Over the past couple years I have found that Messy Beauty describes my life. I find everything I do is just plain ol’ messy; the way I cook, clean, organize my life, it’s all a hot mess. It can drive my perfectionist side crazy, but I’m learning to embrace my messiness and to look for the beauty in the midst of it.
So that is the goal of this blog: to find beauty in the midst of life’s messes. And to start off this blog, I want to share a story that happened here in our home just a few nights ago. I find that it perfectly captures the spirit behind this blog’s name.
March 17, 2014
Today was one of those parenting days, where I ended up on the floor of our hallway upstairs to have a good cry by myself. I was exhausted, down, and felt empty – empty in the sense that I had nothing left to give, after having given and given and given all.day.long. to my little girls.
As I was crying, I heard Mercy calling for me and climbing the stairs at the same time. She saw my prostrated body on the floor and hesitantly drew near. I looked up with tears in my eyes and reached out my arm. She got on her knees and we wrapped our arms around each other. This of course caused me to cry even more.
She drew back and looked intently into my eyes, and asked, “What’s wrong, Mommy?” I wiped my eyes and nose and said quietly, “I’m just having a down day. I’m tired, I’m sad, and I just need a good cry.”
She then grabbed me by the hand and said, “Let’s go to bed. Let me take you to bed.” She ‘helped’ me up and led me by hand to my room. On the way there she looked at me and tenderly said, “I know it’s hard sleeping on the floor.” I smiled. When we got to the room, she helped clear off the bed and said, “There you go! … Can I snuggle with you? Will that make you happy?” I replied, “Of course! That would make me happy.”
We snuggled close under the blankets, and she grabbed my hand and said, “I will make you happy, Momma.” And she kissed the back of my hand. (At this point, my heart is just one big puddle within me).
She asked, “What will make you happy? Hmm… I don’t know what will make you happy… Oh! I know! You can read me a book! Will that make you happy?” I smiled softly and said, “Honey, I don’t really want to read a book right now. I’m sorry.” She then replied, “I’LL read YOU a book then! Will that make you happy?” Smiling bigger now, I said, “Yes, that would make me happy.”
She scurried off to her room to get a book and before I know it, she’s back in bed snuggling close and reading to me the Christmas Story. At one point she pointed to baby Jesus, and said, “That will make you happy!” I couldn’t help but smile and chuckle and nod in agreement.
After the book she looked at me and asked, “What makes you happy, Momma?” I smiled, feeling lighter now, and said, “Well, resting a little bit, and sometimes sleeping can help me feel better. And chocolate, of course. And snuggling with you. Snuggling with you always makes me happy.”
Right then John walked into the room carrying baby Eden, and she was kicking and squealing as she had heard my voice from down the hall. John set her on the bed and she crawled over and laid on my chest and burrowed her head into my neck. Right then, my heart went from feeling overwhelmed with exhaustion and stress to being overwhelmed by the love, the incredible love of two little girls and one amazing man. Instead of tears of sadness, a tear of such deep gratitude trickled down my cheek.
Thank you, sweet Lord, for these people in my life. Thank you for a family that loves me when I don’t have it together. Thank you for bringing fullness to where there is emptiness. For joy where there is sadness. Thank you for the grace that comes from unexpected places and meets us in the midst of our messes. Thank you.