Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Messy People {Transparent Tuesday}

Dinner was almost ready and I was going to need to start setting the table. I'd suggested that the kids play with some play doh after a busy day spent out of the house. The play doh had kept them occupied, quiet, and content for almost an hour. It had also gotten all over the table and quite a lot had fallen on the floor. "What a big mess." my oldest commented as he picked up chunks of the play doh from the tile. "Maybe we shouldn't have done this..."

I had to stop short at his remark.

Because something had been messy and a little inconvenient to pick up he had concluded that we never should have done it at all.

In one of my better parenting moments I responded with, "Most everything you do is going to make a mess, honey." I said as I knelt to help him pick up the stray bits of play doh under the high chair. "If you paint, it will be messy. If you eat, it will be messy. If you go outside you'll bring dirt in on your shoes. Things will never be perfect." He stopped for a second and said, "Yeah, I guess so."

However, so often I don't adhere to this sentiment myself.

I'm kind of a neat freak. I don't allow shoes in my house. In fact I have a little sign on my door that says "Please keep our home neat. No shoes on your feet." I vacuum... a lot. My husband jokes that he'll bury me with the vacuum.

Maybe he has a point? (Look to the background).

I really don't want to admit this, but sometimes I take the cleaning too far. For example, the time(s) I have continued vacuuming after our guests have arrived. Or, the times I have vacuumed in the middle of my husband's favorite show. Maybe that's why he's not partial to the vacuum? Perhaps?

Needless to say cleanliness in our house is something of importance to me. Clutter or mess tends to rattle my brain because I want things to be perfect. I want everything to be just so. What's worse is my desire for perfection often extends to more than my house. In my deepest most secret wishes....

I want my children to be perfect. 

I want my shopping trips to be perfect.

I want my husband to be perfect. 

I desire for my vacations to be perfect.

I want my relationships to be perfect.

I want my children's school experience to be perfect.

I even want my husband's friends to be perfect.

Most of all I want to be perfect, myself. 
It becomes more about my own selfish desires. It becomes less about keeping a nice home, or being a loving mom, wife, or friend.

“At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of success.”-Michael Law

God loves the damaged - the messy people. After all there is not a human in existence (with the exception of Jesus) that has been perfect, yet He has loved us all. He has loved us despite our dirty homes, our selfishness, and our frustration at not being able to control our environment.

He loves us even when we,


Yell at our family.

Can't seem to get anything done. 


Feel worthless.


Hurt those we love the most.


He takes the messy, the bottom-of-the-barrel people and he is able to use them - to make something beautiful out of them. He loves to use the bad, the gross, the flawed aspects of our lives for good. He is able to show us, and others how the ugly of our lives can transform into something exquisite.

The things that we don't want to forgive ourselves for are the very things that God not only forgives us for, sent His son Jesus to save us from, but also the very things that He wants to utilize.

Our sins can be turned around and used by God as sharpened tools. They can be used to help other people who are in the throes of despair and hurt who may be going through the things that we have gone through before them.

A couple months ago I did a little experiment with my kids. I asked them to get dressed in whatever they wanted to wear and then I asked them to sit on the couch to pose for a picture. These were the results I got:

After I snapped several pictures, I made them change their outfits and told them I was going to pose them for a picture. The picture below is *my* picture.

Aesthetically, the picture I took is more appealing. But, in looking back at the pictures I have to admit that I like their version better. When they are older and looking back at photographs, the pictures they arranged  themselves will be much more entertaining. The picture I positioned, while it is still very sweet doesn't show as much of their personalities.

The Dictionary defines:
Perfectionist: a person who demands perfection of himself, herself, or others.

I am praying daily that I can move away from the desire for perfection. I've come to realize that it can only suit to harm the people I love as well as myself. 

God is not a perfectionist. He loves you despite your mess, despite your brokenness. He can use you - if you allow it. 

Today is Transparent Tuesday!

I invite you to link up and join me in an effort to cast aside the filters we use to depict our lives as always being perfect. We all have a story to tell. The best stories are those where ordinary people rise up and work through the tough situations, the unseemly moments, the mundane, and the unglamorous.

All you have to do to link up is:

1. Either merely post a picture that depicts something in an honest way (just for example it could be a dirty room, or a selfie with you without your makeup on). Write a small caption to go along with your picture. OR, instead of a picture you can write a post that gives an authentic glimpse of your life.

2. Copy the url for your post (not your site) in the link below.

3. Finally, last but not least copy the code for the Transparent Tuesday graphic and attach it to your post so that other people can come and see all the other posts for Transparent Tuesday. The more the graphic is shared, the more people will be able to participate!

Thanks for linking up! The graphic and link up are below:

Our Growing Roots


  1. Wow, this really encouraged me this morning. Thank you for sharing! I love what you said about perfectionism; I think I needed to hear that. Great post!

  2. What a BEAUTIFUL post!! I love it. And that experiment was awesome (the middle pic of them laying on the couch is the best!) Thank you so much for sharing. I am a perfectionist in many ways but I have relaxed quite a lot over the years. LOL, I still love vacuuming!!!!!!!!! It's instant gratification at its finest! haha

  3. What a beautiful post. We learn so much through their perspectives. It is hard not to get caught up in the pursuit of perfection, but you've nailed it. God doesn't expect us to be perfect. We don't expect our kids to be perfect, so why not let up on ourselves?

  4. I could not possibly love this anymore if I tried, thank you!!!!!

  5. I could not possibly love this anymore if I tried, thank you!!!!!

  6. Beautiful family. I really enjoyed reading this. I see that I am not alone when it comes to wanting my life to be perfect. Funny thing is the more I tried to make it "perfect" the less perfect it was. LOL. Clutter drives me crazy but I am realizing that I have to let go and just let my kids be kids even if that means having a messy house sometimes.

  7. I appreciated this! I hadn't heard of perfectionism as a hidden fear. PS I liked all the pictures of the kiddos. Even the posed one.

  8. Great post! I am impressed you're that much of a perfectionist with 4 littles! I used to be, before my 6 children- ha ha!
    I have read a sign that says something like "your children will remember more of your did with them then how clean the house was".
    Thanks for being transparent!

  9. I really liked this post. Partly because it resonates with the perfectionist within me as well! Partly because your family's gorgeous but mostly because of the kindness underpinning it. Good insights!

  10. My beautiful daughter-in-law, my friend, my crafty partner, I want to be like you when I grow up (lol). You are too hard on yourself sometimes- you're doing a marvelous job raising those ridiculously adorable and awesome children - so much so, that we are not afraid in the least to come stay with them the last of September!!!!! ha!

  11. I am cracking up at the pics showing the vacuum in the background! (and I am also jealous since we seriously need a better vacuum!) Very sweet post. ;)


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