A Beautiful Mess

I’ve found myself getting envious lately. There are too many pretty pictures floating around Instagram. You know the type: pristine white backgrounds with something awesome in focus. I end up “liking” the picture and then I click to see the person’s whole feed, where everything looks cohesive and so, so pretty all together. Then I look at my feed and it’s a jumbled mess. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t want to be like those Instagramers with their pretty pictures, tons of comments and “likes,” and a put-together life. But then I realized that my life isn’t always pretty—it’s a beautiful mess.

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As I typed that first paragraph, my newborn was asleep in her car seat (I successfully made the trip from the car to the back of the house without her waking up—can I get a high five?), but now that I’m typing this paragraph, she’s awake and screaming her little head off. Speaking of her head: her face is currently turning the shade hot pink, which matches the headband she’s wearing. She gets a little feisty when she’s upset.

(Don’t worry…she’s happy and content again…she just peed her pants.) 

So back to being a beautiful mess. That’s my life now—it’s the season
I’m currently in. It’s messy and it’s beautiful, and sometimes I’ll
capture those pristine moments, but other times things may not be in
complete focus, and I need to be okay with that. More than that, I want
to blog about it and share it with you every once in awhile.

It’s funny, but I didn’t intend to write this post. I was going to jump on the blogger bandwagon and write out five things for this Friday. I was going to start by taking a pretty picture of my desk. I stopped by Starbucks this morning, so the obligatory to-go cup would be the main focus, followed by my blogging calender and my keyboard; I even brought in a mason jar and was going to throw a flower in there. How very original of me, I know. But then the baby started crying and I realized there wouldn’t be time to clean up my desk. Beautiful went out the window and a messy—real life—picture is what I captured instead.

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I’ve found myself getting very short-tempered with Julia lately. She’s growing up and discovering which buttons she can push and what her limits are, and I’d be lying if I said I’ve been handling it with grace, because I haven’t. My frustration levels have been through the roof, and that’s not making it easier on either of us. I don’t like fighting with her, but man those tantrums can be a little unreal sometimes. (I mean, really—why can’t she just be content with the blue spoon instead of me having to dig out the pink spoon from the unclean dishwasher?)

Yesterday I started reading a new book, and after reading a few chapters of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, I’ve started re-evaluating myself and my relationship with God and my family. Things need to change, and it needs to change from within. I need to make some new rules and boundaries for myself (only working and being on my computer/phone during set, designated times, like when Julia’s at the sitter or asleep, for example), and giving as much of my attention to the little ones as I can.

I’m going to fail. I mean, technically I’m failing at that right now since Maddie could probably use a diaper change (she fell asleep again, by the way). But the point is that I’m going to try. My life has changed, and because of that, I need to change my perspective and the way we (I) do things around here. It’s going to take a lot of patience and prayer, and a whole lot of grace.

Failing is okay. Being messy is okay. If I were perfect I wouldn’t need grace, and I certainly wouldn’t need God. Thankfully, Jesus died for me and every single one of my messes. I’m not anticipating a radical change anytime soon since I will definitely be taking baby steps, but even an inch forward (and two steps back, I’m sure) will be better than nothing. So in the meantime, welcome to my beautiful mess.

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13 Comments

  1. I love this post. I often feel the same way about the Instagram pictures – but then I remember that I am happy, my kids are happy and life, though it's messy, is wonderful. Hope you have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  2. You're normal. I'm pretty sure all those bloggers with the awesome Instagrams are either on drugs or we only see a tiny sliver of their lives. We don't see the mess and the normal stuff.

  3. I have white backgrounds in some of my pictures because we were really dumb when we moved and bought a white coffee table and kitchen table. They are now covered in rings from mugs and wine glasses and I have like a few spaces that are clear and since the table is next to the window it also gets good light and so it looks like it is on purpose but it really is just because I cannot get a new table! I like a bit of mess though I like seeing your desk like a place were a real person lives, like if I happened to be in Georgia I could stop by and feel at home.

    1. O and I just went and scrolled through your instagram after reading this and what is shows is a mother with two absolutely beautiful and fun loving daughters whom she adores more than anything and a pizza that I will dream about, not to shabby in my book.

  4. This is perfection. I feel exactly the same way most days. And sometimes, though I hate to admit it, now that I'm pregnant again I wonder if I'll EVER be able to have a clean house with little effort or be able to do things that *I* want to do. Of course part of that probably has something to do with the fact that I have ZERO friends here and just feel lonely. But you're right – if I were perfect, I wouldn't need grace. And I'd certainly miss out on a whole lot of good stuff. I really need to bust out my copy of Desperate.

  5. I always have these kinds of thoughts floating around in my head. But then I have to think in perspective: those instagrammers with the pretty, put-together photos? Probably don't have two beautiful tiny kids whose hands get into everything. And while I'd love my house to stay clean when I clean it, and to have the time to get my hair and nails done often, its just not my reality, at this stage. {{And I have to remind myself of this EVERY DAY … MANY TIMES a day.}} We were born with a sinful nature — envy being part of that. But with His grace, we can overcome!

  6. Oh my dear, this is the best. Seriously, this is your life right now, and this is what you'll want to remember. We all struggle…and to be honest, I like the messy photos better. It's what we're really living, and that's why I read blogs. If I wanted something perfect, I'd just read a magazine. Keep your head up girl!

  7. I absolutely love this post and its realness. Life is messy! That's okay!

    "If I were perfect I wouldn't need grace, and I certainly wouldn't need God."

    This sentence really resonated with me. One thing I've been working on in the last year is giving myself grace. I definitely haven't done everything "right," but just the fact that Dan and I SURVIVED the last year is good enough for me.

    Also, my Instagram secret is 1) Afterlight and 2) consistent borders. I don't use any of Instagram's filters or borders anymore. I take about a minute to edit my pictures with Afterlight and slap on the basic border (preferred size 20).

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