Everyday Ordinary Story: Life is in the Messy Bits

everday ordinary story May 26, 2022

by Jennie Denney

An older woman was once asked by her grandson, “Wouldn't you have loved to skip over the messy bits of your life to this beautiful moment we find ourselves in right now?

She laughed and shook her head as she said, "Oh honey, life IS the messy bits."

How often have I wanted to skip over the rough, painful, and tedious moments in life to get to the exciting, more peaceful, or comfortable life I long for?

How often do I look forward to the “better days” and “greener pastures” and miss the "messy bits" happening right before me?

Being intentionally present is hard work, especially when things are messy.

Oh boy, is it ever!

I would much rather tune out everything going on in front of me and either wish for the “good ol’ days” or long for the future “better days”. It's like I go into hiding until I can finally see the sun begin to peek out behind the clouds.

And yet, as the days move forward and the weeks and years seem to fly by faster than the last, I’m finding the "messy bits" bring me back to the present.

Like after such a complex and heart-wrenching year, full of mental health struggles, hospital visits, and therapy appointments, I see my 12-year-old begin smiling and laughing again.

Or when I decide to dance to a song while I take my ten-year-old to school, and he gets an embarrassed grin on his face that I remember so vividly from when he was a little boy.

Or the look on my fifteen-year-old's face when I attempt to do my makeup fancy for date night, and it turns out so, so wrong.

Or when my seventeen-year-old asks if I'm still paying for his gas as he walks out the door to school, and I notice the look on his face after I make a passive-aggressive comment about him not looking hard enough for a job.

Each of these moments takes me out of my go-mode and pulls me back into the "messy bits" of life.

The parts of life where I can sit and savor the laughter and joy, hold and comfort through pain, and learn to have grace for myself when the unnecessary passive-aggressive comments escape my lips.

I'm beginning to realize how right and wise the older woman's words were!

Our lives are full of messy bits. And oh, how they ever remind us of our humanity.

Oh, how they remind us of how much our loving Father continues to draw us nearer to His embrace.

How He cares so incredibly much about each and every part of our story.

I pray that you are able to slow down today, be present and attentive to those around you, and savor each and every moment as our Creator God draws you ever nearer to himself.

About Jennie

Jennie Denney is a writer, poet, and world traveler, constantly looking to find ways to figure out how to live that makes sense in a world that doesn’t. She holds a Master in Pastoral Studies from Azusa Pacific University, a Certificate in Spiritual Formation from The Apprentice Institute at Friends University, and a Certificate in Bible from Torchbearers Bible School. Jennie has been on the leadership team for MOPS, served on the board of an organization rescuing victims of human trafficking, started an intentional community with her husband and four children, and traveled the world living as nomads in Europe, the UK India. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband and four children, Peyton, Reagan, Kaitlyn, and Liam. You can find her on Instagram @jennie.denney, Pinterest @jenniedenney1, and www.jenniedenney.com.

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