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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Yes in the Mess

Photo Credit:  Prawny from
Over the course of our three-day weekend, there was smoke coming out of my computer keyboard.  Well, not literally, but my fingers were moving so fast that I thought I saw smoke.  It could certainly have been my foggy contacts at 2:00 am, but I digress.

Why on earth was I on my computer at that hour?  Well, I was doing some serious college-finals-style-cramming.  However, it wasn’t for a test at all.  I was compiling a 3,000 word essay all about love for a writing contest.  I’m really not a procrastinator by nature so it made me super antsy to be writing with a clock ticking.  My restless legs were moving up and down so fast while I typed that the carpet is rubbed down to the padding in those spots.  

My usual modus operandi involves crossing things off a list.  Even if a task I’ve already done wasn’t on the list, I will oftentimes add it to the list, just to cross it off.  Something about that just feels good to me.  Call me crazy.  However, this essay stayed on my list all summer.

Sometime late last spring (yep!), my mother-in-law gave me a magazine clipping with information about an upcoming writing contest.  The contest dates were June 1st through September 1st.  “Oh, I have PLENTY of time," I thought.

Well, the summer days flew by with tons of family time, trips across Texas, and lazy weekends of sleeping in.  I mean, I thought about the contest and what I’d like to write many times during the summer, but I never actually sat down to do it.  So, there I sat on August 31st trying to polish the final details of my essay.  And, boy oh boy, 3,000 words is quite a bit to edit.  Heck, at this point on this blog post you have read 308 words.  Just add 2,692 more. 

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE to write and I actually had to cut a few paragraphs out to get my essay down to the maximum limit of 3,000, but editing that many words is another story.  My eyes crossed many times and all the words ran together.

Love encompasses so much, ya know?  At first, I wondered where on earth I’d possibly start.  I had to narrow it down, so in my essay, I wrote about the love story between my husband and me.   Hopefully, they’ll pick my essay out of the other 50 gazillion essays and you’ll get to read it in a magazine one day.  I’ll definitely keep ya posted on that.

Anyhoo!  Revisiting the story of how my husband and I met and re-reading the essay more times than I will admit; I have to say that I felt a new spark ignite for the man that I call my husband.  The butterflies are certainly still there.  Sometimes they just take naps during different seasons in our lives.

Isn’t it so easy to get into a comfort zone with each other?  Isn’t it so easy to take each other for granted?  Isn’t it so easy to forget?  To forget the love that brought you together in the first place.

Gosh, with the start of school and all the ups and downs of that, it’s easy to just focus on the kiddos.  Sometimes we forget our spouse in the mix.  My friend, Jennifer, posted something on facebook a few days ago that grabbed my attention.  It was a blog post by Kristen Welch called, “Three Things I Gave Up To Make My Marriage Better.”

Welch shared some wonderful insight.  She said she’s learned that sometimes we have to give up and give in to get the best out of our marriage.  Welch encouraged us to give up three things to gain more in our marriages: pride, superiority, and selfishness.

Welch says, “Let’s admit when we are wrong.  Let’s hush when we are right.  And, let’s support our spouse even if it costs us something.”

Welch shares that humans are really good at holding grudges, stewing about wrongs, and making excuses.  Many of us might even relate to that old Mac Davis song line, “Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way…”  However, isn’t it really time that we humble ourselves and admit when we’re wrong?  Welch encourages us to apologize to each other and make amends in order to make our marriages work.  “Pride will destroy a marriage and a soul.”  (Amen, sista!)

Welch also shares that, “Just because we can wave the ‘I told you so’ banner boldly at times, it doesn’t mean that we should.”  Some of the most powerful moments in her marriage were ones in which one of them was right and didn’t say a word.  She said, “It’s called grace and you just can’t have too much of it with your spouse.”

And, heaven knows we can be selfish.  Many times, we’re pretty darn good at it if I do say so myself.  But, when we set our selfish desires aside and join our spouse in their struggles, we are reassuring them that they’re not alone.  Listening to each other is such a very important part of the loving.  God didn’t say it would be easy.  He said it would be worth it.

Life can be messy and I need to remember to say yes in the mess.  My eyes and my actions need to say, “Yes, I see you.  Yes, I hear you.  I am listening,” when my husband is sharing his life with me. And, I certainly need to holler out a God-sized “Yes” when trying to follow the Lord’s will for my life.  Sometimes I forget.

Every inch of my being wants to say, “Yes, Jesus, I trust in you.  May I always bring Your hope into my family.  Yes, Jesus, I trust in you.  May I always bring Your love into my family.  Yes, Jesus, I trust in You.  May I always bring Your mercy into my family.”  I just have to open my heart to the yes.

Many days, I forget the yes in the mess.  But, a couple of quotes from Kristen Welch’s book, “Rhinestone Jesus” caught my eye.  One was this, “God wants you right in the middle of your mess because it’s the perfect place for Him to shine.”  The other was, “You don’t have to do something BIG for Him; just do SOMETHING because your ‘yes’ matters.”  I love it!

Won’t you join me in saying yes in the mess?  Let’s remind each other to love during the ordinary, messy, meet-‘em-where-they’re-at-kinda-days.

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!

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