Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Life is messy.

We had friends over three nights in a row this week. The agendas were different: Game of Things and Settlers of Catan with our best friends one night, discussion of Randy Alcorn's "In Light of Eternity" with our small group the next, and then USA's World Cup game with soccer-loving friends. {Yes, we're a family of four extroverts.}

All the gatherings involved food. And they all involved real life.

Nothing was perfect but I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Crumbs were left on the floor and counters had residue from various dishes. People shared their struggles and asked for advice and prayer around our table. Kids tracked in water that dropped from their clothes and hair after an impromptu water fight.

I feel blessed in the four walls of my house.

Greg and I love marriage so much more now than when we were newlyweds almost a dozen years ago. We get each other and the grace between us more. Sure, parenting is hard but we're seeing growth and progress. And I'm learning to appreciate the moment with my favorite three people.
Even the messy ones.

Because this is life. This is my life. 

Sometimes sadness and conflict and heartache seem overwhelming outside my house even when inside my house is peaceful. In the past it’s been the other way around: Peace has come from the outside.

But even when the messes are with people who don't live in my house, I feel the mud and the dripping water because I believe in community. I don't want to do this life alone and I don't want the people around me to either.

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

Sometimes life is messy.

Sometimes mud squishes between my toes and then I cry for my friend. Other times kids come in needing a towel to dry themselves off. I say something I know matters but still am left wondering how it was received. Friends pray together because there's nothing else we can do. "Hospice" keeps weaving its way into conversations about a beloved family member.

But I want to let other people in my house and my heart. I want them to pull up chairs around my table. I want to know what's on their hearts. I don't want to worry about the messes that will eventually be cleaned.

One day we'll be cleaned up and wash off in the ultimate way.

“Heaven will cleanse us of sin and error, but it won’t erase our lives and memories. The people we’ve known here, who God has sent to impact our lives, are his gift to us, as we are his gift to them. To forget these people would be to forget God’s grace and provision.”
{Randy Alcorn in "In Light of Eternity"}

Ah, yes, God's grace and provision. These people and their hearts matter. Our messes are temporary, but right now matters forever.

Joining my favorite online encouragers with this post: Jen Ferguson's Soli Deo Gloria gathering, Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory, Beth Stiff's Three Word Wednesday, and Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart

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  1. Kristen,
    What an encouraging perspective...that "right now matters forever" it....I chuckle at your family of extroverts because in our family of introverts, we joke that our dog Bailey is the extrovert in our family :)

  2. WOW! 4 extroverts under one roof! High energy! Never boring! Fun! Life at its fullest! I think it is wonderful that you are fully and intentionally living your life right now, right where you are! Stopping by from "Three Word Wednesday".

  3. KristinHillTaylor6/18/2014 11:43 AM

    I'm probably the least extroverted of the four - I joke that I'm an extrovert with introverted tendencies, but that's really true. :) Thanks for stopping by, Susan! Don't you just love Beth and her Three Word Wednesday?! I sure do. :)

  4. KristinHillTaylor6/18/2014 11:44 AM

    Hey, Dolly! My parents actually had a dog named Bailey when I was in college. She was an extrovert too. :) God's been repeating various versions of "right now matters forever" to me for months. I think I'm slowly learning what he means. :)

  5. I absolutely love everything about this post, friend! Life is messy. But so worth it!

  6. Well this makes me dream about the day us Flourish Bloggers will gather and share our messy, imperfect lives but what a glorious day it will be. Loved this, Kristin. >>> "Our messes are temporary, but right now matters forever." Amen!

  7. Amy L. Sullivan6/19/2014 5:48 AM

    There's something special about inviting people over and sharing your house and your heart with them.

  8. KristinHillTaylor6/19/2014 8:20 AM

    Yes, it's as if once you've opened your house, their hearts open too. Good to see you here, Amy!

  9. KristinHillTaylor6/19/2014 8:20 AM

    YES! Let's do it! Thanks for your continued encouragement, Beth!

  10. KristinHillTaylor6/19/2014 8:21 AM

    Thanks, Ashley! :)

  11. "I want to let other people in my heart and house" - so good. I struggle with wanting things to be just right before I invite people over and yet, the impromptu drop-in's (which are always welcome by the way...) often turn out the most strees free fun times.

  12. KristinHillTaylor6/19/2014 8:02 PM

    Isn't that the truth?! God has a way of surprising us like that.

  13. Sarah Donegan6/20/2014 11:47 AM

    I wish I cared less what my house looked like when people were here. No one seems to want to go to a perfect house anyways, right? :)

  14. KristinHillTaylor6/20/2014 2:37 PM

    Exactly! Plus it's less stressful for the host to let go ... I continue to learn this the hard way!

  15. I can't tell you how many more people feel at home in my house when it's a little messy than when it is pristine. Same with me spiritually -- people resonate so much more when they see I am NOT so put together. Realness really matters.

  16. KristinHillTaylor6/23/2014 3:11 PM

    Yes, yes, yes! You are so right.