So I'm not Martha Stewart. It's certainly not the end of the world. But boy does it make a highly administrative job extremely challenging. Tonight I spent 6 hours - I kid you not - organizing and cleaning my classroom. And all the papers still aren't filed. But to me, it's like a page right out of Real Simple. (Basically that means you can see the top of my desk.) I should have taken before and after pictures like a good little blogger would, but alas, read the title. I don't exactly claim to have it all together. Besides that, I could probably take the "after" pictures first and just give it a few weeks to take the "befores." I'm telling you, a real work in progress here.
Okay, so enough about the mess, where's the beauty in it? That's what I love. Here's where I come to life. Not in a pile of paperwork, art supplies, and notebooks...but in the midst of the life-giving truth of the heart of who I am, the Spirit that lives inside me, and the God that I adore. He is the beauty in my mess. I realized while I was driving home tonight how much less I try to be perfect now than I did in my younger years. I mean, I was the girl with the bangs that took 2 hours every morning to pouf perfectly before shelaquing with aerosol. Now it's a good day if I use a hairdryer. Then there were the years of trying to say the just right thing and being literally paralyzed with fear over what people must of thought of me. I remember so clearly the process of giving up my pursuit of perfection. I basically got tired. Exhausted from taking so much responsibility for my own value and worth. It is a beautiful freedom to surrender that effort to God and let Him alone define who I am.
Growing in life is not about getting better, becoming someone you always wanted to be, receiving the affirmation of others, accomplishing all your hopes and dreams, or even having all of your papers filed. It truly comes down to how much you are willing to lean completely into Jesus alone, making much of Him while thinking nothing of yourself. It is daunting, I know, which is why the fullness of this will unfortunately never be realized this side of Heaven. Yet the process can begin today. Everything, and I mean absolutely everything of significant worth and value flows directly out of a relationship with Jesus Christ. We don't do things to prove our worth and earn our salvation, then come to Jesus ready to be approved of, forgiven, and redeemed. Instead we need to go straight to Him, broken into a million pieces, admitting our inability to make sense of or succeed at anything on our own, and cry out to Him to be everything to us. To overcome all that is in us and fill us with His Spirit. Then from that comes the forgiveness, healing, redemption, and hope. That relationship produces the fruit. The good works then become an offering of gratitude, an overflow of an overwhelming love.
Trust me, I've got problems. As a matter of fact, those are the exact words I just said to my husband. Multiple times in a day I either think or say, "I'm a mess." Smiling in my heart of course. Because I know that I can stumble and fall and fail at everything around me, but because of the Savior I serve, the Lord who loves me with an undying and everlasting love, I might be a mess...but a beautiful one at that.