It's messy up in here

We were laughing as we often do. Eric telling John about something I’d written and John cringed and said, “that’s messy”. I stood defiant as I replied, “I’m messy.”

There was one thing mama didn’t tolerate and that was a mess. My hair was cut in the short pixie until mid way through grade school because mama wanted it neat. I was allowed to let it grow only with the understanding it would be kept from hanging in my face. (You can’t imagine the compulsive ways that manifest itself).

rebellion ;)
rebellion 😉

Neat, uncluttered, organized, these are the things that help me breathe comfortably and feel accomplished. I’ve conquered our stuff!

But life is messy because fear and pride can’t be hidden away for long. Selfishness and self-pity, arrogance and defiance cannot be dusted and tucked inside a basket on the shelf.

At five, our granddaughter lines up her toys. They are in a neat row and we smile and wonder if these are tendencies being revealed. DNA from great-grammy?

There are no neat rows for addiction and relapse and turning away from the Beauty and Love that chases us all. There is no way to clean up Alzheimer’s and the guilt and long grief it brings to families. All we can do is muddle through the mess trying to clear a space for love.

mama

Mamas hands black and white

 

Laughing mama

There is no way to avoid living a messy life when you believe the One who turns life upside down when he uses addicts to teach this church girl and expose the mess I thought was so well-ordered. When he takes my words, rehearsed and regurgitated from years of listening but seldom learning, and like a boomerang they come back  at me, this time filtered through the lens of grace and I know I am the mess.

Alumni Sunday

I’m finding the best way is to live through our mess together.  I’m finding the mess has always been me. Hair brushed back out of my face, books all neat on the shelf and bed made first thing each morning makes me neat. Compulsive a bit or maybe I can say I’m just honoring mama. Neat but choosing to walk in the mess of service just like she did. Choosing to love others right in their mess because He still loves me in mine.

This is an updated post to the original published in 2013 and part of the Woman2Woman link up.

 

More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

13 thoughts on “It's messy up in here

  1. Katharine Trauger

    When a neatnik learns to tolerate a mess, it’s God! 😉

    Reply

    1. Debby

      You’ve got that right Katharine!

      Reply

  2. Caddo

    WOW, such a fab testimony, Debby. I kind of go back and forth on the “messiness” issue–not too compulsive anymore, as “real-er” things have taken priority (thank You Lord!). God bless you BIG today–love, sis Caddo

    Reply

    1. Caddo

      I forgot something important: You’re invited to my party on Thursday–I’ll save you a seat, and a plate!!

      Reply

    2. Debby

      Good for you Caddo. My mother in law stitched a picture for me when our kids were babies that said something like housework can wait because babies don’t keep. I wish I’d followed that more. Being has always been harder for me than doing. I’m still a work in progress!

      Reply

      1. Caddo

        Oh aren’t we all?! I’m getting more and more comfortable with “Resting in the Lord”–no need to drive ourselves crazy.

        Reply

  3. Caddo

    Caddo’s parties go on for days! Come “whenever”, I’ll save you some cake!

    Reply

  4. Mama's Empty Nest

    From someone who likes her ducks in a row, I needed this today. Life is messy. People are messy. And relationships are messy too. Only God can straighten out the messes and I’m so thankful for that!

    Reply

    1. Debby

      Cindy, you have been on my mind this week. If we lived closer I’m sure we’d get together at Panera Bread to enjoy some live chat. Just know you’re in my prayers.

      Reply

  5. ImprintsKatie

    So thankful He is not repelled by our mess.:) Stopping by from Woman 2 Woman.:)

    Reply

    1. Debby

      Me too Katie. Thanks for stopping by and sharing the grace.

      Reply

  6. Abby

    What a beautiful piece, Debby. My family struggles with addiction too, and I’m so grateful I believe in a God who can redeem any mess, no matter how ugly. Thanks for sharing your story here. Such an inspiration for those with loved ones who haven’t found the way home yet.

    Reply

    1. Debby

      Thanks for stopping by Abby. We’re all somewhere on that journey of finding home. I’m thankful for all those helping me along the way. God’s servants come in so many different forms. Even blog readers! 🙂

      Reply

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