Thursday, November 27, 2014

What Giving Thanks in the Midst of a Mess Means

I must have gone wrong somewhere--taken a left when maybe I should have gone right.

I keep taking deep, gasping breaths because I'm running right out of my skin with all these kids fighting and grumbling and spiting each other.

I've lost count of all my mind spinning and mind losing because simply keeping count is enough to send me over the moon. 

I've lost count of all my empty threats because I miss the enforcement window when the carrying them out matters...or because the child in question presents herself for her punishment because she knows she's busted. Or I'm just too afraid that I might regret the consequences I dole out in the flare of all my mind losing.

I mean I can't really lock them outside or lock me inside when all I really want to do is find a quiet, peaceful spot to catch a bit, a piece really, of my mind, my heart, my fortitude, that's whirling straight to oblivion.

I missed that turn somewhere. 
And now I might be lost.
And the only good news--the best good news--
is the Good News:
Jesus who came to save.



I might very well be lost. I've probably been lost before, though there's different kinds of "lost" aren't there. The lost I find myself in now is the one where I feel like very important pieces of me are chipping off in great big chunks leaving a crumbled, worn out, out of ideas mama behind.

It's the kind of lost that screams for a girl to retreat, yet there's no time to retreat and no place to retreat to and the kids still need a mama who follows through and shows up and loves till it hurts.

But Jesus knows right where I am right down to the smallest pinprick on the largest map.




I might feel like I'm losing a piece of me trying to keep all the pieces of me--my family, my kids, my classroom--in a messy free-fall of togetherness. But Jesus knows, and when I'm at the end of my very short rope, He throws me another--longer, stronger, better.

I might feel overwhelmed by a season that's steamrolling me right over,
and then I hear Him:

Quiet. Gentle. Still.

And I know it's Him because in this moment, I am none of those things.

And He says, it's what He always says when I feel this way:
"Be still."

And when I'm still I remember.
I remember what Thanksgiving means. What giving thanks means.
What it heralds. What, even in my frazzled turmoil, I can't deny.
He's coming.

I might be lost and overwhelmed and tired and worn straight to next week.
But He's coming. 
And He's coming for all of us who feel broken and bruised and trampled.
He's coming and He wants me just how I am.
 However I come. And there's so much grace and so much to be thankful for.

The father never asked his prodigal son to take a bath, to get it all together, before he wrapped his son up in all his love. That father was just so joyful that his son had come home, 
and everything else that came before
--the heartache, the betrayal, the despair--
was washed away in an ocean of grace.
The prodigal son was a mess. 
And it didn't matter one bit.

And so He doesn't hold me off because of my mess.
He doesn't ask that I get it all together before I can come and be with Him.
He takes me just how I am. Frazzled bits and all.
And it doesn't faze Him.
Not even a teeny tiny bit.

So yeah,
He's coming.
And I'm waiting.
For His Advent.

Sure, my kids are gonna test me tomorrow and my head will pound like a thousand drums from all that is my kids and sure, my patience will be worn straight to thin and I'll wonder if I'll ever find my mind,
and it's gonna be okay. I'm gonna be okay. We're gonna be okay.

Because He's still coming.

And there's always a hidden grace, a small thing to be thankful for.
And the act of finding that one thing in the middle of all the noise to be thankful for makes the finding easier and the grace flows down.
The quiet hug.
The small giggle
The kind help.
The silly grin.

There's always grace.
There's always thanks.
And thanks and grace always go hand in hand.
And He's coming.
The greatest Grace.

I've just got to keep putting one step in front of the other, taking one deep breath after another, loving one kid hard right after the other because I know that Truth and Hope and Love are more powerful, more mighty, more potent than all that is messy and unkempt and crazy in my world.

And the world desperately needs some Truth and Hope and Love this Season. 
Someone to bind us together, to heal all that's scabbed and scarred and bleeding.

He's coming.
And He knows right where we are.
And He's coming to meet us right here--in our lost, in our broken, in our hard, in our mess, in our overwhelmed, in our anger, in our despair.

He's coming.
Jesus is coming.

And I so don't want to miss Him.

Grace Always Rises,
Jamie


1 comment:

  1. This is such a crazy busy season and so easy to let all those "little things" build up into a giant "big thing". Been there, done that! Thanks for the reminder that His coming is what we should be focused on! I hope you get some time for yourself this season and take time to feed your soul. Have a great week, friend!

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