The Messy Life

In mainstream Christianity, there is the temptation to appear perfect. Perfect family, finances, marriage, children and home. It’s almost as if we believe that Jesus died so that we could have the perfect life and if our lives don’t match up to the airbrushed, glossy images we see on television and in the magazines, then we must not have enough faith or we must be failing somewhere in our walks. It doesn’t help either that the “American Dream” feeds this temptation. We’re conditioned from birth to desire the perfect marriage, house, 2.5 kids, a dog and the white picket fence.

However, the one major lesson that being a Mommy has taught me in the last 5 months is that life is messy! There is no getting around it. Life is chaotic, unpredictable, challenging and messy! Yes, life is filled with great joys and rewards, but it can also be very messy. If you’re a working mother, then you know what I’m talking about! You know that your house will not always be immaculate. The dishes will not always get washed. You will not always be the “trophy wife” with makeup on every day and every hair in place. You will not always be in the best attitude to minister to your husband and child(ren), and it’s OK. It’s OK to be perfectly human.

A perfect example is my little K. My husband and I can wash K up, iron his perfect little outfit, lotion him up and comb his hair and 20 minutes later, he will have a poop explosion so large that poop covers his entire back! In fact, the poop explosion will be so large that poop gets on my clothes, my new couch, and all over the floor. In the secular world, they would say, “Poop happens!” It’s the same with life. We can clean everything up, plan our work and work our plans, but somehow, the disruptions, disturbances or poop in life shows up and it’s OK.

The birth of my son served as a catalyst for deliverance in many areas of my life. The need to be perfect was one of the first things to go because becoming a mother completely reprioritized my focus. It was no longer a priority for me to be perfect. In fact, I didn’t have the time to be perfect! I had a newborn to take care of! I refuse to be entangled in that sin again.

A family member recently said to my husband to “keep it light” when we were discussing our used car situation. The car keeps breaking down and we can’t afford to buy a new car. She told us to keep it light because she wanted us to act as if everything in our life was perfect while she was visiting with us. In other words, she wanted us to “put on airs.” It takes courage to face things head on. It’s easy to pretend that everything is pie in the sky. As a mother, I want my son to be able to face challenges. I want him to know that it’s OK to make mistakes. Life is messy. Instead of trying to make everything fit perfectly into a box, why not try to embrace life’s messiness. I believe that once we do that, then God can really show us what He can do. He’ll bring order from our chaos and He’ll show us that He can bring us through all of it looking more like Him and shining like the Son.

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