An Invitation Into My Mess

My greatest fear on this blogging journey? My most haunting thought as I spill my life onto the screen? My deepest dread?

That you would believe my life is all together—wrapped in perfection and ribboned with ease.

Because it isn’t.

Instead, I’m a mess desperate for grace.

Clothes pile up. Dust takes over. Weeds fill flowerbeds. Fingerprints smudge. And those mildew rings in toilets…ugh!


But that’s just the surface. Really, it’s easy, or at least easier, to invite you into my dirty house. What’s harder?

To invite you into the stained blots on my soul. The parts that ache when Prince Charming and I head straight down the roller coaster of marriage with silent screams and clenched teeth.

The parts that get annoyed with my children. Those parts that secretly want to run for the hills. The selfish side of my life that only wants the cuddles and the kisses and the hugs but doesn’t want to actually work to raise the next generation.

And there are the days gossip lays thick in my mouth. The cuss-like-a-sailor words that fill my mind when things don’t go my way. The times anger rules my decisions. The weeks I allow my job to trump my family. When I’m not willing to do the difficult because I chose lazy instead.

Or the moments that even though my Jesus-love is strong, even though I’ve loved His nail-pierced hands for as long as I can remember, I still struggle with the whys and the how-comes.

My black-stained list could go on. And on. I stare at the screen even now, scared to share the darkest parts.

But maybe it’s enough for you to know I have fragments and shards left over from crushed pieces of my soul. Maybe it’s better I don’t hold up my past as some badge for you to compare with your own. Because God has cast those sins as far as the east is from the west—and what those mistakes were shouldn’t matter. But you need to know they’re there.

Maybe it’s in sharing the mess and struggles of now? If we did even that?

Grace would come.

Last weekend we allowed the ocean waves to salt our toes and the sun to warm our backs. As we walked the shoreline, I discovered the 10-year-old sweet girl still hunts broken shells. I thought, after all this time, she’d set her sites on the perfect.

But she didn’t, and I was reminded.

Reminded there is beauty in the broken. Reminded of the beautiful light only visible when we invite others into the shards and clutter of our broken shells and messed-up lives. Only when we sit in the middle of the brokenness does light filter onto holy palms open—offering ourselves.

So. I want to invite you into my mess.

I believe only when we look across the tables from each other and share our dirt, our filth—only then will our souls begin to heal from the grace we lift and sacred prayers we offer.

Friends. Let’s share our joys. Our triumphs. Our moments of brilliant glory. But may we also share our pains. Our sufferings. Our moments of black defeat.

No one is perfect. Not one. In sharing our deep cries we bring grace to the shreds in humanity’s soul. Because in our voiced imperfections is the realization we don’t always get life right. And if we don’t get it right? How can we expect perfection from the world?

When grace fills our lives there is no room for judgment or comparison. Let’s invite each other into the mess and dive deep into the well of grace.

There’s no other place I’d rather be.


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One Response to An Invitation Into My Mess

  1. candiss Fortenberry says:

    So very needed on this messy day….full of stomach bugs and dirty underwear from little ones (ewe gross) and mountains of laundry and dirty bathrooms and a to do list that is sure to give me a panic attack! Oh how I needed this!