Life is Always Messy: Say Yes Anyway

Erin Britt essays

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The counters are sticky and the sink holds this morning’s oatmeal bowls, the floor is littered with map pencils from the always-present school project and the laundry baskets overflow.

So, you know, normal.

I have an angry kid in one room and a whining one following me around. 

My husband is stuck in traffic and I know dinner will be reheated at least twice.

There is always a mess.

This is the story of my life.

For so much of my life, I had a rocky marriage and went to the mothering school of mess-ups and do-over’s. I was materialistic and spent a lot of time pursuing things that wouldn’t last. I longed for more. I wanted to be more, do more; I wanted my life to matter.

Maybe this is your story, too? Because life is always messy. 

And not just the scattered stuff we can trace throughout our house and garage and minivans, it’s in our hearts too. There is the pain of hurtful words, feelings of inadequacy and wanting more out of life—these leave our hearts a cluttered mess.

There is always room for a clean start.

I will always have a mega to do list.
I will always have a little fear and doubt.
I will always wonder if I’m doing motherhood right.
I will always have a mess.

And that’s why I can’t wait for my life to change.
I can say the word to change my life.

I said YES.

I looked at my mess—the imperfections and the disqualifiers—and I said yes to a big dream anyway. I said yes to something crazy, something so much bigger and scarier than I’d ever thought possible. I said yes to something that wasn’t about me, but ended up freeing me. (This is my yes)

I used to think I had to create the perfect atmosphere before I could do something that mattered. And then I discovered that what I do everyday—managing the mess—does matter.

Because the small daily yeses add up to create a pattern of intentional living.

We can do anything. Be anything. We don’t have to wait to clean up our mess before we can find our purpose and change the world; we can do so by saying yes today, right where we are.

Because when we say yes in our messy marriage and yes in our messy mothering and yes to the mess of our lives, we are saying we won’t give up. We are choosing to chase what really matters. We are saying we won’t quit; we won’t stop, even when we know we aren’t enough. When we say yes, we are saying we believe with God’s help, we can be more.

Say yes today. Start dreaming again. Start living again. Don’t think about the mess.

Friend, it will always be there.

Seize the opportunity to say yes in your mess. You’ll be glad you did.

“Wherever you are is a good and important place: Start there.” –Gary Moreland

About the Author

Erin Britt

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