Dr. Pepper, family, chocolate and messes…what in the world do these things have in common? The things I’m thankful for! Gotta have something sweet in life. 😉 Every November, we do a thankfulness jar where we each write the different things we are thankful for. As I started thinking about that this year, The Lord continued to prompt me to be thankful for the messes in my life. Now I don’t know what your mess is, but my current mess comes through the hands of 4 adorable, but busy, children: Addie, Lexie, Avery & Preston.
Our kids are my life, literally. I have decided they have each personally taken on the challenge to keep our home as full as possible. “Of course mom wants all the toys dumped on the kitchen floor. Why should they be put in a bin nice and neat?” “Markers are for paper? Really?? I thought they were meant for furniture!” And I could list many more examples, as you with children could too.
It overwhelms me, the mess. Sometimes enough where I’m ready to give up and live in it. Our breakfast area is the main culprit as this is where we spend most of the time. Recently one evening, I walked in this room and saw it this way and just hung my head in defeat. The mess had won again. That’s when God’s whisper became a shout. “Be thankful for this mess.” He reminded me to not turn away. Don’t hide from it. Don’t downplay the mess.
Embrace it. Embrace the meaning of the mess. Remember how I said earlier that my kids are my life? For me, that is a dream come true – I adore being a mom. I just had no idea how hard it would be. But if the mess was permanently removed from my home, my dream would be removed as well. My kids are the mess. But what a joyful mess they are!
A mess can be so much more than something physical in your space. It can include something sticky in your career, a family situation that brings sorrow instead of joy, a marriage holding on by the barest of threads, a mental exhaustion that leaves you feeling more of a hindrance to the world instead of a blessing. God places us in these circumstances for a reason. He wants us to choose appreciation over defeat. Take a minute and think of your mess, and instead of it causing your heart to skip a beat in panic, what can the hidden blessing be behind it? The messes are in our life for a reason and it typically is not what is obviously blaring in our face. I love this scripture where God gives a promise through His son that He holds all of our messes in His hands.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I (Jesus) have overcome the world.” John 16:33b
I challenge you to not be overwhelmed by your mess, but find something to be thankful about for it. Ask God what is the good behind it. Then find someone else to share your mess with; they may be struggling in the same way or can bring great encouragement to you. Don’t let your mess define you in a negative way.
Now for me in this exact moment, I’m celebrating that all of my sweet messes are snuggled in their beds and all toys are put away. I’m off to finish my Dr. Pepper with my feet up. 🙂