Making the Most of Our Beautiful Mess
I read many, many blogs in a week’s time. It’s a guilty pleasure that broadens my horizon and opens my private little world to new people and places. Some bloggers write about struggles that are so deeply personal, so breathtakingly difficult and heart-wrenching they’ve become a part of my life. Their pain is worth my tears, my heartbreak, my fervent prayers. Other bloggers perfect the most delicious foods, prepare the most amazing meals and share the best kitchen tips. And then there are the decorating blogs. They’re a luxurious wonderland of beautiful spaces, as well as a curse. It’s easy to fall into a trap that with this or that, or a particular paint color, I can finally have the home I’ve dreamed of …
This is not what I dream of, though it is where the toilet was sitting until yesterday when the kids and I carried it outside. The tile was loose and I suspected a leak and well … yeah. A trip to the loo was about to send someone to the basement. That’s a story for another day, though.
There is nothing wrong with beautiful things. There is nothing wrong with updating and primping and polishing. Unless, of course, we take it to extremes and never find our place of rest and comfort and satisfaction. In a world where Pinterest rules unhappiness can follow. Contentment can quickly come to an end when faced with endless images of perfect homes, perfect families, perfect … perfect … perfect.
Nothing is and no one can ever be perfect.
This Christmas season is not about winter whites and cranberry accents and pretty red ribbons (though I thoroughly enjoy each of those things). It’s about Jesus, plain and simple. And He was plain and simple.
Life is messy, not neat. There may be twinkling lights and lovely greenery decorating my photo-worthy mantel, but behind the facade there is clutter and disarray. Behind our courteous smiles and polite conversations there is havoc. We are a messy bunch of people and there is no perfection to be found no matter how hard we struggle or pretend. It’s why a baby called Jesus was born in a barn, not a palace. It’s why his mother wrapped the very first Christmas gift in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, not a feather bed. He was born in the midst of animals in a dirty, smelly mess. His mother gave birth in a barn. She wasn’t concerned with fanciful furnishings and color-coordinated packaging for bountiful gifts and latest gadgets.
That is the message for us.
We can adorn our homes and bake beautiful cookies and purchase thoughtful things for our favorite people. We must stop striving for perfection, though, because there is only one who could ever achieve such a lofty status. His perfection was designed for death. He died for me and for you. We are lowly and He is a mighty king. In God’s great and unjustified compassion … in His love for our silly, sinful, unsatisfied souls … He gave us a savior, born in a barn. Forever, we will be reminded that we need not strive for anything more than simple compassion and love in the midst of our dirty, smelly lives. That is it. That is all. Love.
We were given a blank slate because of a tiny babe born in a humble stable. That story, the greatest story ever told, is utterly sweet and satisfying. And no matter what the world does to transform the only reason for this season, Jesus is the only sweet spot that will satisfy our souls.
If you are visiting from The Nester’s Christmas Tour of Homes … welcome!