How to Embrace the Beauty within the Mess

 

I used to be a stickler for clean dishes and having absolutely nothing in the sink. Then came three kids, homeschooling, and freelancing, and I learned that there’s beauty in my mess. Two days ago, I was loading up the dishwasher and laughing at myself. At how much I’ve changed. And I just had to write about this mess.

Yes, in the midst of pots clanging and banging, dishes brown with dripping stew, a morning workbook half-done, kids running around in circles, a baby taking a two-minute nap and not a second more, and deadlines hanging over your head like a chandelier, there IS beauty in all that good mess.

You just have to be able to see it.

It may look like a storm has passed through your home sometimes, but it’s not the end of the world. Focus on your priorities and set a time later for cleaning up and getting back on track.

After a Storm Comes Peace

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Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Texas – states in the US recently shaken by severe storms and tornadoes. Leaving vicinities homeless. People lost. Homes that are no longer humane, muddy uprooted trees, cars swept away and broken into pieces, and sadly lives lost tragically.

Children ask, “Is God angry with us?” And you stare back at their innocent faces and with all the faith you can muster, you gently tell them through grief-stricken tears, “No, baby. God’s plan is never to bring us harm.” Because indeed, God’s plans for us are good and not of evil. But the enemy often will throw chaos at you to rattle you. You are victorious in Christ daily.

-Before you get your heart's desire, you need to get the skills to maintain the desire when it shows up at your door.- @lightherlamp

 

After the storm passes, there will be an indescribable peace and quietness. You will walk around putting broken pieces together. Time will pass. You will begin to re-build. You will roll up your sleeves and do the work of hammering, renovating, resurfacing, polishing, painting. You will pull through and eventually find beauty in your mess.

In my lighter scenario of dishes all over the sink, I have learned to see that the beauty is in knowing my priorities. Knowing what’s more important (our joy, our health, our brains, our tummies) and knowing that they matter more than anything else. In learning to prioritize, I have seen beauty in my accomplishments. I have learned to “receive” God’s grace.

Here are 3 things you should know about beauty and mess:

1. There’s No Beauty Without Mess

The next time you ask yourself, “Where’s the beauty in all this mess?” consider this:

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There’s no beauty without mess. See, God created the earth out of voidness. Emptiness. Nothing. There were no samples to inspire Him. God inspired Himself. The earth was “formless” and the Architect created something beautiful out of it.

So this chaos, this mess, is the ingredient you need to create. Create what you want to see. But don’t get shaken by the mess. Out of it will come your vision for your home and your goals.

2. Clay is Sticky and Messy

Clay means “sticky earth.” Yet, look at the work of a potter. He molds a fine vessel out of clay. Remember Jeremiah? God sent him to the potter’s house to observe something (Jeremiah 18). When he got there, he noticed the potter was making something out of clay and it turned out this thing was marred (disfigured) in the potter’s hands. Nevertheless, the potter began to do something. He began to rework it into another vessel that was better looking.

You are the clay and God is the Potter. He can never ever leave you marred.

3. Roses are from Thorny Bushes

A woman walks down the aisle holding the most enchanting bouquet of roses you’ve ever seen. Beautiful, right? But consider this: roses are found amongst the most prickly thorns. But when they are put together, the mess can never be seen in all that glory.

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There’s beauty in your mess. When life seems chaotic, just hold on and let the Potter work on you. Don’t worry. Don’t stew. Ignore the mess. You will get to it when you get to it, and it will eventually be eliminated.

Happy International Women’s Day

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“I come as one, but I stand as 10,000.” – Maya Angelou.

Happy International Women’s Day, my dear readers.

We are so strong, dear women. Never forget that. Each of us is only one person, but we wear many hats. Wife. Child-bearer. Nurturer. Rock. Friend. Sister. Encourager. Planner. Teacher. Entrepreneur. Prayer-warrior. Confidant. A helping hand. Mountain Climber. Overcomer. So much more.

So if for any reason you feel any less than you were created today, I’m here to tell you to lift up your head.

You are unique. You are strong. You can do this. Because God created you as a woman for a great purpose (“For You created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:13-14a).

Today is a celebration of our many conquests. Today is a day of gratitude to the Father for allowing us to get here. To win big despite all odds. For every time you’ve cried but lifted yourself up again. For those days you smiled at an aha moment. For those minutes you spent kneeling down in prayer. For those times you stayed up all night re-strategizing, re-organizing, re-scheduling, re-thinking. For every second you’ve encouraged yourself in the Lord.

