Don’t Leave Out the Messy

I need to say something.

Don’t leave out the messy.

Josh had a conversation with some friends of his the other day about starting a new church – about how they would do it if they had the chance (and the desire or calling). Their answers were honest, thoughtful, and honestly very helpful for Josh and me as we mulled over and through them.

The one that had me stuck for a few days was about being real and relevant. You all know that I’ve touched on this many times before. I think that I am pretty real. I don’t pretend that I’m something that I’m not – or at least not intentionally. You know that my marriage is good but it isn’t perfect, my children are incredible but, good gravy they are sinners, and I have conversations like this with my sister:

I am an over achiever. I love books that help me know how to pursue Jesus more and better. I also love books that allow me to escape my every day life. I struggle to choose joy every day. I still enjoy watching the Twilight series. (Don’t laugh. Okay, laugh if you must. Roll your eyes even. It’s justified.) Sometimes I still wonder if people really like me. I need lots of verbal affirmation and that annoys me about myself. I drink wine about three times a year because, good lawsy, I love a glass of Pinot Grigio. I don’t drink wine during all the rest of the year because it can make some people uncomfortable. And I don’t need it. And coffee is enough of a vice for me, thankyouverymuch. And addiction runs in my family. I’m an awful long distance friend (I’m so sorry to all of you who haven’t heard from me in person in an embarrassing amount of time.) And Friends will forever and always be my happy place.

What I want to convey to everyone is that I am who I am – we are who we are – all of the time, whether it’s weird for us to drink or weird for us not to drink. Whether you think I’m a loser for watching Twilight or stinking awesome (Go ahead – toss me another eye roll). I haven’t always been this way, but I am now – and it is so blissfully freeing! Seriously.

Are you? Real, I mean – and free? Y’all, don’t leave out the messy. I doodled this in my journal a few mornings ago. And by messy, I mean anything that doesn’t quite fit in your box – whatever your box is – don’t leave it out. Talk through it. Say you don’t know. Say you’re ticked and God is on your bad list today. Yes. Do that. But also, say that you do know. Say that you are grateful and God is the redeemer of your bad list.

Real swings both ways, friends.

Aaannd…lest you think I’m tooting my own real horn here:

What I’m pretty sure I’m not is relevant – particularly in this new, very different, very interesting (the good kind) culture we find ourselves living in. So, in an effort to be more relevant because I want to hang out with my fun neighbors and have something to talk about besides my favorite Friends episode or the latest and best Christian woman author book I’ve read, in 2015 I commit to –

  • Read twelve new books, six of which would never have been on my reading list before. I’m still deciding what these books will be, but I hope to keep you updated. Suggestions are welcome!
  • Grow my knowledge base about the history of our new little town and farmhouse architecture in general.
  • Watch Jimmy Fallon be hilarious as much as possible.
  • Be a better listener.
  • Still watch plenty of Friends.
  • Still read Christian woman author books.
It gets tricky practicing both, I think – because what if being relevant means you have to change who you are? Then you aren’t real and that doesn’t make sense either. 
How do you practice being real and being relevant?

2 thoughts on “Don’t Leave Out the Messy

  1. I like the messy. I live in the messy. I hate the messy. I do messy really well. I do a horrible job of admitting to the messy.

    Okay, so I'm a bit psycho sometimes. Truth be told, all my close friends know it too. My poor husband surely does!

    Thank you for your honesty. Your real resolutions. Your three glasses a wine. I keep mine to about two a month 🙂 I'm looking forward to growing with you, under you, as we follow Jesus together.

    Hugs, Friend! XOXO
    Lauren Hasz

  2. I am right there with you, my friend. I'm realizing we need messy. We need real. This whole having a baby thing has thrown me for a loop and I just can't do the facade of making it all look nice anymore. It just is what it is and I'm learning that the more I learn to be relevant and real the more other people feel it's okay to be messy and real. That's when true community and change can happen and it's so amazing!

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