God Bless This Hot Mess

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I’ve watched Cars almost every single day for the last year.  Tonight, I told my Little to stop sticking crayons in the dog’s ear.  Last night it took us 20 minutes of tears and snot before he managed to figure out how to put his head through the hole in his shirt.  Last week he ate cantaloupe with no problem, this week one bite triggers the gag reflex.

But somewhere in between the tears and the tantrums, there’s this great reminder that sometimes all you need is a “fweezie pop” and a hug to make the world make sense.  I wish life were as easy as climbing up into a lap and reading Courdoroy Goes to the Beach and Hop on Pop over and over again.

Most days I’m up to my eyeballs in laundry, dishes, and tiny toy cars that threaten to break my neck at every turn.  I’ve mastered the “mom look” and tonight I caught myself saying “when you grow up and pay the cable bill, you can choose what we watch on tv.”  At this point, I’m just a pair of mom jeans away from becoming a punchline on those someecards that everyone pins on Pinterest.

The other day I found myself honest-to-goodness praying the words, God would you just please bless this hot mess?  At this point, this is about the only thing I can muster out — eloquence is for people with kids who can make their own breakfast.  Hot mess seasons happen to everyone, and right now it’s happening to me.  We’re all alive, we’re all wearing pants out of the house, and sure, we might be eating graham crackers and applesauce for breakfast but at least we’re eating.  We had cake for dinner last night because I haven’t been to the store this week.  There’s preservatives and dyes in our food, but we still have a lot of love.  Like, a lot.  So I’m okay with the other things that aren’t perfect because today, my Little looks at me after his latest tantrum regarding the location of his shoes and says to me, “you’re my best friend.”

Sure, he’s just repeating what his Lightening McQueen toy car says but at least he’s using it in context!  And some days, I’ll even get a “mommy” tacked on the end of it.

God bless this hot mess.

One of my favorite people sent me this quote today that she saw on the Facebook page of another one of my favorite people:

“Guys- we gotta stop comparing. I have talked to many of you (one in particular today) who have altogether shut down their dreams, gifts, passions because they are tired of looking side to side and seeing others doing something better or similar or bigger or getting more credit.

To comfort you- everybody feels this.

Maybe you have quit or maybe you are miserable trying to prove yourself in your thing but it is possible to sheerly delight in what you were meant to do- just because it’s from God and it is right and you are in the place you are supposed to be. Dream- obey- and then rest in the thousands of unseen works God is doing through you simply obeying. Run on.”

I want you to be encouraged, warrior mama, and know that it is definitely okay to not be awesome every single day.  Quit wishing you could be like that mom in the car line with her amazing hair and just be you, workin’ that ponytail.  So what if you raised your voice today? Try not to do it tomorrow [though, you probably will so just brush yourself off and try again the next day after that].  Find something everyday to laugh at and then just keeping praying this prayer with me:

God bless this hot mess.  

Sit.

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Being a kid’s ministry leader is tough.  Even if you find yourself on a Sunday with all your team in place and your small group leaders are firing on all cylinders, you’re still probably thinking about something that needs to be done, a parent you need to find in the lobby after service, or about something you left in your office and you’re trying to decide whether or not you want to walk across campus to get it.  Oh, is that last one just me?

I’ve realized that sometimes it’s really hard to get out of my head and meet Jesus on Sunday as a ministry leader.

I’ve also realized that each year at Orange Conference, my favorite thing to do is just. sit.

And listen.

And worship.

It’s a beautiful thing, really.  I don’t have to run any copies, or program anything, or put out any fires.  Jon Acuff said last night as we were closing out the first main session that there’s a point when we’re in spaces like this we realize that even though we are leaders, we need to be lead.  I love that.  Because it’s true.  If all you do is lead, you’ll never learn how to be lead. So sit down for a few days and let someone else lead you.

Leader, as you go through the next few days if I could encourage you to do two things it would be this:

Worship without abandon.

You’re going to have a lot of awesome information thrown at you, great communicators are going to blow your mind, and the food trucks are going to be so delicious but you, beautiful leader, you are here to rest. refresh. renew.

Find yourself lost in the idea that God is bigger than anything you can imagine, look for Him in the words of the worship songs, and hear Him speak directly to you.

Pray.

It’s easy to focus on the ‘what’ and to forget the ‘who’ — but when you get laser focused on the ‘what’ you’ll miss the mystery of the ‘who’.  I know you don’t do this for the money, or the fame, or even the affirmation.  I know you do this because you were created for something more, because you believe in the idea that the generations coming up need to know that God will fight for them.  And that you’ll fight for them.  And that the Church is not irrelevant, or outdated.

Take a lot of notes, make some new friends, make a plan to be strategic on Monday but don’t be afraid to find

Rest.

Peace.

Encouragement.

There’s a generation that depends on it.