I'm not going to lie. It's been a tough summer. And it's not over yet. I am tired of messes. Everywhere messes. All other parents can probably relate to some extent. My Shelby is a champion mess-maker. I would put her in a contest with any of your kids and she would win hands down. Believe me when I tell you that I am not a clean-freak. I don't constantly need everything to be dusted, swept, vacuumed and disinfected. But I hate clutter. It makes me feel disorganized and, well...crazy. Shelby and clutter are friends. Because she is developmentally 2 years old, she still explores her world by making messes. But at 13, she is tall enough to reach everything. It seems these days that she loves to suprise me with just how much she can reach. Since she has been the same developmental age for about 10 years, there have been some phenomenal messes. If you have been Facebook friends with me for any length of time, you have probably laughed at many of them. It's OK. I wouldn't put it on FB if I didn't want you to laugh (or maybe feel sorry for me - depending on my mood). There was the time Shelby threw all the ashes from our fireplace all over the living room. There were the many times that Shelby drew on walls, dressers, or ceramic tile with permanent maker. The time she picked up a round watermelon and threw it - splattering it - on the floor because she thought it was a ball. The flooding of the front bedroom while trying to give herself a shower and the countless toys-all-over-the-place catastrophes. Won't you relive some of the memories with me in the pics below? I believe the fact that God gave me Shelby shows his deep sense of humor and possibly the huge job it is to refine me.
I get sooooooooooooo frustrated by the messes. Especially the ones she does over and over again (how much fun can it possibly be to throw all of the dog's food out of her bowl?) I can only imagine how frustrated God must get with me when I continually make a mess of things. I can hardly stand myself sometimes. How does He stand me? Much less love me? I mean, my sin is messy enough (selfishness, jealousy, envy, gluttony, etc, etc, etc,) but Isaiah 64:6 says that not only am I unclean, but even my righteous acts are like filthy rags compared to His perfection. Yikes! Even the things I feel pretty good about? Filthy? What's a neatnik to do? Hebrews 10:22 says, "let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water." If we have faith, and come to God with it, He makes us clean. We like to think that at the core, we are basically good people. But the Bible tells us that just isn't so. Everything that is good in us comes from God. And the more we draw near to Him through prayer, Bible study and worship, the more we can transform ourselves into the pure clean that God already sees. That is such good news for me! Because I am breaking up with messes. (Oh, if it were only that easy).