For the past several years, my youngest daughter and I have made “gingerbread” houses. Sometimes we make our dough, and sometimes we use a kit as the base and spruce it up to our liking. This year we bought a kit and deviated a lot. The end product looks nothing like the kit, which was very intentional. Imperfections and all we love it!!

We spent time looking at ideas online, Pinterest, Instagram, and so on. We wanted the windows of the house to have a stained glass look. This was when our tough life lesson began. You see, the gingerbread pieces are solid! We wanted to cut out the outline of the windows so we could make the stain glass effect. No big deal, right? Wrong!! The very first piece completely shattered and started to crumble as we cut out the windows. Honestly, we almost gave up and threw it in the trash. My husband had to referee a yelling/almost cursing match between my daughter and me (oops!). We walked away for a bit and then figured it out. Warming up the pieces a bit helped to soften them to get the Exacto knife through them. But, we still had the shattered piece. Thank goodness for patience and super glue! We got it back together.

It did not look pretty, but we knew we would be covering it with pretzels to have a log house look, and from the outside, no one would ever know. The stained glass turned out great! It’s impressive what lifesavers and a warm oven can do. The rest of the assembly went pretty well. We decided it would be super cool to have lights in our house so you could see the effect of the stained glass. The only problem was, all the windows were done, and we had glued all the pieces together. My daughter got out her food torch and melted the window on the back of the house to get light inside. Brilliant! Again, problem-solving. The very front windows above the doors do not have light because there is another piece behind them, but that’s okay—nothing we could have done about that.

It is now fully decorated with some details and accessories, and we are thrilled with the way it turned out, imperfections and all! We had a vision, and our hard work, dedication, and perseverance paid off! I am sharing pictures of the original kit, our broken piece that now looks amazing, and our final masterpiece. Now, if you have read this far, thank you! I did not plan to post any of this, but my heart had a different idea today!

Here is what is on my heart.  Life is full of challenges. There are times you feel broken or even want to crumble and give up (almost like our first gingerbread piece). But then something inside you says, I have a purpose!! So what do you do? Take a deep breath, dig deep and do whatever it takes so you feel whole again. In our case, it was super glue and a lot of it. But in real life, it may be therapy, more time with God, family, friends, or a combination of all. Find the glue that helps you. The scars may never go away, but if you work on your inner self first, your outer self may begin to feel more whole. Please remember, broken, crumbled, or put back together whole; you have a purpose!! Whatever struggles you may be having, I am praying for you! If you are not struggling, I am still praying for you! We are all perfectly imperfect!! Go out there and be the light!! Have a blessed week!