I sit, thoughts swirling around me, yet unable to grasp any of them to get them down on paper. I am full to overflowing with this blessed mess that is life.
Listening to my kids working together to pull off a super-secret surprise, gratitude for such wonderful children fills me. Even the less than lovely bickering that eventually sneaks into their covert plans fails to faze me. Love lives in those words and in the souls who speak them.
Feeling the pain wracking my body, all sense of motivation to get anything accomplished tries to flee, but I won't have any of that. There is work to do, spirits to nourish, young lives to inspire and be inspired by, and a beautiful day just on the other side of the door. Unwrapping myself from my comforter - aptly named, by the way, as I find it very comfortable and comforting - I encourage my reluctant body into action. Strange, and somewhat amusing sounds emerge from my body in a mix of effort, pain, and trying not to use inappropriate words in front of my children as I propel myself into action. I'm a blessed mess!
I decide I will help my husband with laundry - usually his job because of the stairs involved in the process. I bring a basket of dirty clothes to the laundry area, pull the clean clothes out of the dryer into another basket, then get interrupted by my eldest daughter as I put the clothes from the washer into the dryer. Turning the dryer on and starting the filling process with the washer, I wrap up my conversation with my daughter, grab the basket of clothes, and dump it onto the filling washer. As I squish the last of the load below the surface of the water, the realization that I put the clothes I had just taken out of the dryer into the washer whacks me upside the head. I'm washing the clean, formerly dry, clothes. I crank the washer to spin and laugh - so much for being helpful!
In the van on the way to the farm a little while later, we crank the music, sing at the top of our lungs, and celebrate once more this day and its blessings. At these times, gratitude flows freely, worries seem far away.
Returning home to my bed and my comforter, life's stresses once again try to seize me in their depressing grip - $500 in van repairs, who-knows-how-much worth of household fixes awaiting my husband's attention, bills piling up faster than paychecks, my body not cooperating with my treatment plan...and the list goes on. I take a few deep breaths and give thanks that we have this van and this house and my husband's job; that we have family that has our backs and that we are able to pay it forward every day by sharing our time and talents with others; that I have a diagnosis and a treatment plan and insurance that covers the more-than-my-house-is-worth a year cost of just one of my medications. The words of one of the songs we belted out on our drive echo in my mind...
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)And there it is. God is with us wherever we go, whatever we are going through, whatever mess we're in. God doesn't always step in and fix our messes, but knowing God is with us transforms our difficult times into BLESSED messes.