A Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess

One day this summer the C’s and I were playing with sidewalk chalk in the driveway when I noticed Connor doing something over by our trashcans. I walked over to take a look and saw that a few of his pieces of sidewalk chalk had snapped in half, and he was throwing them away. “What are you doing, buddy?” I asked him.

“I can’t use these anymore,” said my little four-year-old perfectionist, “They’re broken.”

“Well, just because they’re not perfect doesn’t mean they can’t be used,” I replied. Woah. When I heard those words come out of my mouth, I stopped dead in my tracks. Just because they’re not perfect doesn’t mean they can’t be used. It applies to more than sidewalk chalk, my friends.

I started thinking of all the times I’ve used “not being perfect” as a reason not to allow myself to be used: when I chose not to step out on a limb in a relationship because I was afraid to “rock the boat,” when I haven’t reached out to a struggling friend because I didn’t feel like I had the right words to say to “fix” her situation, when I avoided sharing my faith because I worried that I wasn’t eloquent enough or would come across the wrong way…

I’ve even done it in my mothering. I worry that I’m unusable in the lives of my children because I’m still making so many mistakes myself. “I’m screwing them up!” I find myself thinking, “How will they ever learn to love the Lord and be the kind of adult He desires them to be with me as their example?!”

The thing is, though, God didn’t give Connor and Caleb to me because He thought I would be a perfect mother. He gave them to me because He knew I was the perfect mother for them, flaws and all, and He knew that in my weaknesses, His power would be made perfect. Just because I’m not perfect doesn’t mean I can’t be used.

If you’re involved with MOPS at all, you’re probably familiar with the theme that MOPS International chose this year: A Beautiful Mess. I love this theme so much because it’s totally relatable. Mommyhood is messy. Even beyond the physical mess of toys and dirty dishes, I’m often a mental “mess,” beating myself up over the millions of wrong decisions I make each day—“I came down too hard on him,” “I should have stood my ground with that one,” “maybe if I was a better mom, he wouldn’t choose to behave that way,” etc., etc., etc.  And that’s where I need to let go of my expectations of being perfect and just make myself available for God’s use in my kids’ lives.

We have been given the most important job in the entire world: raising our children to become the people that the Lord created them to be. And even when we feel like we’re way too imperfect for the task, God’s Word says that we are enough. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. “

We are God’s masterpiece. The same God who created the entire universe considers us His greatest creation. He knows we’re not perfect. That’s why He sent His son to make the ultimate sacrifice for us. But just because we’re not perfect doesn’t mean we can’t be used by Him—in our kids’ lives, in our husbands’ lives, in the lives of other mommies, or even in our day-to-day interactions with perfect strangers. It may be messy, but if we make ourselves available and let the Lord work through us, it is also so, so beautiful.

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13 Comments

  1. Thanks, Abby! Just what I needed to hear

    1. abbylawson says:

      Aw, thanks, Kari! I’m so glad you stopped by! I hope the Fox family is doing well!

      ~Abby =)

  2. I needed this this morning- you, as always, have impeccable timing. YOU are such an inspiration!

    Me? I’m always overextending myself all over the place…. and being hard on myself for never checking all the things off the to do list (case in point: I can’t seem to get on a good blogging schedule and missed two weeks of posting and linking up!). Sometimes though- it’s just more important to hang with my family, and read something from a book instead of online.

    Hadn’t heard of MOPS…popping over there now to see what its all about 🙂

    Have a wonderful week Abby!

    1. abbylawson says:

      Girl, I totally hear you! I am always “preaching” to myself when I write these things. I am notorious for biting off more than I can chew! I definitely recommend MOPS! My MOPS girls have been such a great support system for me. Some groups are even specifically for military wives/moms, too, if you would want to connect specifically with other military families. Thank you for your sweet words and encouragement. You are the best!

      ~Abby =)

  3. So glad I read your blog this morning. I have been feeling like this a lot. thankful for the reminder that we may not be perfect in our eyes or the world’s eyes, but we are in Christ’s. 🙂

    1. abbylawson says:

      Thank you, Erin! When I write these posts, it’s usually mostly as a pep talk to myself, lol! It’s good to know that others are benefitting from it too! 🙂 Hope you are having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  4. Thank you for sharing this!! You are so totally right! I really needed to hear this today and I’m sure tons of other moms need to hear it as well!! I’ve pinned it for later so when I need to read it again I’ll know right where to look! 🙂

    1. abbylawson says:

      Thank you so much, Megan! I’m always hesitant to write these things because I think, “What if I’m the only one who struggles with things like this?” you know? It’s comforting to know that others are in the same boat! Thanks for pinning! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  5. So perfectly put, Abby! 🙂

    1. abbylawson says:

      Thank you, friend! <3

      ~Abby =)

  6. Great post! I love the MOPS theme this year too. I am on the Steering Team for the meeting in our area. I love being a part of MOPS! I think we can all appreciate the beautiful messes in our lives and be thankful for God’s grace.

    Blessings,
    Mary

    1. abbylawson says:

      Amen to that, Miss Mary! Good for you for doing Steering! I am the coordinator for our group this year, and I would be totally lost without the rest of my steering girls! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

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