The Blessing of a Mess

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By Contributing Author, Kristen Perry Johnson~

PARENTING:

ocean blessings.jpgWe just arrived back home from my sister’s wedding and a vacation. We were gone for about 2 weeks. It was a wonderful time with family and a relaxing time at the beach with our own little family.

Almost immediately, I was shocked back into the realities of life.

My husband became busy the very next morning. We didn’t even get the car unloaded. The entire duty of unpacking was left to me. Plus, after being gone that long, I felt like the house needed to be cleaned.

I don’t mind cleaning, but it’s the attitude I take on when I do it that I dislike. I’m not sure why it happens. It can only be described as a cleaning frenzy. It’s like I’m on a mission, and if my kids get in the way, whoa, watch out for the fury! So, I try to clean where they are not. This results in even more messes. I always laugh (a little hysterically) when my husband comes home to a messy, toy cluttered house, and I tell him I’ve been cleaning all day.

Is there anything more frustrating?

Because I had been out of my normal writing routine for so long, I felt like all my thoughts were jumbled with no organization. So, yesterday morning, I prayed that God would give me some organization and direction. Then I did my devotionals and read a chapter in the book The Best Yes.

And God did speak to me.

The first words in my devotional were, “You are living in a time of abundance.” Huh, I thought, really? Well, I know that is true, so why don’t I feel like that?

The chapter in The Best Yes continued this theme. It was the chapter entitled “The Joy of the Unrushed Yes.” It was all about leaving space in our schedules and lives to enjoy and work on relationships.

Ok, Lord, I get it.

I often let myself go head over heels into a frenzy. I realized I had not been enjoying the gifts I had been given, and was being given each day. I was allowing myself to get caught up in the unpacking, the cleaning, the stress of the upcoming school year and MOPS year.

I was not allowing myself the time and space to see the blessings around me. I thought of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I love this book and agree with its message of counting our blessings to experience joy whole heartedly. I had just let myself get too busy to put it into practice. And by doing so, I was missing out on the joy of life. I have been missing out on abundant life.

When really…

“My cup overflows with blessings” (Psalm 23:5b).

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

“O Lord, my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them” (Psalm 40:5).

“You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of Your presence” (Psalm 21:6).

So, even though it is against my personality, I am going to fight the frenzy with thankfulness. I pray we can all allow ourselves time to notice the blessings and gifts around us.

Lord, help me to stop and realize the blessings that my children are–that the mess means I’m blessed.