My Beautiful Mess

Today was a day not really much different than other days, I had a few family members stop by, I changed about 8 poopy diapers between three kids, 5 additional wet ones (just for the record), stopped the world from ending over the batman action figure being placed in the wrong hands, and attempted to keep  four tasmanian devils, I mean children, out of light sockets, off of staircases and fit a nap or two in there somewhere. Sounds clean right? I wish. Sometimes I really really wish, I wish so big my brain hurts from attempting to wish more, but at the end of the day there just isn’t enough of me brain power and/or will to get much more done. It’s exhausting. But, today I know tomorrow is right around the corner, and it’ll be a different type of day, I’m having about 4-5 moms and their bringing more kids over for mom’s group.

 

What does that leave me? I call it the 3-F’s (no, not cuss words silly): frazzled, frantic, and frustrated. Usually, my brain begins to look around the mess that only a tornado could cause. Then my brain does a weird thing and flips the “initializing internal vomit” switch.. “If my husband would just remember to unscrew his coffee lid on this travel mug, I wouldn’t be taking 5 extra minutes to grunt groan and resist the urge to scream a few cuss words while trying to pry it off, and I could be in there picking up the watermelon rinds from under the highchairs. That’s going to take me an extra 5 min just to clean. Why can’t my kids be cleaner?”

Then, God (I’m thankful He did that) hit the “HOLD UP” button, and I began to realize “of all people these are mom’s they’ve seen a mess, they understand”. deflate pressure. I internally agreed, “Yes, that’s true good rationalization. Moms, they get it. Clean houses are for single or childless people everywhere.”

And, then it happened a little question infiltrated my being, “Why do you need to feel put together?” A slight cringe followed by an internally quiet, “crap”.

And there it was–who was I trying to impress? God made my life. He gave me four beautiful undeserved children. He rescued my soul. Healed brokenness. And I, in the midst of trying to minister to other moms by offering my house, was doing the very opposite of ministering to them. I was hiding the truth of my life and the beautiful mess given to me by the maker of all beautiful messes.

See, the truth of the matter is, I am prideful. Time and time again, I want to put on my fancy shoes, new clothes, and cleaned house and present myself differently than who I am in this phase of my life.

Romans 15:1-7 says,

Romans 15

 1-2 “Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”

 3-6That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it. Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!

 7aSo reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!”


And here is where my prayer met brain reboot. “Rethink, yep, Ashley rethink tomorrow. Stop what your doing. Show God tomorrow”.

Tomorrow, when those ladies pull up in my driveway and walk onto my un-vacuumed floors, see the sticky watermelon mess under the highchairs, and notice the food splatters on the refrigerator and that I’m wearing sweats (hopefully they’ll miss the fact I haven’t showered in a day and a half) maybe they will be encouraged. And, maybe they will be able to push through another hard day of being a mom. Maybe, just maybe, they will be ministered to by another mom who is in the trenches. Better yet, they will be able to see that God made us all a beautiful mess and their mess is just as beautiful.

So, tonight my facebook status read “[Ashley Chambers] is needing to house clean for moms group here in the morning…but, I’m too tired now my steams run out….so…ladies it’ll be straightened but not scrubbed…raise my glass in the air and toast: here’s to being vulnerable and transparent and not at all put together!”

Response Question:

What has God shared with you recently?

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15 thoughts on “My Beautiful Mess

  1. This is SO me! Before kids, I would spend a few days cleaning top to bottom before having people over. Then after kid #1, I’d spend every nap the week before, and after bedtime each night, cleaning as much as possible. Now with a toddler and infant, I’ve just come to realize, all that doesn’t matter. Yes, I look forward to the day when my floors are clean for more than an hour, there’s not sticky finger prints everywhere and toy after toy strewn across every square food of the house. But they’re only a toddler and infant for so long. And like everyone says, I’m sure I’ll be longing for the sticky fingers and toy-filled living room once the boys are grown. So for now, I do a quick vacuum, wipe down the bathrooms and hope nobody looks in the kitchen!
    I look forward to more posts Ashley!=)

  2. Sometimes even us childless people need to hear this lesson 🙂 I look forward to reading future installments. Love the name and the image/theme. Beautiful and a little bit crazy all at once 🙂

    • That is NOT what my brain spews out in the midst of turmoil Ann, as I vaguely remember life before kids 🙂 But, yes, hopefully not just moms can glean. I’m glad your reading. I need some English proof-reading eyes!

  3. While reading this at 5am (another restless, up every hour kinda night) I’m am encouraged about MY future as a parent (coming ANY day now). I know it will be frazzling and stressful, but incredibly worth it! I can’t wait to join the journey (but with one child!)

    I love you dearest sister and you make a great role model of not only what a wonderful mother and wife is, but ahat a woman of God looks like.

    Looking forward to more reading!

  4. Awesome Ash! My dad was suppose to come down on Tuesday, so I got up early and was cleaning as much as possible. With my toddler who kept pulling everything out, and my 3 month old who just wanted to be held, it wasn’t getting done very fast. So when my dad called saying he was running late and wanted to know if we could just meet him at the restaurant I was relieved. Then Chloe came walking in (as if she now knew grandpa wasn’t coming over) with a huge pile of books and dropped them in my freshly cleaned room. They are still there. Love the blog ash!

  5. LOVE IT!… i am so excited that you have started this. I WILL be sharing 🙂

    I also love the question. Being vulnerable is something I always struggle with. I power through whatever the issue is, internalize the tears and just pray to make it through quickly. God has shown me lately that the community he has brought me to is there for this but I have to be willing to be vulnerable in order to really be a part of it. This Sunday, I struggled hard, almost gave in to the prompts of the evil telling me in every way possible to just head home. But gas light on with no wallet in hand and running late I made it to church. As soon as service was over I grabbed a couple of ladies and asked them to pray with me. Being a part of a community sometimes means I have to be vulnerable. I am learning this lesson slowly but surely.

    Thanks Ashley for helping me to share.

    • Sky- I am glad that you took the risk of going to church, and even bigger for being brutally honest in a public forum! Community is key to successful spiritual life or just life in general. The first few years of our marriage and being a mom I really struggled with it and I thought my struggles were unique to just me. I’ve learned that they aren’t they are every moms struggles we just suffer differently unique to our own personality. Can’t wait to hang out with you more and being a part of your daily life community 🙂

      • I wrote it… deleted it….and then rewrote and posted. lol. i’m an all or nothing kinda girl. decided that if i was gonna comment it needed to be real 🙂 i’m looking forward to you and the fam being a part of my community too.

  6. Ashley, this is beautiful! The reminder to be vulnerable and transparent while not letting pride get in the way of loving people is so important at all stages of life. I’m not a mom, but I’m glad I stopped by!

    Also, super cute blog design! Love that weathered paisley pattern.

  7. Pingback: The Littlest Little (12) | the chambers chaos

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