{this post is part of Five-Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo Baker}

Five Minute Friday

How it works: Write on one word for five minutes. No editing. Then link up your post with the rest of the brave writers on Five-Minute Friday and encourage them by reading and commenting on what they’ve shared. {All the details for how to play along are here.}

Today’s word: Mess


Milk drips from her chair, pooling on the floor and her eyes grow wide as she looks up at me. I can see the question in her three-year-old eyes. Did I do something wrong? Are you angry?

She is practicing drinking from an uncovered cup and we have talked about spills. That we want to try and keep the milk in the cup by not playing too much. But accidents happen and now she looks down at the mess and back up on me, wide eye blinking in doubt, tears threatening.

I smile at her. Let’s go get some paper towels and a dish rag so we can wipe it up, I say. It’s not a big deal, I assure her, watching as the first tear slides down her cheek. I can only conclude that we are born with a sense that messing up is a bad thing, because we have never yelled over spills and messes. Even so, she needs my assurance.

Together, we sop up the milk and she climbs back up in her chair to finish what little milk is left in her cup. I sit across from her and smile, I love you more than I can tell you, I say.

sweet pea


I love you so, so, so much, Mama, she tells me.

See, not a big deal, right? I say as I watch her lift the cup carefully to her mouth. After a big gulp, she smiles over at me with her milk mustache. Messes aren’t a big deal. We can always clean them up. I give her a wink and we sit together as she finishes her milk and banana.

How I want my girls to understand that life is messy and that it’s okay. Because there’s just no escaping the truth that life gets messy. I want them to know this and to carry with them my love and God’s love and not be afraid of screwing things up.

Sweet girl, life will be messy sometimes. Relationships will be messy, too, because they involve people and people are not perfect. But messy is not a bad thing, my love. Know that, my darling. Know that it’s okay to get messy, to be messy, to mess up, and then to make amends. Life is a beautiful mess filled with grace and wonder and love in spite of the spills and stumbles and hurts and pain. It’s a beautiful, messy gift.

sweet girl

And, sometimes, my love, it’s going to hurt you and you are going to hurt others because life and relationships and love are messy. It’s just the nature of living in a fallen world, my sweet girl. But you will find some of your greatest moments in the messes, I promise you.

In some messes you will find grace and that God’s love is big enough to cover even our biggest mistakes.

In some messes you will discover pain because of lies you believed and because someone did not care for your heart as you deserved. But you will learn what to expect from others and how to treat others.

In some messes you will discover a better way to do something or a better way to be because you will learn what didn’t work.

In some messes you will find beauty because sometimes cherished treasures require us to get our hands and our hearts messy as we dig through the muck.

messy painting

In all messes you will find Jesus, because he will never leave you or forsake you. You will discover his unconditional love. You will discover your heart and your desires. And you will see that I will never stop loving you.

Oh, my sweet little girl, may you know that making a mess is not something to be afraid of or ashamed of, because it is in the messes we make that we grow and we love and we learn who we are. And it is our messes that draw us closest to Jesus. 


7 thoughts on “Life Is a Beautiful, Messy Gift

    1. Isn’t that one of the most amazing things about God? His ability to redeem our bad choices and our messes. Really want my girls to learn that early!

  1. i loved this post! i love all the ways you described our messes as teaching moments..that we are always the student when it comes to messes and life and that it is in our messes that we learn the most about life and love…that perfect Love casts out all fear….that forgiveness sweeps them away and gives us a clean slate….so important to teach our kids that….to foster forgiveness and unconditional love in their hearts because we extend it readily to them….

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave such a thoughtful comment. I appreciate you stopping by.

      I am hoping that my girls understand forgiveness and unconditional love a lot sooner than I did, And that they will embrace the fact that life is messy by its nature and that’s okay because it’s also beautiful.

      Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Thank you, Trish for taking time to read and leave me comment. And I appreciate your encouragement. Life is messy and most of the time I try to encourage them to explore and be messy. It’s good practice, right?

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