Embracing the Mess

I’ve spoken of Fr. Jacques Philippe before and the profound impact he had on my life. Two years later, I still hear his words echoing in my head on a regular basis “Embrace the poverty.” We all have poverty in our lives and rather than running from it, we need to embrace it and let Jesus use it to transform us.

TDSC_0002his year (okay the last couple years), I’ve been living in a home that is constantly under some kind of renovation. I want it to be Pinterest Perfect at all times. Clean, finished, decorated, cozy, lovely, and a place people want to be. Of course then I think about the places I am most comfortable to be, and not a single one of them is Pinterest Perfect. The places I most enjoy have mail on the counter, kids homework strewn where it doesn’t belong, slipcovers on the couch, dog hair in the corner, laundry out in the open — you get the point. I like to be in the places where real life is happening and people don’t have to be ashamed of that.

DSC_0149I’m not saying we should give up on housekeeping (though my house might make you think I have). I am saying that I am learning to embrace the mess in my life. I still cringe when someone comes through the door and I don’t have it together. When there is a box of home improvement disaster on the kitchen floor. Or that microwave I STILL haven’t installed. I don’t enjoy the mess, but I’m learning to embrace it as part of this life I’ve chosen. I chose the fixer upper, I choose constant improvement, I have an opportunity to embrace the mess, even if it makes me die a little on the inside. Deep breath. I am sometimes amazed when people tell me how much they love my house. They see the progress, the warmth, the comfortable side often while I am cringing about the imperfection.

When the shoe is on the other foot, I love my friends homes. I see the warmth, the reality, the generosity of the people there and never think to scoff at the imperfect nature of the things around me. In fact, I am honored when people tell me they don’t clean for me because they are that comfortable and feel that safe with me visiting. High praise indeed.

So day by day, little by little, I’m killing my inner perfectionist and learning to embrace the mess. Both in my home and in my heart. And embracing the mess, I am embracing my own need for a Savior. Someone loves me in the midst of my mess and gives me Himself. One who calls me to cast off my idea of perfection and embrace His call to holiness, to joy and peace and abundant life. Come Lord Jesus.
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