The Message In The Mess

Posted: April 11, 2013 in Online Bible Study

“Clean-up this mess!” It's a sentence, demand, decree, dreadful wish and it times a yell to the vast air at my house because nobody is listening. Being a mom with mom friends who talk about mom things…the topic of cleaning (or possibly lack of cleaning) comes up a lot. Just a few weeks ago a mommy friend asked her Facebook friends how to keep her house clean. Is it possible for a mom with kids to keep her house really clean?

The jury is still out on that one.

I've learned a few tricks like…
– Finding one room of the house to call my “haven” and keep it clean my way every night before bed. That way when I get up in the morning (or 2 and 4am) there is a clean, refreshing room waiting for me.
– I don't need my house spotless. It is lived-in and there are memories in the little messes around the corner. Is it filthy, no. Are there handprints on the mirrors…with my boys, that's almost a given.

My biggest lesson thus far:
My kids can clean-up their own mess…period. My boys are learning if THEY make the mess, THEY are responsible to clean it up…not mommy, not daddy, not the Tooth Fairy! I even resorted to grabbing the trash bag and threatening to get rid of the little cars all over my living room floor! Ask Josh and he will tell you – if it belongs to him and mommy trips over it, he runs to grab it before I do!

Funny how these little lessons are dropped when we grow-up.

Somewhere along the line, we start assuming that our little messes will be cleaned-up by someone other than us. I'm not talking about leaving your leftover sandwich out after lunch…I'm talking about the messes we make with relationships, messes with bad choices, messes with how we deal with our kids, messes of mixed-up priorities…the list could go on.

The mess in my life right now has been stress. The stress of an added third child and adjusting to meeting the needs of everyone (though never at the same time). The stress of job searching…filling out an online application only to receive an email to complete a 2-hour assessment and then complete a paper application! The stress of Matthews hearing challenges and upcoming tests. Stresses of my upcoming appointments.

My current online Bible Study Group is reading “Stressed-Less Living:Finding Gods Peace In Your Chaotic World.” Gods timing seriously is humorous in my little Boring world! (If you want to learn more about these free online Bible studies, check out

We just read through chapter one and two points hit me right between the eyes:
– I'm responsible for my stress
– Stressful lives continue through the same cycle, unintentionally until a different INTENTIONAL plan is achieved(in other words, quit doing the same thing and wonder why you are stressed!)

Oh I have valid reasons for my stress…(as do you, I know! I know!). Yet, we have control over our thoughts, emotions, actions and…stress! Some of us have so many un-dealt with piles of stress lying around it may even stink up our daily lives and relationships with others. It's time to pick up our mess before it completely takes over our lives.

Our verse for this week is the picture on this post. I've made it my background image on my phone (another mess to clean-up…phone addiction!). I've found it so relaxing this week before I text, check email, update my notes, check on jobs, make that call, plan that appointment (wow…I really do need to work on that phone addiction!) – I see this reality that God will STRENGTHEN me, He will HELP me and He HOLDS me. This Truth forces me to let go of trying to control the things I can't and seek Gods guidance in the areas He has given me the choices to make.

I'm planning to post a follow-up to this topic later…when I have the time! I wanted to share a story of a woman that had her mess aired in public and was forced to do some power cleaning in an amazing way…I really enjoyed her story and will share it soon!

Get cleaning…

  1. Great post Bethany! I am a fellow OBSer, and I love your idea of putting the memory verse on my phone (unfortunately, I'm addicted too!).
    I'm definitely borrowing your “haven” idea!! 🙂
    God bless you are your journey.
    Prayers for you and yours! ❤

  2. JustMe says:

    Bethany, I love the idea of picking up our mess. I've watched the show Hoarders a few times and when I read what you said that is what popped into my mind. Oh yes, we need to pick up the mess. Thank you for that illustration.
    Barbara Prince, OBS Small Group Leader

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