The last week I was reading an article in the Magnolia journal’s fall issue about being grateful. Joanna was referencing everyday activities she is grateful for and how they have blessed her life. It made me think about the things in my life that make me feel this way. My list was similar to hers, must be a woman thing, HA! When things are quiet and I have no distractions it’s easy for me to make a list of things that can be messy blessings. For me, it’s realizing in the moment of the mess how and why they are blessings.
Working on projects around the house is something I LOVE to do. People who know me well know this about me. I love getting to see the before and after, deciding the design, and even doing the actual work. But when my husband and I work together sometimes it isn’t always easy. We are two different people who work differently, this can be a positive and negative thing all at the same time. Cory and I have done many projects together and have plans for many more even with the differing approaches. The last project he and I worked on together was removing a very old hot tub from a room in our house. The room was literally built around the hot tub by previous owners and with passing time had become disgusting. This was one of the giant, 7 person deals too. I was so excited to remove it because the room was going to be my new home gym! I started working on it as soon as we put our son to bed for the night. It took the whole weekend and then some but it was gone! During the removal however I had moments of “what have I done!” which then made me feel defeated with starting this in the first place. Standing in a room full of fiberglass and spray foam and my total body numb from using a giant reciprocating saw, I realized this was another opportunity to enjoy by messy blessing. I was getting a good workout from all the demo and in the end would have my new gym. I also was getting another opportunity to spend time with my husband doing something he and I love to do together. This project came with more challenges than I had expected but I ended up enjoying the process and the hard work that I put into it.
Cooking is a big discouragement for me. I am able to cook to sustain a health lifestyle but I wouldn’t say I am a chief. I would love to be able to fix health and very flavorful meals though. The meals that not only taste great but look pretty too. Historically all the new recipes I try seem never to work out. I pick out recipes and buy ingredients only to begin the task, become frustrated in the first few minuets and then spend the rest of the time doubting myself and the dish, usually with good reason. The end result is ever what I thought it would be and that makes it all the worse. Last week we received free trials from Blue apron and I thought “here is my chance”. I started out as usual with following the instructions and then it happened, the way the meal was suppose to progress according to the recipe and how it was going in real life didn’t match up. That’s when I started to get frustrated and begin to think “I should have just stuck with the usual” and I wanted to stop. And I did stop, I stopped and reminded myself why I was doing this; health benefits, doing something good for my family, and my thoughts that homemade is better than store bought. It actually helped. It didn’t end up being a five star meal but I didn’t feel as stressed while doing it. And it actually did taste pretty good. I am going to continue to work on my cooking skills and hope I can improve with practice and a better attitude.
When Eli was a newborn he went through all the typical newborn stages, the crying, endless diaper changes and feedings, and uncertainty you were doing anything right. I would say most of you parents can relate. Some situations are much worse of course and everyone experiences this differently. Going through something like that can be considered a mess for sure, especially for new parents. This time had so many opportunities for messy blessings. There are too many times to count when things were messy and at times I felt all the mess going on around me. But I have to say God really showed me the blessings more than the mess. I had many moments that I would struggle and to call it an adjustment is an understatement but the whole process was a blessing. I have tired to remind myself throughout his life that there are going to be tough times but every stage will have mess and blessings and there are always more blessings if you look for them.
I’ve always been a positive person and looking for the bright side of situations but sometimes it’s harder than others. My newest goal is to look for the blessing among the mess and I hope this week you’ll do the same. Doing this will hopefully make us more grateful for the big and small in our lives.