Messy Trails

2 Corinthians 5:17
 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

My darling Eli leaves a trail behind wherever he goes… it can be clothes, trash, food, toys or anything really.  He always  manages to leave  a mess of some sort. At church this morning it was a trail of offering envelopes left behind in the pew.  He opened three of them, attempted to make paper air planes and then crash landed them all onto the floor.

You can always tell when Eli has been somewhere.

There is always that trail. That same messy trail.

Eli isn’t the only person who leaves behind messy trails. As humans, we are all guilty of messy trails.  Whether it’s with our words or with our behavior, we can look in our rear view and see all sorts of chaos that we have helped to create.

While Eli is my true master of messiness, he does manage to also leave behind plenty of non-messy things along the way. He fills our days with lots of hugs and kisses, plenty of funny dance moves and countless kind gestures. We can’t help but be so frustrated with the mess when it’s wrapped up in so much love.

Jesus loved plenty of people who left behind some huge gigantic messes. They were sinners who came to be redeemed. They turned their messes into masterpieces.

Jesus knows we are all imperfect. He sees our messes. Every single one of them. Yet, he yearns for us to make theses messes into masterpieces. To take what we have left behind and wrap it up with love. To be easy with our words, to fix our past behaviors, and to love with all that we can.

He yearns for us to truly be in Christ. Cleaning up our past messes and trying our best when a new mess comes along.

Now as cute and as sweet as he is, Eli still needs to pick up his own messes.  The empty Capri Sun containers and the Goldfish crumbs are certainly not making my home look like a masterpiece anytime soon.

I don’t care how many kisses he gives me.

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Ready

Exodus 14:14  “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

We became friends  because we shared a love for literacy (and Mexican food, and well just overall food in general really). I was two years ahead of her in high school and, even after we graduated, I would run into her every now and again. We would talk about teaching or getting our Master’s degrees ( I ended up going through the same program as her at Longwood) or talk about our kids (my spunky boys and her spunky girls). We eventually ended up working together (she got me a job  at her elementary school and then we both went off to a new adventure-co department chairs-teaching English at a middle school. We were excited. And nervous. And excited.

Our excitement faded fast. It ended up being a year filled with grief for us both. Lindsey lost her precious brother in law. I lost my dad. We struggled. We cried. We leaned on each other. Through our tragedies we became sisters. We became family.

I watched Lindsey suffer and I watched her pray. I watched her lean on Jesus in her darkest times. I watched her pick herself up with a deep rooted strength that could only come from above.

Her faith fascinated me. It shook me, intrigued me, pushed me. Her faith helped me to cope with my own grief.

Her faith also showed me what a relationship with Christ was really supposed to look like. She was friends with Jesus. I didn’t know anything about that. I wanted to be friends with Him too.

By God’s grace we ended up at the same church. Here, we got to experience a new level of our friendship. One where we worshiped together, prayed together, and served together. We spend every other Sunday together in the nursery, catching up and loving on our church babies. (And I annoy her with my singing)

A few years ago, Lindsey and her husband became foster parents. It was a difficult decision. Made with a whole lot of prayer and a whole lot of faith. And it has not been easy. It has been an experience that has made her question God’s purpose and God’s timing more than once.  I have seen her breathless, anxious, and completely terrified.  I have seen her tired. And stressed. And completely at her wit’s end.

I have seen her stare into the unknown with a fear that I can’t even comprehend.

But I have also seen my best friend love.

She has loved more than she ever thought was possible.  I have seen her give more of herself than she ever thought she could offer.

This week, my sister once again looks into the unknown and she will place her fears at the  Lord’s feet.  He will hold her close and love her just as she has loved her own babies.

She will stand again in that deep rooted faith, surrounded by that deep seeded love. She will take the Lord’s hand and let Him guide her through the storm. She will take a deep breath. She will be still.

And she will be ready.