Today, I celebrate you. And more than that, God who created you to be ‘woman,’ He loves you for who you are and is very proud of all your accomplishments.

XOXO.

My Confidence as a Woman

A woman with confidence is like eating ice-cream garnished with delicious chunks of Oreo cookies. A woman without confidence is like having plain ice-cream with nothing on top. I am certain that some of you reading this would say, “But plain ice-cream is so confident in itself because it does not need any embellishments to prove that it’s delicious.” All ye deep people! *giggles*

Today, I want to discuss confidence, but first, let me say, “I’m sorry for my hiatus.” With the arrival of a baby (our beautiful princess) adding to the adventurous, strong-willed boys in my blessed home, I had to take a short break from the Blog 🙂 Thanks to everyone who knew and blessed us with congratulatory messages on Instagram and beyond 🙂

Now, to the matter of confidence. I surround myself with confident women because I am attracted to this quality. When I see a woman who is confident in her own skin, she makes me smile. I believe God wants us to be confident in who we are.

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So get this. The confidence I speak about today has nothing to do with how a person is born. It is not an inherited trait but a learned trait. And I’m not speaking of a worldly kind of confidence either–because at our weakest moments, that kind of confidence can never stand.

I cannot imagine a life without the Father. As women, we already know we’re not the strongest physically. Plus we are emotional creatures. And as humans, we are all deeply flawed. So I can never believe in self-dependence because from experience I have always received my strength and confidence from God. So don’t be jealous when you see a woman strutting her stuff and owning her day. She’s drawing her source of strength from a deeper place.

‘Cause He Has Already Gone Before Me:

I get excited about having confidence in the God I serve. Confidence, that no matter what I do, He is with me. No matter where I go, He has already gone before me. And no matter what comes my way, I can handle it because He has ALREADY handled it.

This is why I am a confident woman.

Yes, I may not be perfect, but I am perfectly confident in Him. So as you can imagine, whatever the enemy tries, he cannot steal this kind of confidence. Once you’ve mastered embodying this confidence, it would be extremely hard for you to portray any other type of behavior.

  • If He has made me a Godly wife, then I am confident that I will be the best wife if I just trust Him.
  • If He has made me a blessed mother, then I will not yield to the enemy’s lies. I can do this, not because of my own prowess, but because God’s strength is in me to accomplish what may seem impossible.

I just want to encourage you today. What is it that you think you cannot do? There is nothing impossible with your Father. Why don’t you join me in laying it all at His feet today?

As you read this, there may be something on your heart that keeps piercing your spirit because you are unsure about how to go about it. I daresay you can be anything God has called you to be. Exude confidence today. And it starts with your spirit. The spirit controls the flesh, and whatever you allow your spirit to believe will eventually be the dominant factor in your life if you will it to be. The flesh is continuously at war with the spirit, but it’s up to you which wins.

Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” John 3:6. | Let your spirit give birth to spirit today. Let God’s Word be real to you. Let God’s Word be life to you, that you will begin to exude true confidence. Not because of who you are physically, but because of whose you are in the spirit.

Prayer: Dear Father, if anyone is reading this right now and has lost confidence in what it takes to fulfill what you called her to be, I pray you restore this one right now. Because right now as she makes this decision to be confident in you, she wins. Amen.

 

Shepherd Girl

Shepherd GIRL

 

 

That day will forever be etched in my memory. One second it was hot like fire, and the next the skies broke loose, making way for heavy rain to burst out of clouds that could no longer carry it. Like a mighty army, the rain approached the earth. Determined. Incapable of being stopped.

It fell with purpose. Wiping out suffocating heat. Cooling bodies filled with sweat. Resuscitating discolored blades of grass that drooped sideways, almost dead from days of lack. Bringing winds of refreshing to our sheep.

That day, after we’d put the sheep back in their shelter, we ran straight for the back door of the house. With clothes dripping wet, we sat in front of the kitchen window watching hard drops of rain hit brown soil, wilted grass, and those thirsty plants littered around the sheep shelter.

That same day, my mother looked into my eyes and said, “Nina, see how the rain falls?”

“Yes, mother,” I answered, half-wondering where she was going with this.

“Nina, your heart should be like rain,” she muttered. “One hundred percent in. One direction. One goal.”

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