Beginning

I am writing these days because I can no longer not write (good way to start right? using a double negative?). And I am tired. Tired of feeling like I am just not good enough and always missing the mark.

I am mess. We all have things in our make up that lead us into messy situations and inevitably to live messy lives. Real life is not how you perceive the lives you see on Facebook, Pinterest or in magazines. From my friends in Africa to my neighbours down the road, we are all the same. And we are all a mess.

We will never have perfect lives. In fact, we may miss the beauty amidst our messy lives if we are always striving for a better _______ here, a cleaner ______ there or a skinnier ________ everywhere.

This is my living room last Saturday:  
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Pinterest tells me the sign on my mantel is uncentered.  Parenting blogs warn me of the dangers of kids with scissors.  The general public wonders why there is a tupperware dish full of rocks on the floor.    Now, I don’t want to be a slackactivist – I really don’t.  But perspective is everything.  Those rocks – diamonds according to the boys –  were collected to sell to neighbours ($1 per rock – what a steal!).  My son is building himself a cardboard car box, using his imagination!

I am moving from the path of let-me-just get-this-all-perfect-in-here-and-then-I-can-put-myself-out-there to the path of a-burden-shared-is-more-easily-carried. I no longer want to strive for perfection but instead want to strive to form relationships and community where we can walk side-by-side, stumbling forward all the while knowing we will never, ever get where we are going and therefore can take our time, listen to each other stories and appreciate the views along the way.

I don’t know where this will all go….but I am taking a risk. I imagine A Recipe for Messiness being a place to share stories, support one another and I don’t know…maybe just do life together?

The Carrot on the Floor

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 There was a carrot in the middle of the living room floor this morning. I snacked on carrots and hummus last night while snuggled on the couch with a novel so I know this carrot has been hanging out on my floor all night long. I sat in my chair looking at that carrot. I knew the compulsion to run over and pick that carrot up would sweep over me. I knew I would want to remove that carrot from it’s wrong place and put it in it’s right place. I knew I would be uncomfortable in my imperfect living room until said carrot was removed.

 I don’t enjoy being uncomfortable and will naturally do what I can do avoid it. Being uncomfortable sometimes involves distress, pain, anxiety and fear. I don’t particularly enjoy those emotions or feelings and none of those do I willingly enter into.  Suddenly though, as I am just coasting along, life gets messy.

So far, my 2014 has been really messy. There has been a ton of hurt, crying, anger, disappointment, exasperation and frustration. As it continues on, it’s incredibly uncomfortable and difficult. To be honest, I just want it all to be over.  I want my easy, care-free, pretty-much-pain-free-life back.  My instinct is to just fix it all up nice on the surface so that it feels good and I can pretend everything is a-ok.

Except, sometimes when we all we really want to do is clean it up, we prevent the work that happens in the midst of being uncomfortable. As an example, I recently started doing Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Meltdown and mid-workout she instructs us to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” As I am stretched to my limits (and sweating my butt off), she reminds me that enduring the uncomfortable is worth the end goal.

Smack in the middle of this crazy mess, God is working. He is teaching me patience. He is forcing me to see that deep down my choices are rooted in self-preservation, self-promotion, and self-soothing. He is challenging me to prove what love really looks like. If I forego the difficult and uncomfortable parts of life, I miss being shaped by Him. If I just skip over the unbearable-I-really-don’t-want-to-do-this parts, I miss an opportunity to grow in character and in relationship with Him.

More than anything else, I want to know God, love God, serve God and show God.  When I signed up for this Jesus thing, I knew I was signing it all over.  Comfort, wealth, family, ease, friends, my own plans – all of it.  I am confident of the depths of God’s love for me and will continue to yes to Him.

That carrot?  I never did pick it up.