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Finding Beauty in the Mess


If this picture makes you cringe and stress out, then you are in the right place.

Fellow perfectionists and clean freaks (well, used to be before kids), we need a little breather right now.

So, plop yourself down right in the middle of the toys, the dishes, the piles of never ending laundry, the dusty baseboards, the screaming children, the shower that needs scrubbing, and the millions of little things that are undone, to rest, recenter, and gain perspective.


If any of you are like me, you cannot, I repeat CANNOT relax when there are things to be done. My mind starts to make mental and physical lists so I can check them off. I am trying to get what I perceive to beauty back in my home and life. To me, things in order and in place are beautiful. Things checked off my list are beautiful. Accomplishment is beautiful.


But in the effort to make everything beautiful, I’m afraid I’m not very beautiful in the process.


To be sure, there is a lot of grunt work and serious business that must occur to get tasks accomplished. There’s a lot of dedication and sweat that goes into cleaning up a mess. That is just the nature of the beast. But I find that in my effort to clean up a mess, I become an ugly mess in the process. Anyone else with me here?


I find that when I am on mission to clean up or check off my to do list, I tend to be short. I have visible frustration. I yell. I retreat. I feel alone in my quest (and let everyone know about it in no uncertain terms). My family sees and experiences the worst in me because my ugly humanity is driving me.


So what’s a busy mom to do? The mess will always be there. It will come back approximately five minutes after it is cleaned up. That’s a guarantee. There will be another item added to the checklist. The wheel keeps on turning- the endless cycle of dishes, laundry, homework, routine, and mess that disturbs our peace on the inside.


Maybe we should take control of our peace on the inside to be our driving force. Or better yet, we absolutely should rely on the prince of peace to give us rest and make our hearts beautiful, even in the mess.


When we are centered in Him, our hearts are at rest... no matter what the circumstances look like on the outside. No matter how many times we have to do the same thing over and over. No matter the insurmountable task lay before us. When we let our closeness to Him be the beauty in us, our perspective shifts from the mess to the beauty that is found within.


After all, isn’t that what He does with us?

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