Hello sweet friends! I am so excited to be back with you here on the blog! Together we’re going to be digging into the Word in a fun series called Memory Keeping: Faith Edition. I connect with God through many different formats but I truly feel present when I’m including Him in my love of memory keeping. It’s going to be so fun to share with you how you can scrapbook about your faith journey and I just can’t wait – so let’s get into it!
As a memory keeper, it’s very natural to only document the pretty and happy parts of our lives. I have fallen into this trap a million times! This is why I started keeping a personal scrapbook that was separate from our family album. It allowed me to be a bit more real about my specific feelings, struggles, thoughts and memories. Not all happy and joyful stories are captured in it – but that’s totally the point. Recently I switched to using a traveler’s notebook instead of exclusively pocket pages and that have aided in this topic we’re going to chat about today.
I’d say it’s pretty natural for us to want to clean up our messes. Generally this is what our parents taught us and scolded us about as we grew up. When company is coming over, we hide our piles and rush to clean up in order to present a pretty picture.
Maybe you have that one friend or sibling that has seen your house at its real-est, when the counters are covered and laundry isn’t put away and you have dust bunnies hopping from corner to corner. I feel like that’s what God sees in our hearts. He sees the seriously messy stuff. And like your friend who has seen your physical mess, she still wants to come over and hang out.
God loves us no matter what the condition of our heart (or our house) is.
Psalm 73:26 says: My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Unfortunately, we may still try to hide these messes from God because – let’s be honest – messes are embarrassing. Personally, I have quite a few areas of my heart that need tidying. But the messes have been there for so many years that cleaning it up feels like it would take forever! So we throw down a rug and cover that pile and hope no one notices. Obviously that’s not healthy, especially if it begins to burn a hole in the floor. But I have learned something as I’ve gotten older and it’s part of the tidying that is happening with me:
WE ARE NOT CALLED TO BE PERFECT (Psalm 40:17) – This knowledge makes me equal parts relieved and exposed. Mostly relieved. He is my help and He knows that I need it.
The burdens of perfection are tight. They constrict us. But when we can own our imperfections because we know God loves us and won’t forsake us – that’s freedom. So when someone points out a mistake or a fault that would normally lead me down a path of anxiety, defensiveness and more masking, I have been able to own it. Own it like I’m proud to have the flexibility to make mistakes and learn from them. Proud that I can stand firm in my strengths as well as my weaknesses. Maybe even joke about them because I know that there are some traits that can’t be perfected.
I created this spread in my personal traveler’s notebook to OWN my messiness – with a little humor of course. I created this to admit to myself and to God that I am working on letting go of some of my own unrealistic expectations. I enjoyed the messy design elements of this Best Mess Journaling Kit designed by Elaine Davis. So after I laid it all out and glued it all down I went crazy and scribbled some little messes to mimic her pink scribble along the clean straight path on the right side. It felt amazing! Seriously, scribbling and doodling may have felt better than straight lines – and I liked it. Yay for progress!
As you go about your day, picking up your messes, look to the Lord for guidance as to whether or not this is a mess you should embrace! It may be uncomfortable to leave that pile exposed but it could be worth it to experience the freedom of letting it go and knowing your mess is beautiful – just like YOU!