January 20, 2014

It's Too Big

When my girl was little, she would play for hours and hours in her room, pulling out every last toy she owned to bring to life all the dreamy ideas floating around in her cute little head, and as those ideas grew and ran wild and free, so also did the mess in her room.

Many times, I remember well standing at her door and looking in, stunned silent with my mouth hanging open. How could such a precious little creature make such a humonstrous and overwhelming mess? Honestly, it was dangerous to even step foot inside because trust me when I tell you how badly it hurts to step on tiny toys like Legos and plastic jewelry and Barbie accessories and so forth.

When she'd stop for a second to look up from her "work" and see me standing there, she'd greet me ever so cheerfully, without a care in the world, totally oblivious to the mess that had rendered me speechless. I'd tiptoe across her room, desperately trying to avoid injury and the horror of possibly stepping on her toys and breaking them. I'd look for a clear spot where I could sit and visit with her for a bit but those were hard to find. Typically, her creativity took up every square inch of her room including the floor, her bed, and her kiddie-sized table and chair set. There was very little free space, I assure you.

But once I'd find a place to sit, I would try hard not to mention the mess of gigantic proportions and instead praise her inventive mind. I'd ask her to tell me all about what she was playing and pretending and she'd go on and on, happily describing it all to me. It was really quite precious and I treasure those memories, especially now that she's almost seventeen years old. (How is that possible?? GASP and SOB)

But as the day would come to an end, so would the inevitable… cleaning up the mess. I'd peek my head in her room and say ever so kindly but clearly, "Sweetie, it's almost time for dinner and Daddy will be home soon. You need to start putting away your toys and cleaning up your room." And she'd say, "Okay, Momma," in her sweet happy voice. But when I'd come back to check on her progress, there would be the mess still overtaking her room and there would be her… still playing.

I don't think she meant to disobey me and not do what I'd asked, she just couldn't stop her mind from dreaming and creating. But eventually the time would come when I'd have to get really firm with her and tell her to stop playing, clean up her room, and do it now. It was then that she'd realize the magnitude of the mess she'd made and the work involved and the tears would start to flow. "I can't do it!" she'd cry, "IT'S TOO BIG!" and after much fussing and sobbing and very little cleaning, she'd perk up and say with a smile spreading across her tear-stained face, "It's TOO big… BUT Daddy will help me."

And both wonderfully and unfortunately, that was true. She knew he would help her because he almost always did. After dinner, the two of them would set to work picking up and putting away every little treasure. Though it drove me a bit nuts because I felt she needed to learn responsibility and how to clean up after herself, it really was the sweetest thing to see the two of them working together. And though I wished she'd do more of the work herself, I loved that she was so completely confident that her Daddy would help her. She knew he would come to her rescue. She knew she could trust him and count on him to help her clean up the mess she'd made.

What a perfect metaphor and beautiful picture of what Jesus does for us. In our humanness and woundedness and sin, we can make such a mess of our lives and sometimes those messes are so big we don't even know where to start or where to begin to clean them up. It's all just too big. We can't do it. It's overwhelming and heartbreaking and we know we can't go it alone. We need someone to sweep in and rescue us and help us clean up the mess we've made. 

God does that for us. 

Not only does he send his son to die on the cross, forgive us of our sins, and set us free, but daily he walks with us, guides us, and helps us. He even says, "I'm here. Sit back. I've got this. Rest and relax. I'll clean up the mess." And he does it for us. He wipes our tears, calms our hearts, cleans up the chaos, and restores order once again.

He says…

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 
Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” 
~Matthew 11:28-30

Just like my girl trusted that her Daddy would come through for her and help her, we can be confident that Jesus will do the same for us. We can trust him. He is present and able and he loves us more than what is humanly possible. He longs to care for us, to rescue us, to clean up every mess we've ever made, and to bring us life in all its glory and fullness.

"Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.
O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. 
He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you."
~ Isaiah 30:18-21

The pictures above don't really do justice to the tremendous mess that sweet little girl could make. And even now, all these years later, she's still capable of making quite a terrific mess of her room. Sometimes, I still stand at her door with my mouth hanging open. However, her Daddy and I don't help her clean it up anymore and we've come to the realization that that's just our girl. Though we're here for her in many, many ways, she's on her own when it comes to her room. (smile)



  1. What a beautiful way to illustrate your thoughts, Jenny...
    So very sweet and very relevant.
    I will remember this when I am in the middle of my own mess! : )
    Have a cozy evening!
    Oh, and for the record...I have a little mess maker of my own these days! Lucky for me her older sister inherited some of their mother's OCD tendencies. : )

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Billie Jo, and I'm right there with you when it comes to remembering these truths in the midst of my own messes. Though mine look a bit different from my girl's (I love a clean room!) they're still just as plentiful and remind me of how very much I need Jesus. Love and blessings to you, my friend...

  2. Oh, I loved this beautiful piece, Jenny! What a wonderful analogy.... We are so blessed to have our father in heaven to pick up the pieces... that is for sure! Funny {I'm sure most moms can relate}, but Jane Anne reminds me of my little Sophia Blue with her messy creativity! I often stand at her bedroom door speechless... I must remember to not mention the mess so much, and just watch her play. Thanks for the reminder! Lots of love to you my friend! {Thanks for linking-up today!} xo, Sara

    1. Smiling big… Thanks for your sweet words, Sara. Your Sophia Blue is simply precious, and beautiful too! Hugs...


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