Monday, October 27, 2008

A Perfect Mess.

It was one of those days....

I woke up to an empty side of the bed, which screamed perfect "Marriage mess."

I sadly climbed out of bed and strolled into the bathroom and tripped over shoes, clothes and what not, that were supposed to be put away. It was a perfect "Child Mess".

A feverish child and two parents needing to get to work led to a lovely exchange of brutal facial expressions. I threw into the pile on that side of the bed labeled "marriage mess".

As I made my perfect cup of coffee I noticed it tasted odd. Like watered down odd. Popping open the top of the coffee pot I would see my perfect mistake...the filter was swooshed down. What a mess! Great, "Perfect Coffee, Perfect day."

Rushing one child out the door without even a kiss on the head, but taking the time to stick a perfect hair bow in her hair. Another one clinging to my leg and screaming about her stinkin sippy cups. I took a deep breath and tossed her as well into the "Child Mess".

Pulling up my hair and noticing my messy roots and flaws all over my face. I was "perfectly flawed" in every way. I was a "Beautiful Mess".

As I pulled out of my driveway it was indeed the moment to notice our lawn. It was a perfectly "lawn mess". That of course allowed me to toss another "thought" into my perfect marriage can figure that one out!

Heading towards my destination, work, I pulled into the parking lot and noticed a friend's car there. I thought.....that's odd...why is she here?

Having a light-bulb moment, "OH MY GOODNESS......It's Hope's chapel.....and she's getting an award."

I started to cry as I thought about my schedule and how her daddy was home with the other one. No one would be there to see her get her "perfect award". And what kind of momma forgets about something like this?

But wait....I cleared my head. "If I can do A,B and C, then yes, I will shoot in there just in time to see her smiling face on that stage and ask a friend to snap a picture.....and it will be....perfect!"

Rushing here and there I made my way into the sanctuary. I sat down with the hopes of my girly's "perfect moment". The time came. They talked about all that this award meant to these kids, what good "Kingdom Choices" they are making and how super they are all doing. And for a moment, just a moment, my heart was happy. Because at least everything else was a mess.....but me and Hopie, we had this perfect "moment".

Name after name was called. Smile after smile was lit up on each child's face. I sat on the edge of my seat waiting anxiously.

And my Hopie's name was never called.

Sadness began to stir in my soul. Especially when my girly started crying.

Her teacher apologized and apologized, she didn't know what happened!

But, I did. It was God, speaking.

As my heart sank and I looked around at all the other mom's snapping their pictures away at their "perfect moment" and here I sat with my sad girly....tears began to fill my eyes.

Walking back to my pre-school music room, alone and broken hearted, but not over some silly award. I looked around my classroom and thought of the bodies that would soon be filling it. And how I would have to put on my "perfect smile". But how truly imperfect my life was.

The mask would be put back in place and for a moment, I breathed a sigh of relief.

It seemed to me that faking it was easier than dealing with reality.

The mask was comfortable and something I was familiar with.

It hides the hurt from friendships gone wrong. It hides the truth in a home that seems to fall apart daily. It hides the frustrations of motherhood. It hides the secret longings in my heart. And most importantly, but not to be easily mistaken, it hides my true feelings.

Oh, this is not fun. Bearing my soul this way.

But God has shown me so clearly that being real isn't about bearing a soul.....or "opening up".....or even taking off the mask.

What's real in our lives is Him. He is the one constant truth in everything we do. The rest of the world will waver to and fro but He is always the same.

Yesterday. Today and of course, Tomorrow.

Yes, it seems lately that I am indeed up for "Perfect Mess of the Year" in every aspect of my soul. It will surely be an award to proudly display on the wall!

As I thought about this day, and all that had occurred. I truly began to ask myself, "Is this what life has become? Being a "Perfect Mess"?

Because if so, then let's PLEASE just call it day. All of us.

These truths are of course all wrapped in love from the book "Behind Those Eyes" by Lisa Whittle.

In which I'm discovering how badly we need to delete this word "perfect" from our vocab. I am amazed at how many times a day, I say it, my girls say it and the rest of the world says it.

People don't want to be around us because our lives our perfect. If they do, then there is something wrong with that.

