Sunday, November 4, 2012

Living A Messy Life

Thirteen years ago, my husband and I had a very clear picture of what our family would looks like.

Two kids. Girls, of course, because they are easier. Neater. Calmer. They would be exactly two years apart, and exceptionally well-behaved.

It's almost laughable now that I look at my life.

I have two rowdy, crazy, always-into-dirt/bugs/mud/any sport boys. Think pet praying mantis, lizards, and cicadas. And one wild, ready to breakdown at any moment, girly girl. Think tantrum in a tutu and tiara.

They are a perfect mess. There is nothing neat or calm at my house.

Princess is working through trauma and as parents we are stepping into new territory that we never imagined. We are committed to walking through this with her--because she is worth it--because our family is worth it.

But I'd be lying if there weren't days where I wished my family didn't have to face the mess of trauma. Where I wished all three of my kids knew love since their first breath. There are those days when I don't think I have a single more ounce of love or patience to give. How I'm not sure I can meet anyone's needs--especially Princess' the next day.

And, you know what, I get up the next morning and fumble through it all over again. God drops little gifts every once in a while: Grandparents who understand Princess and sit with her, love her, and are patient with her. Or a friend who unexpectedly calls and invites Princess over and gives me an all day break. These things come at the most unexpected and needy times.

Then there's the church service where we are reminded that we are called to live messy lives.

Jesus didn't walk the face of this Earth with perfect, all-together people. He sought out the messiest, trauma-ridden people. He didn't sit in a beautiful house, with his perfect family, and watch the world go by. No he got in the mess--fully emerged himself in it--in fact he sought it out.

We were created to roll up our sleeves and get muddy. We were created for mess. And if we view our parenting as a holy calling--a calling like no other--then it only makes sense that we are equipped to survive and thrive in the mess of parenting.

Hardly ever do I feel like I'm thriving. But I get holy glimpses of it--like when all three of my kids play together;  laughing, talking, working together. Or a little girl who asks for her daddy when she so often rejects him. Or my middle guy, who is only 7, asking to send his toys to orphans because they have nothing and he has everything he needs.

They are fleeting, perfect glimpses of the hard, messy work of parenting.


  1. I love love love this - sooo honest and passionate and wow - I'm yet to be a mum but you sound like a great one!

  2. Also, I was wondering if you would like to write a guest post for me on adoption this week? I know it's late notice but I have one from my sister who suffers from endometriosis, one from my manager who used IVF and I'm looking for an adoption one.

    Check out my blog and let me know what you think.


  3. Oh yes , it doesn't always work out as "planned" but if we are fortunate ..... it's even better than we could ever imagine and sometimes more fun ! And boy , what a pay off.

  4. Hi there, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  5. Hi, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (, and I’m visiting from Mom’s Monday Mingle.

    I just saw your adoption blog hop and I am SO excited! I have to run now to pick up my son, but I can't wait to get home and start exploring!

    Anyway, thanks for posting this. If you’ve never visited yet, I hope you can pop by my blog sometime to say hi…

  6. Hey friend! Loved catching up on your life and this post was a heart one~ loved it!!! My friend that won your book called today to say she hadn't received it. I had a panic and thought I may have never sent you her info. Please email me so I can give you her address.
    Blessings and love!

    1. Hi Shay! I sent you an email a few weeks ago! I don't have the address! Hope to hear form you soon!

  7. Love this! Ah, the messy following God often looks messy to the world. :)

  8. thank you for sharing this message it is such a Blessing to read