Monday, April 6, 2015

I was watching a Christmas movie the other day—something I enjoy no what the time of year. This was one of my favorites, so of course, I had seen it before, many times. Suddenly, I saw something I’d never noticed before: 

Do you see it? I’ll wait while you look again. 

Yep, there it is. The actress’s headband goes from beige in the first scene, to brown in the next. And several scenes later, she’s back to beige: 

Mistakes like this happen all the time. Despite rounds of edits, and many pairs of eyes, stuff slips through. Sometimes, it’s only after reviewing something over and over that the flaws even become visible. 

Over the years, I’ve learned that people are like that. I’m like that. I make the same mistakes over and over, and am disappointed when the results are no different than the first time I tried. 

Maybe the reason flaws are so hard to spot is because we are so enamored with the way something SHOULD be, and not the way it is. 

 But hold on…sometimes, the opposite is equally as true. We scrutinize our every blemish, failing, and fault. We beat ourselves up. We compare. We criticize. 

Where is the balance? 

As a writer, I receive a fair bit of criticism, some of it external, and some (too much actually) internal. And what the blip from this movie showed me is that none of us are perfect. We’re flawed, but still lovely. After all, did the mistake in this movie ruin my enjoyment of it? No. Was I disappointed? Was the outcome changed? No. In fact, the movie was no more…and no less…than it was before I noticed the mistake. 

Maybe all of us need to realize that we'll never be the ideal we long for in our imagining. We can strive to be better, and in fact, I believe we should! But finding the balance between what is good and lovely, and what is harmful and destructive, is equally as important. 

So today, I reached a decision. I am going to feel out the flaws inside of me. I’m going to examine them, analyze them, and admit to them. And then I’m going to strive to be better than I was yesterday. Not by beating myself up for my shortcomings. Instead, I’m going to learn to love myself for who I am now, and not who I hope to be. After all, who I am, is all I have. 

BTW…bonus points if you can tell me the name of the movie I snatched the scenes from above. 

Elizabeth Ludwig is the bestselling author of Christmas Comes to Bethlehem, Maine and the highly successful Edge of Freedom series from Bethany House Publishers. Her popular literary blog, The Borrowed Book, enjoys a wide readership. Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending conferences and seminars where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Along with her husband and children, she makes her home in the great state of Texas. To learn more, visit 


  1. The Christmas Card! Love it!

  2. One of my favorite Christmas movies too! The Christmas Card.


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