anniversary. My wife and I are celebrating 17 years of marriage (in the very near future). The internet tells me I should buy her furniture. I am not sure why it is furniture, but if the internet says it’s true, it must be. So, I decided to make a kitchen table for the family. Let me start by saying I am not a master builder, and doing this is outside my comfort zone, but that is what living is all about to me. Doing something that is outside your comfort zone, growing.

When I started building the table, I realized the boards reminded me a lot of life. The wood was imperfect, scarred, knotted and uneven, but imperfectly beautiful. In life, there is scarring both physical and emotional we get knotted, marked, and bruised. However, we always have the chance to add a layer of shine to our knots, scars, and bruises. In our table the shine came from sanding and a maple stain to lift the natural beauty from the lumber. The knots tell the story of the tree’s life, just like the scar above my right eye or the wrinkles on my face. I have earned every “blemish” and every single one tells a story; some were painful, and some like the lines on my face are from laughing and from 42 years of life, a beautifully scarred life.

It would be disingenuous to only pick lumber without any knots or scars to tell our story, one of love, friendship, and grit. Our story has beautiful knots, scars, and bruises. Together we are raising three great kids, have suffered the loss of loved ones, received an autism diagnosis, completed two master’s degrees, started a nonprofit, failed, and succeeded. In a nutshell, we are living. We are creating our life. Living a joy-filled life doesn’t preclude you from being marked, knotted, and bruised. I see it almost as a requirement! It means that you are present and doing the best you can in that moment. What will you do to add a layer of shine to your life?

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