Sometimes, I need to make a mess. As much as I love flowers and fancy letters and flourishes, sometimes I just need to create something abstract. Sometimes it's strange, it's not always pretty, and s lot of times, I don't even like it. But it's a good release for me-- when I feel conflicted, confined by what the world expects of me, that little bit of unpredictability is what my soul needs. Perhaps oddly, it's very reminiscent to me of God's grace. I spend so much of my life wondering if I'm doing it "right": am I in the right career, do I wear the right thing, do I socialize in the right circles, do I always make the right choices? My biggest fear my whole life has been that I could do something so terribly wrong that God's love would eventually elude me. And yet his grace is sometimes more evident, his love more pronounced, in the messy and confusing parts of life. I've spent years thinking "once I get it right, God will use me, He will find favor with me". But as I waited and waited for that right-ness to appear, I avoided opportunities for God's grace to be revealed, and his glory to be magnified. So I'm trying to lean into the mess a little more, to be ok with the lack of clarity and imperfections. God doesn't ask for s perfect spirit, but a willing one. As we go into Christmas week, perfection is the name of the game: perfect presents, perfect pies, perfect pageants. And yet, the only thing perfect about Christmas is a little baby who entered into the mess of of our world to bring grace and hope and joy to it all. He didn't wait until we were perfect to call us, he came to us in our imperfections. So this week, if the presents are wrong, the pie burns, and the pageant flops-- let it. And as you let it happen, let God's grace intercede. .*not hoping for anyone's pageant to flop!