proof is in the…grace?

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When I try to control my life, I make an utter mess of it.

And I know I have been doing so when I feel surrounded, inside & out with mess.

God, however, sees my mess far differently than I do.

I want to clean up my messes until I am spotless, and no sign of the mess remains behind to give a viewer any inkling there had been any mess at all.

I sweep my messes under my internal carpet & put on my public face before I go out…but the mess remains within.

God says He has washed me pure as snow, and He doesn’t see the big pile of mess that I do.

He sees building materials for the message He wants to make out of my mess.

I am made 100% clean through Jesus, but the scars that remain behind? They speak to Him of where He is taking me; they speak to me of all the struggles, guilt & shame i see in those same scars.

I see remnants of mess, He sees beauty in the making.

In the last few years, I  have been learning its okay to let people see the mess within. Not everybody, but as God has led me to share to a chosen few, my stress has ebbed from trying to hide my mess.

Because we all want to be known and accepted for who we are, right now, in the middle of the newness He is making from the mess on hand.

For we can’t always see what those around us do, how far we have come as we have followed Him.

Our emotions can fog up our vision if we let them have them loudest voice.

I don’t want my stress or mess to be the loudest voice I speak, I want His message to be the words i cling to, and the words i share as He leads.

When you move beyond standing in the midst of your mess, you may catch a glimpse of the message He is knitting together from the broken strands left behind.

Master Creator, His tapestries reveal the glory of their Maker.

You, and i? We are examples of His abundant grace, with which He covers our mess.

Say yes to His dress for you.
Let Him weave the mess into a stunning array of grace, to be worn every day.

Our mess will become something so much greater in His loving hands!

messy

People are messy; therefore, relationships will be messy. Don’t be surprised by messiness.

-Tim Keller

Life is messy.

Not just your space when you share it with others, or don’t tidy up after yourself.

People all have their own way of thinking, and expectations of how things will/should/could be…
and that difference truly makes life messy.

The real messiness comes out in how we each express our mess:

Harsh words flung like stones

Unforgiveness bouncing genuine repentance back in your face

Slander sticking like mud balls

Gossip burning in your ears as whispers occur behind your back

Neglect causing love to wilt, lose its bloom

Denial destroying the possibility of something new

Selfishness messing up the inside as well as your surroundings

Life is a mess.

Quite frankly, we are all at times, as my Nana used to say, in need of a swift boot to the backside, as we are obviously a few cards short of a deck.

Because humanity continually messes everything up, as is pretty self evident from history, Jesus came to earth.

The mess got a personal message from God Himself:

There is another way.

By letting go of our inner mess, and all that word bundles together within each of us, God releases the Spirit to fill us with all we need to stay healthy, love one another well, and live a life with purpose.

Our mess becomes transformed into a message.

A beacon to those lost on their own messes, struggling to keep their heads above water, losing hope, just surviving each day.

Your past does not guarantee you a future down that path.

Your future is only set based on one decision.

Will you let the Message take you, mess that you are, and transform you into His messenger to a hurting, messed up world?

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oh where is my hairbrush?

I am a put it back in its spot kinda gal.
Not too OCD about it, but I like to be able to easily find my stuff. My son is a lot like me in this way.

Not so my hubby or daughter. They have the ‘where it lands, there it will stay’ approach when they gets stressed or are working too hard, which is most of the time it seems.

This causes pile ups where open space should be.

I have five must have open/keep it tidy areas in my small cozy home:
My coffee table
My front hall
My kitchen counters & table
My main bathroom counter
The bottom of the stairs

I don’t care about toilet paper or toothpaste unless you leave me without any. Another story for another day!

Nor the computer desk (about a 1-2 min straighten job) which we all share in our living room.

But when movies get randomly placed about the house, stuff is piled right by the front door so its the first thing you see when you come in my home, and there is more stuff in the way so I can’t get into my basement, well I get ticked.

Annoyed.

I make sure that I have certain foods in the house for my family members, I make sure I pay the bills, arrange transportation when needed, do the bulk of the laundry, the grocery shopping and meal planning. The taxes. Vacation planning.

Not whining, coz I love my family, and want to serve. Just saying.

All of the above, like many other moms, on top of working outside the home.

And I am tired of feeling it is ALL on my plate, ALL of the time.

So today, after a cool down period offsite, I came home and spoke up.

My son is taking on a few more weekly chores, which he can choose to do whenever, as long as they get done.

My daughter has a major project she needs to get done on time or a new needed item she wants will not be purchased next weekend.

My hubby has agreed to do a few of the smaller weekly jobs I cannot do easily due to allergies/physical challenges.

The laundry and cooking schedule is going up later tonight. You are on unless you arrange a trade!

After a frustrating inconvenient hour trying to locate MY hairbrush, the final straw for me today, I realized that part of the problem was me.

You see, NOT speaking up and trying to do it all yourself is not only crazy for its superhero mentality, it is overwhelmingly not realistic.

It is okay to say you can’t, or you need help.

Its okay to say no, you are not meeting my needs (not wants in this case).

In fact, its healthier than keeping it in and brooding over situations like this, which can lead to a sudden storm of anger over a smaller irritation yet to come….potentially damaging relationships in the burst of emotions.

So I have accepted that it is okay that I like things mostly in their place. That I want to be tidy, not an obsessive neat freak- but comfortable to have any friend (mine, hubby’s or the kids’) stop by and visit last minute without being embarrassed by the state of my home.

I want to feel welcome in my home.
Free to be me, but also teach and demonstrate to the rest of my family the art of consideration for those we live with- whether family, friends, roommates or pets.

The crisis is over.
I found my hairbrush.
The stairs have been cleared of the items that tried to trip me last night.
I also discovered a few new boundaries going into place in the process.

Family is a team, not full of solo participants. All working together for the good of the whole.

Its about we, not just me’s.

yes in my mess

I am saying yes in my mess.
Yes to letting God mess up my day the way He wants it to look:

Today I worked a day shift versus the evening shift in usually work on Mondays. I somehow got more done than usual, and now have some downtime to read, write & relax.

I had an unexpected treat waiting for me at work. One of my coworkers brought in a special yummy snack as an early birthday present, as my work celebration is being delayed so we can include my boss who is currently away. Somehow, I now get to celebrate twice at that job ­čÖé

I connected with another coworker, and am now ahead on another project as a result. We normally miss each other on my evening shift.

I got up early to help my son edit an assignment, had enough time to throw dinner on the crock pot & get to eat with my guys at dinner time, which I don’t get to do on Mondays when I work the late shift.

We even had time to watch a fave show episode together before they had to leave for their evening plans.

I was able to clearly hear God direct me to do something outside of my comfort zone after work, but He so knew what He was doing.

My house is semi-clean, the dishwasher is running at full speed, there is a bit of laundry yet to be done and the pots are piled by the sink waiting to be washed.

But by saying yes to the change to today in all its messy glory, God got more done with my willingness than had I grumbled and flight His changes all day long.

I still have stuff within me that is a mess. Unresolved feelings, occasions memories that return to momentarily scorch me, aches and pains, just like all the rest of us.

I find that by inviting God into the mess, the random becomes purposeful. A plan emerges. That which needs to get done does, whether its a task, a conversation or a prayer.

The atmosphere within me changes. I feel less messy within, more able and capable knowing He is guiding me through today.

Yes to my mess, Lord.
You can have it all.

And somehow it becomes less mess and more Presence in the exchange.

A beautiful, inexplicable day unfolds when we give that day over to You.

Less mess, more MESSage.

May You be the MESSage they seen despite my mess.

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