Everywhere I look is a mess. I can’t look at my house because it is falling off a cliff. Dishes are mounted up to my chin, and laundry, like lava, is overflowing onto all the floors. I can’t look inward because nothing is organized. My sadness is mixing with my anger, and my anxiety is taunting my peace. I am easily triggered. Happiness can only be found if I can escape my reality and my mess, but the mess is everywhere. It chases me when I am on social media, I see it at Target, and I feel it at school pick up. Everywhere I look, there it is.
My five-year-old woke up a headache. This is not how I wanted to start my day. My bubbly little girl is burrowing her body into my lap. I don’t have time for her to be sick. I have emails to send, lists to complete, phone calls to return. I have messes to clean up. I have things to put back in order. But I carry her into my room, tuck her gently into my sheets, and stroke her back. Her head is throbbing. My heart is fracturing. My teenager is hard. He is strong and fierce and full of uncontainable emotions. Every request I make is met with an argument. My other son is quiet. I know he has a world inside of him, but I can’t seem to crack him open. My toddler’s favorite phrase is, “I do it myself!” I so desperately want to stop the madness. I just want to roll up my sleeves and make everything and everyone better. If I can just contain the chaos, everything will be okay. I will be all right.
But I can’t stop the mess. I can’t steamroll sickness, make my boy obey, force my son to talk, or give my toddler all the control. I can’t make people do what I want them to do.
I can only do this: receive and release.
I can open my hands and accept that this very moment is out of my control. I don’t have to push the mess back, but I trust God is using the mess to make sense of my soul. He is using all things to bring my heart back into the right focus. A clean house, healthy kids, returned text messages, and finished projects never clean up the mess inside of me. Never. Only Jesus cleans up the mess. He is the one who holds my broken up, battered down, and bleeding heart. The mess is a gift. The mess is a gentle invitation from Jesus. He whispers, “I’ve cleaned up everything.” God has made us clean. He has taken our twisted hearts and untwisted them. He has taken our tangled souls and untangled them. The mess we encounter in our lives is merely another invitation to receive His love and release our need to fix ourselves.
So, today, I clear out my schedule, cancel appointments, and put my sweats back on. I let the mess pile up in my house, but let God hold the mess in my heart.
The mess we encounter in our lives is merely another invitation to receive His love and release our need to fix ourselves. -Anjuli Paschall: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
When my world looks like a cluttered mess, it screams to me a message that I seem to need over and over again. It bellows “You are not in control!” I like being in control, but sadly, most of the time…no, all of the time…I’m not in control. God is. When I gaze at the chaos around me, it sends me running into the arms of Jesus. Peace can’t be found in my ability and self sufficiency, it is only found in utter and complete dependence upon the Lord. I’m a hot mess, but thankfully, God’s got me.
I love that Anjuli. Life is messy, kids are hard. You know I was just thinking at work today I have bills up to the eyeballs, kids in after school care, jobs to do, an untidy house and health issues. I just felt so overwhelmed. But there is nothing I can do except handle one thing at a time and take it…all of it to the Lord. I’m a mess inside and really the only comfort comes from Jesus from God…trusting Him with it all.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but
He is strong…
Yes Jesus loves me for the bible tells me so..
This was for me today. I can see myself so clearly in your description of your day, and I know that yes, God is using this to transform my heart, no matter how much I push back against it using snapping back to my kids instead of empathizing, sitting on my couch at naptime scrolling and stuffing down a muffin. This isn’t how He wants to change me. I need to let go, allow the inner transformation to begin, and watch as He makes something beautiful out of me and my mess.
Beautifully written. We read so much about perfection. Guess what? NOBODY has a perfect life! NOBODY has it altogether! I love to read about reality and know that I am not alone.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Some times God allows theses messes. Theses things to happen in our lives for a reason. As if we stop Anjuli and think about it when things are going well. The house is tidy. We have no problems. I don’t have kids. But I can see where you are coming from and what you are saying. Life is sailing along nicely the water in our lives is smooth. We are ok. We don’t need God. We are ok. Then the Water problems in our life get a little bit rough. We see the mess everywhere we look. We then say WHY? THIS HAPPENING TOO ME. When last week everything was ok. Everything was perfect. The house was tidy. Kids were well. That if you have kids. Now if a working parent you have too take time of work too be with your sick kids. You have mountain of things too do. You get behind on the House Work. Everywhere you look it’s a Mess. Your Boss is sending you if that type emails to with work to do at home. With sick kids you can’t get them done. Let alone the house work. In times like this the lovely smooth water getting rougher in your life. You want to scream WHY ME? You then at time in life have to turn to God. Say God please give me strength to get through this. See to my Sick Kids. Get the House Work done. Get the emails done for work. In it all take time out for yourself do what Matthew 11 verses 28-30 says Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my home upon you learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. We as Christians and Christians Mother’s also have to think of ourselves and not burn out and do as theses verses says. Sometimes that can mean leaving the mess it will be there for another time too do. Resting in the arms of Jesus. If have sick kids they are sleeping rest when they are sleeping. Let the house work go until another time. If been up with your kids all night and tired yourself. God would want you do this. Love today’s reading also. Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx
Theresa Boedeker says
Yes to it all. He is using my mess, the mess of those I live with, and the mess of my community to grow me and mold me into his image.
