I love for everything to have a place and to be in that place.
I love to open the drawer and have the scissors right where they belong. I love for my file cabinets to have neat, alphabetical files with everything in them, preferably in chronological order.
I love to have a schedule to my day, my week, and my year.
And this is just how things are.....on the planet of "How Things Should Be".
But not in my house.
I can always envision it, and draw up lists to get there, and plan on days to accomplish it, but it just doesn't happen at my address.
It is sort of like when I sing. I love harmonies. I hear them in my head. But somewhere between my brain and my vocal cords the note changes or gets translated or altered or something... because when it comes out, it is not harmony...it is usually the opposite. When I manage to actually hit a good alto harmonious note it just gives me a thrill and sends shivers down my spine. And when I stand next to someone who sings perfect harmonies it both blesses me ... and condemns me. Why can't I do that, I wonder?
It is the same feeling I have when I walk into someone's home which actually looks like they live on the planet of "How Things Should Be". It gives me a thrill just to look around and see that it is possible and it condemns me as I ask myself, why can't I do this?
2 Corinthians warns us in 10:12: ...but when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.
This Scripture actually refers to boasting and feeling pride as we compare ourselves. I personally don't deal with the temptation to boast all that often. I am pretty sure that almost everybody else has figured this thing out better than I have. I am, through being so aware of my weaknesses and failings, so incredibly grateful of the grace and mercy of God, because otherwise I would be sunk.
My comparing however brings about other sins, and they are ones I see in many women. Discouragement. Dissatisfaction. Regret. Self-condemnation. Weariness.
And in reality, ingratitude. So, while I am grateful for His grace and mercy, I am not grateful for what He has allotted to me.
My looking at others' strengths and letting them magnify my weaknesses, makes me ungrateful for how and what God has created and given to me. I am an idea person who starts projects before the last one is finished. I hate waste and therefore don't want to get rid of things that might be needed later. I am a Mom of a large family of varied and talented kids that are involved in projects and activities that require stuff and driving and traveling and equipment. I am a wife to a man with qualities and talents that have brought opportunities and requirements into our lives that necessitate me to stretch. I am a homeschooler who has a school library, computer lab, and various and a sundry other supplies to corral.
In short, my life and my abilities, and my weaknesses do not fit in a closet filled with Rubbermaid that has been attacked by a label maker.
This weekend I had a lesson in the fact that life is messy. We were staying with sweet family who put us up while we went to a Speech tournament. Their house looks perfectly clean- smooth counters, no piles, no dust.
And when we would come home at night between 9 and 10 they would already be asleep, with their house in order.
I on the other hand had made a mad dash out of my house (leaving it a mess), on very little sleep, trying to get everything ready for what I was leaving behind and where I was going. We had been going to bed late and getting up early.
At least twice during the weekend, when I thought I was feeling great and even smiling, someone would ask me, "Are you all right? You looked so tired!"
I didn't think I looked bad, and I looked bad.
What do I look like when I know I look bad?
I was already feeling the condemnation rolling over me as I left their neat, well-rested house this morning....late by the way....to rush off to our next activity, when life got even messier. Some minor mess ups, some accidents, some irritations, some miscommunications.
No reason to go into specifics.
Suffice it to say, life is messy.
Life is messy.
And I was discouraged.
Alright, I am still a little discouraged. But that is why I felt the need to write about this. Because I don't think I am supposed to be.
I don't think I am supposed to let the weight of the world rest on my shoulders, but rather let the One who placed the world on its foundations carry the weight.
I don't think I am supposed to be overcome, but rather rest in the arms of the Overcomer.
And I don't think I am supposed to be surprised that life is messy!
So if it is a fact that my life is messy, what will my response be?
- Will I sit back in my condemnation chair, singing "Nobody Knows the Troubles I've Seen"?
- Will I give up and become bitter and angry?
- Will I decide it is just not worth it and live for myself alone?
no. No. NO.
2 Corinthians goes on to say in 10:13: But we will not boast beyond our measure, but within the measure of the sphere which God apportioned (assigned is another translation) to us as a measure to reach...
If the God of the Universe has assigned me a messy, non-containable, unorganizable, full to overflowing life, then I had better stay within the "measure of the sphere He apportioned" and quit looking at other spheres to determine how I am doing. And I had better stop looking at the sphere of the planet of "How Things Should Be."
And I had better start praising Him and start being grateful for all He has given me.
Praise God for these messy days. These messy, accident prone, question provoking days. These days that keep me leaning on the Everlasting Arms.
These days, that confirm in my heart, that even if I wanted to boast, I have nothing to boast in.
2 Corinthians 10:17: He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.