Life. Is. Messy.

The past few months, God has been teaching me to appreciate things a little more deeply. In the midst of this little life lesson, a few other things have come up. Things like love and trust and daring to take chances in places where I’ve failed in the past. And the more I dwell on these things, the more I come to realize that…

Life. Is. Messy.

You won’t make it to the other side without a few bruises and scars. And if you do, you have not experienced the fullest extent of what life was intended to be.

The other day, I busted out the finger paints at the preschool where I work, and you should have seen those kids’ faces. They know how to live. They know how to dive in with both hands and make the most of the messes. They understand what it means to create beauty from chaos.

You would think that children so young are only just learning to live, but I’ve discovered that life and wonder are something you have from birth and are only in danger of forgetting as the years go by. These kids—three and four years old—know the secret to changing the world. Or perhaps they are merely the only ones who are unafraid to try.

I’ve met a lot of admirable people, and I’ve been inspired by the stories of those who have chased their dreams and caught them. But if you were to ask me right now who I want to be like when I grow up, I would probably name one of those bright-eyed children who left their perfect, messy hand prints on my heart. Because, yes, there have been days when my heart was touched by a motivational story, but these children inspire me. Every. Single. Day.

Because of them, I can find beauty in the hundredth rainbow I draw. Because of them, I clap my hands when their constant excavating of the playground uncovers an earthworm.

“You should paint your nails,” they say, and I do. “You should braid your hair,” they encourage, and I will. Because the simplest things delight them and, somehow, their wide-eyed wonder sinks into my heart and makes me delight in the little things, too.

And if I must grow up, I want to do so with at least a hint of the wonder that dances in the eyes of a three-year-old boy when you let him experience the world upside-down for the umpteenth time. I want to live with his trusting heart that is not the least bit concerned that I may drop him on his head. I want to know what it’s like to live with such abandon. But mostly, I want to dive into life headfirst with both hands, unafraid of the messes. Because as a handful of preschoolers recently made abundantly clear to me…

8 thoughts on “Life. Is. Messy.

  1. I love how God keeps using you to remind me of this… Something I can’t seem to get pounded into my head. Thank you God; and thank you Rebekah!

    • I know! Sometimes I sit in awe of a four year old’s infinite wisdom and think, “Okay, so who’s the teacher here?” You know how Jesus said we must become like little children? Yeah, totally think that’s what He was talking about here.

  2. I agree completely. That wide-eyed wonder, that inspires me at the gym where I work every time I teach a class. πŸ™‚

    • Wonder. That’s the emotion I often miss the most. And the reason I’m determined to run off to Neverland with Peter Pan. Don’t you ever, never lose that sense of wonder, my dear. It’s much more handy than a shadow. πŸ˜‰

  3. My motto lately is: Embrace the Mess. As a type-A personality, sometimes I have to take a deep breath and acknowledge that life is messy. And I’m learning to be OK with that–a little more each day. πŸ˜€

    • Exactly. The “learning to be okay with it” part is the hardest. Because part of you is going to want to keep your hands clean just in case you need to use them for something else. Part of you is going to want to chase down all five of those preschoolers on the way to the bathroom and make sure they don’t get their hands on ANYTHING but the water coming out of the faucet (yeah, right). Part of you is going to want to freak out the whole time because we don’t need any additional colors on the freshly painted wall. To that part we must say, “It was bound to happen soon or later, so why not live it up and let it happen today?”

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