When I hear you ladies talk, I want to jump in and help you! Wash some dishes. Fold some laundry. Bring you a meal. I know there are ladies in my community who need help and I don’t know how to find them and help. Must find a way. I’m retired and my closest daughter lives 100 miles away. My house is not put together either, but I would gladly head your way and help you. Meanwhile, I’ll pray.
Linda E says
Yours was my life once, but now once again. I stayed at home raising four kids-one with huge issues who eventually gave me the granddaughter I am raising now, since birth and now almost 14 years old. I divorced after my husbands affair, and moved away with this little granddaughter who dealt with the stress of life by arranging all the ottomans and anything she could jump over, running in a circle over them for hours every night after we moved. We live on a small ranch now, and my present home is still a big mess due to many other things that compete for my time. My list of to-do’s never get totally crossed off. And I feel like a mess inside, trying to rebuild and feeling often unloved and thrown away. I’m in my early 60’s-not knowing how God will lead or fix things, but thankful for helping me raise this child and deal with the challenges. Thank you for what you wrote-I felt encouraged.
life moves on fast so in the blink of an eye you will have grown children and a clean house…but will look back and miss these days. there’s actually a country song about that . it brings tears toy eyes as I’m a mom and can see time flying past.
I have a houseful too and I know there’s only so many hours in a day.. most is spent tending to children and priorities get figured out real fast..ha ha.
hang in there and celebrate what you have , God has blessed you with each child in each phase of their lives. ( I have teens so both in the tipsy emotional area ). Throw a chore chart on the kitchen wall with names beside it.. your family will love to help you keep that ship steered !!
best wishes and mom hugs
Lori A says
I was where you are for 20 or so years. I would look at the piles of laundry and literally get a stomach ache. I homeschooled 3 strong willed kids with various neurological problems and learning disabilities and there was always more to do than I could keep up with. God carried us through. One thing that sustained me for many years was Moms in Prayer. There are groups in almost every city. I highly recommend joining a group. The fellowship and prayer for each other’s children makes a huge difference.
Linda E says
Thanks for that idea. I will check it out. Thank you!
I often forget that prayer matters. It is everything. I just often feel so broken and tired.
I loved this~ I struggle with the need to try to be perfect, so this was so timely!
Linda E says
I believe God is the God of messes! He will help us. Like there is no way I will never not believe in God! Ever! But in our overall life circumstances, it is sometimes hard to see Him in those things. When I wake up and see the sun streaming in, and I hear the wild turkeys and quail and the frogs outside my window, I am so grateful for those things. I am a thankful kind of person who appreciates all life has to offer. I do not complain or feel ungrateful. I live in a rural area where this kind of thing is very much loved and appreciated.
M @ In Beautiful Chaos says
I believe we can all relate to this in our own lives. Thank you so much for sharing!
M @ In Beautiful Chaos
Yessssss! I’ve been trying to organize/reorganize my home for 4 years. I’ve gotten rid of so much but have much left to do. I work every day and when I get home I just don’t want to deal with it and the weekends go by so quickly. We’re empty nesters so I’m not dealing with children in the house but with a grandbaby and elderly parent and THAT is where my heart is. Things wait – babies and family and relationships don’t. I am so glad God’s got me in all of this. I know He will get me through it in His time! Hug those kids!
Thank you for sharing Anjuli! Your posts always hit me right where I am at. This post is even more poignant to me because of all of the mess we see all over the news right now. It’s such a good reminder to release the “mess” and accept his love. Thank you friend!
Beth Williams says
Life is hard & messy down here. There are times when we have so much on our plate. We feel overwhelmed & out of control. That is the perfect time to stop, sit down for a minute & pray to God. Tell Him about all the mountains in your path. Give Him your troubles. He will fix all the angst inside of you & calm your weary soul. This world screams self sufficiency. Be in control do it all. We can’t always live like that. Sometimes life gets to be too much to handle. But God is there always waiting for us to give Him our yoke & let Him control our lives.