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Make a Joyful Mess!

Posted by on 12/20/2011


For those of you who know me, you may be surprised to know that my family room has looked like this for 4 days. As someone with a (moderately) compulsive need for clean, I offer this as proof of sanctification. I have let the house be enveloped by the holiday fury, sewing projects to finish, laundry mile high waiting to be folded while we watch “Elf”, wrapping paper out, unwrapped presents stashed, and best of all, our new German exchange student living in the family room while we re-arrange the bedrooms for her. (This latter joy is taking an extra long time because the new ikea bed we bought has to fluff and air for 72 hours . . . crazy store, that ikea.)

And I am actually happy about the mess; it feels like the real “spirit of Christmas” (i.e. the Holy Spirit uniquely at work in this season of waiting, expectation, and real heart-and-sacrifice-giving) is living in my home. I sacrifice order to let life happen. We have opened our home wide to stranger from far away and let our hearts truly love her. I have actually managed to do a decent job at Christmas presents in terms of being frugal yet thoughtful, organized, and on time, (uh, almost, there area few crucial gifts to finish . . . ah!) which again, if you know me, you realize is a miracle. I am the worst gift giver; I am forgetful about birthdays and a horribly indecisive shopper. Horribly. When shopping, my perfectionism binds me in a tight, immovable knot. Its just terrible to shop with me, right mom?

So for this week, this is my small, silly, practical way to “prepare Him room.” I have set aside my need for order and cleanliness and opened my house wide open to the activity and mess that is life engaged in loving, un-controlling relationships. There is a grace and joy that swirls through the mess, trips over the laundry, and hums with the sewing machine as it helps me finish imperfect, but made with love, projects. And I find the freedom to give way to the mess, because I know that while God constantly engages his messy people, He is also a God of order. I trust that, as I follow Him and He leads me, there will be a time for a mess and also a time to clean the house, to worship by making our little patch of creation beautiful, and go to sleep Christmas eve night with all in order, all finished that is going to be finished, ready to celebrate the gift of Jesus, Immanuel, Messiah come down.

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