[My friend Jenn has started blogging with a blog name that reveals much about her: Messionary Me – Putting Chaos to Work for Christ. My wife and I have known Jenn and her family for years and love them all dearly. Once you read the post below (the first she wrote for her new site) you’ll see why Jenn has decided to be a messionary.]
I drive a van. Today, my 4-year-old put a smiley face sticker on the window.
See, I was never going to be the mom driving the van with stickers on the window. Not like when I was never going to be the mom whose kid’s nose wasn’t wiped, or never going to be the mom who let her kids sit in front of the T.V. all afternoon. There was never a chance I’d acheive those pipe dreams.
The stickerless van windows was a for-real goal.
My theory is, as long as the windows are sticker free the charade of the orderly family vehicle can be maintained, reality safely hidden behind the gray tint. God bless the gray tint.
But once there’s a sticker on the window, the gig is up. The sticker is the clutter escaping the floor of the van — where it belongs — in its attempt for total domination. It announces like a beacon the certain chaos inside. No van with sticker windows doesn’t have nuggets under the seat, milkshake solidified in the cup holders, and a mom yelling at her four-year-old to stop poking your sister!
This smiley face sticker screams, “there’s a rolled-up dirty diaper in here!”
So I actually expected to be more appalled at the sight of that smiley face plastered in the glass. But instead, I felt kind of free. There’s something satisfying in not only owning what you are, but announcing it to the world, without shame:
I am a mess.
I am a mess, my van is a mess, my house is a mess, my kids are a mess. My marriage — sometimes a mess. My friendships can be messy, too. My relationship with God is the biggest mess of all.
In fact, I can pretty much keep nothing under control. Not the laundry, not my thought processes, not my kids. I set a goal to keep a cleaner house, or meal plan, or spend more one-on-one time with my toddler — and abandon it by lunchtime. I start to pray and end up thinking about buying new boots.
I’m attempting to follow Christ, but I’m tripping over tossed backpacks and hurt feelings; distracted by “should’s” and the neighbor’s new sofa.
This is certainly not the life God meant for me to lead.
Or maybe it is.
I wonder if there isn’t meaning in this mess, that God might have a purpose for it. I wonder if I shouldn’t get in my van with the stickered-up window and embark on a mission to find out. To dare to simply be where God has me, without apology, sharing my mess in an attempt to bring Him glory through it.
To be more than a mess.
To be a messionary.