It only took seconds and they were everywhere. Tiny brown flax seeds covered my counter and my floor and every crack and crevice in between.
Small, exploring hands had pulled them down, quite on accident, and now my eyes filled with tears looking at the tremendous mess before me.
I wish I could say my heart was filled with compassion for the mess-maker in that moment. But it wasn’t.
Instead, I felt impatient and frustrated. I hadn’t yet finished cleaning up our breakfast dishes and there was something new to clean up.
But my eyes weren’t the only ones to fill with tears.
Her lip quivered and her eyes spilled over. I went to comfort her, but mostly out of a selfish desire to clean up without sobbing as my background noise. But I quickly discovered my back patting wasn’t cutting it.
That was when I heard the Holy Spirit speak to my heart and tell me to speak the truth over her.
Even if it felt hard to believe. Even if I didn’t like it. Even if it didn’t match my own selfish feelings.
So I did. I told her what was true.
I told her that Jesus doesn’t mind our messes.
I told her that Jesus loves to help us.
I told her that Jesus loves us when we are messy just as much as when we are cleaned up.
I told her that I make messes too. I make a lot of messes.
I told her that Jesus helps me when I make messes, just like he helps her.
I told her it was okay to be messy.
I told her Jesus can help calm our hearts when our messes are big and make us sad.
And as I spoke those words, I knew they were for me too. My annoyance seemed to drain away as I said these truths, letting them be louder than my feelings.
And the tears stopped. The truth sank into both of our hearts. I hugged her and told her one more time; Jesus doesn’t mind our messes and he loves us just as much when we are messy as when we are cleaned up. It is okay to be messy.
The truth is that I’m the best mom with I see myself as the same as my daughter, instead of so very different.
The truth is that I don’t have all this figured out, and neither does she.
The truth is that I am in need of tremendous amounts of grace for all of my messes and mistakes, and so is she.
The truth is that I’m weak and tired and human, and so is she.
The truth is that I need help to be kind and brave, and so does she.
The truth is that I’m not a good mom because I didn’t get mad or because I did it all perfectly. I’m a good mom when I teach my daughter that Jesus offers grace to the sinner and the weak; the messy and the needy. And I definitely fit into ALL of those categories.
The truth is that I don’t just need to believe this once and for all. Within the same day of the flax seed spill, I found myself impatient and unkind, weak and needy all over again. I cried at how quickly I forget, how quickly I react instead of asking Jesus for help, how quickly I hurt those I love.
The truth is that I am in need of grace. Over and over and over again.
As much as I hated seeing those flax seeds spill, I’m strangely grateful for them. I’m grateful for the reminder of what is true.
It is okay to be messy.
Jesus doesn’t mind our messes.
Jesus loves us just as much when we are messy as when we are cleaned up.
There is so much grace.