Messionary Me – a new blog has hit the web!

[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.]

This Place is a Mess

I drive a van. Today, my 4-year-old put a smiley face sticker on the window.

Mixed emotions.

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.

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15 Responses to Messionary Me – a new blog has hit the web!

  1. jenn says:

    Tim, thanks for letting me “mess” up your site today! Your encouragement is truly Christ in action in my life.

  2. David Ramos says:

    This was fantastic. We’re called to share our brokenness, its Gods role to come and repair us

  3. This was a great post. I have avoided minivans (and all other ‘mom’ symbols) like the plague. I must admit that I am not remotely religious so I cannot speak to your questions about God’s path for you. However, I can say that the world needs all types of people…the super organized list-makers and the scattered brain, fly by the seat of your pants people too. I am like you and I have found that the more you fight it, the worse it is. Embrace you abstract thought process. Embrace your messiness. It’s people like us that make the world a litte more exciting!

    • jenn says:

      Thank you for the encouragement. And congratulations on avoiding the minivan. If you tell me you don’t have french fries under your seats, I will be thoroughly jealous.

  4. Jeannie says:

    Your post was such a breath of fresh air! I loved this part: “To dare to simply be where God has me, without apology, sharing my mess in an attempt to bring Him glory through it.” Considering that angels sang to rough-and-ready shepherds and Jesus was born in a smelly stable, it sounds like you are in just the kind of place God likes to show up.

    • jenn says:

      Thanks, Jeannie. Good point about Jesus’ birthplace! I like thinking of God himself getting down and dirty with life. In fact, Jesus sought out messiness, didn’t he? What do you know; my existence may be more Christ-like than I thought! 😉

  5. Mary Anne says:

    Come to think of it, Jesus didn’t hesitate to deliberately MAKE a mess when the occasion called for it—a certain incident with clearing the temple comes to mind . . .

    Yikes.

  6. Aimee Byrd says:

    Thanks for sharing, Tim. This is a great post and I will visit the site and share with others. Was laughing out loud too, because I can totally identify with her feelings about minivan stickers and being taken over by the mess–and praying and thinking about boots!

    • Tim says:

      I am so glad you liked it, Aimee. We identify with the minivan adventures too, since we still drive one even though our kids are grown. The mv seems to come in handy, whether it’s letting the youth group borrow it or we’re loading Jenn’s kids into it so we can spend the day with them.

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