People want to be near us because they are drawn to what's inside of us. People, will love us, because of who Christ makes us. People will hate us because of what this world makes us.

"Ms. can have a seat. Take the side-line because you've done enough damage."

Praise God that our identity is not found in a Student of the Month award! Praise God that our identity is not found in the house we live in, the car we drive and how clean we are! Praise God that our identity is not found in a pay check, a credit card or a name brand!

Praise God that our identity is found in Him!

"Create in me a pure heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me." -Psalm 51:10



Cindy said...

I am participating in the online study of Lisa's book ~ it is fabulous.
I am sorry things are so 'imperfect' in your life right now but that is how we stay connected to God ~ I think He kind of likes it that way ~ He's funny like that.
I will be praying that you find peace in the midst of trials and joy in the midst of disappointments.
Bless you, Cindy

On Purpose said...

Sweet sister...thank you for posting this...there were some great words for me to read and for my heart to hear today. God spoke to me through your post...thank you for being that channel.

When there are circumstances and/or people around you that are struggling to be real... I need to hold on tight to the one and only REAL thing in my life..God!

Thank you

Praying and knowing God is loving all over you!

Faith said...

Love that last verse so much. That is the cry of my heart as well. Praying for y'all!

Technonana said...

Oh Sweetheart... it sounds like you and your husband need some time just for the two of you!!!
I know with things the way they are right now that is hard... but YOU my darling need a break.. from the mundane, from the everyday, and yes, from your precious girls!!
Even if it is just one 'Date Night' with your 'imperfect' husband!!!
GO SEE FIREPROOF, it's a great movie and when you see it you will understand why I recommend it so highly... it has done wonders for my marriage, and we have been married 41 years...
We all need a little 'fun' in our lives!!! and you deserve it!!!

Jennifer said...


Thanks for another great post. Your honesty is so helpful. I am always challenged by your posts - so good for me. I mentioned this on my blog today....thanks for making me "think"!


Joyful said...

Nicki, I spent time in prayer for you this afternoon - didn't know about the "perfect mess" you were having today. So glad that the Lord reassured you that your identity is in Him alone - and He can't keep His eyes off you He loves you so much.

Hugs and prayers,

The Patterson 5 said...

Your honesty brought tears to my eyes and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I haven't seen a marrige yet that hasn't had some messy days and mothering.....definately messy. God clears away our messes and makes Him glorious through our weaknesses (which is even better than perfect!) Life is messy, God can clean it up and He can shine through us to others seeking light not perfection! People are drawn to you because of the light from Jesus you shine. Your words are honest and encouraging as you lead others to the only one who is perfect! May your tomorrow be better than today and I am throwing my mask away thanks to your encouragement!!!

Sharon Brumfield said...

That's my girl!
I know life is rough.....seems to be going around. But, this is working something so much bigger than we can see. Can we trust that? Will it be worth it?
I look around and wonder what happened to life....what is happening to life? Will I ever recognize a semblance of what life used to be like when I considered it good?
Still....I want to keep walking. I want to honor Him...I don't want to be a quitter. And you know what....HE will make sure that we are not.
I don't know what this phase of our life is all about...but HE does!
And that is all the hope we need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Keep taking the test girl....remember that there are no F's only redo's.
And the good day we will be perfect as He is perfect.
And that is a FACT. Till foot in front of the other.

Jenny said...

That was a great post. It brought back all the feelings I had when I first went back to work, a year ago. It was painful because so much of what I did was based on the picture of being perfect. Working throws all of that out the door!

The good thing is, as you grow and I grow, we get the chance to have deeper roots! And more fruit!

The Bible study did go great! Week one is on our church's website here...

You can click the link and print it out. I would love any feedback you might have to offer.


Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

My eyes began to fill with tears too! This post really tugged at my heart today...thanks so much for sharing!

More than Survival said...

An honest post!!!
Life would be so much different if we would all just take our masks off and once and for all quit trying to be perfect!!!!

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

I'm so gald I stopped by for a visist today. You have a beautiful blog and an obviously beautiful heart.

I am in the midst of learning so much of what you expressed in this post. Realizing that we are all just struggling through the imperfection together. GOd is so faithful! Love your aunthenticity!