A Merry Mess


By Jenny Barker, MBC Prince William Attendee

The Christmas season has begun and though I would like to say I’m ready for it, fabulously organized and on top of things, finished with my shopping, and completely decorated with my home looking exactly like my Christmas board on Pinterest, I cannot. Sadly, that would be far, far from the truth. The truth instead looks more like this…

…boxes upon boxes of Christmas decorations scattered around my home.
…a Christmas tree put up a week ago that begs for at least a single ornament to adorn its lovely branches.
…tiny little pine needles scattered here, there and everywhere, all throughout our home.
…last night’s dirty dishes in the kitchen sink including the pan of brownies I burnt before rushing out the door to our first holiday party of the season.
…clean laundry waiting to be folded and dirty laundry piled high waiting to be washed.
…craft and decorating projects started that wait to be completed and take up almost every inch of my kitchen and dining room tables, not to mention the kid’s air hockey table.
…a storage closet I can hardly step inside because I’ve crammed it full of gifts and Christmas packages the UPS man delivered so my children won’t see them.

Bathrooms need cleaned. Floors need swept. Furniture needs dusted. Gifts need bought and gifts need wrapped. Cookies need baked. Christmas cards need addressed… and it’s all just too much. My home is an absolute, out-of-control mess.

And yet it’s simply the most wonderful thing.

Wonderful because it reminds me of what is most important, and it isn’t a perfect home, a perfect Christmas, or a perfect me.  And wonderful because there’s something incredibly liberating about things falling apart and coming undone… of letting go and letting be.

I woke up early this morning, and as I maneuvered around boxes and piles to head to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee,

I took in the crazy mess of my home and had to laugh.
I laughed at the magnitude and sheer size of the disaster I’d created, and laughed at the glorious disruption of being completely disorganized and overwhelmed and of losing control. I marveled at how far I’ve come… at how much God has and is healing me from needing and striving to be perfect, from having to have it all together and be in control. And after I had a good laugh, I didn’t quickly set about cleaning up the mess, but instead snuggled up in a cozy chair with a steaming cup of coffee and thanked Jesus for all He has done and is doing in my heart. I thanked Him for the beautiful, liberating, redemptive, merry mess because it’s oh so very good for my heart.

As I move into the hectic and sometimes stressful Christmas season, there are a few thoughts I’m hanging on to and keeping before me. They help me keep perspective and help to loosen my grasp on creating and being responsible for the perfect Christmas. They alone are a gift to my heart, and I hope they will be to yours as well…

Let it go.

Let it be.

Lay it down.

It can’t be done.

Be and keep being…

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