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A Morning of Mistakes

Last Friday morning I was definitely a hot mess. It started when my four-year-old, Kai, had trouble with coughing in the night. He and I woke up several times, falling asleep again after hugs and drinks of water. When my husband’s alarm went off at 6:15, I kept on dreaming. I didn’t crawl out of bed until the crack of 7:00. I couldn’t believe it. I’d slept in! And not in a good way.

Ry got our two-year-old, Sylvie, from her crib and started work on breakfast, while I hurried to join him. I tried filling our cups with water from the fridge, but I left a glass under the dispenser and turned away, and I soon heard water overflowing onto the floor. I’d forgotten to get more butter from the store, so I had to remedy that by using the kind I still had for baking. I dropped that butter on the floor twice. While the coffee brewed, I spilled sugar all over our kitchen counter. Finally, I found that we’d already finished our pears for the week, so I threw applesauce on the table.

 

The Flip Side of the Mess

Just writing that all out is annoyingly discouraging, but there’s a flip side to this story. Sylvie, my two-year-old who loves to clean, had fun helping me dry up the water spill with a towel (impromptu mopping!). Ry was gracious with me as I laughed about making “all the mistakes” in trying to get breakfast made. I had a chance to be patient not only with myself but with my kids, one of whom might have sat down at the table and said, “but mommy, I wanted jelly!”

Somehow, I cleaned up the messes, fed the family, and even remembered to make a phone call to Kai’s preschool teacher to ask about his schedule. After we ate, the kids and I had a fun time pretending to go ice skating on the wood floor in our socks, even though Kai was sick. The kitchen was just a little bit cleaner than it was before I started breakfast, thanks to the spills that had to be handled.

I’m usually in these self-created messy spots on a daily basis. But this particular morning got me thinking–how often do I really enjoy my mistakes?

 

A messy breakfast table

God Can Turn Mistakes into Miracles

I may not have created something brilliant between spilled sugar, water, and butter, but there have been plenty of times when something amazing was discovered because of a mistake. I love the story of Spencer Silver, a chemist whose attempt at creating an ultra-strong adhesive seemed like a complete failure. Instead of creating something powerful, he accidentally invented a useless, very weak adhesive. We now use his invention every day when we reach for our Post-it Notes.

There are so many similar stories of would-be fails. The microwave, Penicillin, cookies, potato chips, plastic, and even pacemakers are just a few things we enjoy today because somebody messed up. While most mistakes don’t lead to genius inventions, I know I can learn something every time I fall short. I tell my kids this all the time, but I want to model it too.

I want to be the person who says, “Oh no. I forgot my phone!” and then makes a new friend when I ask to borrow hers. One of my goals is to be that mom, wife, and friend who laughs at her mistakes and then learns from them too.

One of my goals is to be that mom, wife, and friend who laughs at her mistakes and then learns from them too. #hotmess #fail #redeemed Click To Tweet

Happy accidents are not just part of life, they’re part of God’s will for us. The story of the five loaves and two fish (see Mark 6:30-44) is truly one of God redeeming a big mistake–that time 5,000 people forgot to bring any food with them. They were unprepared, they were hungry, and they were this close to going home early because of it. But what did Jesus do?

He turned their mistake into a miracle.

The Lord makes firm the steps
   of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,
   for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

Psalm 37:23-24, NIV

 

A messy breakfast table

Look for Blessings

I don’t think God wants us to be harsh with ourselves when we mess up. Shameful feelings and self-condemnation aren’t part of His plan.

Grace is. God works in forgiveness and joy and love. He’s the kind of God who turns our weak-sauce failures into brilliant successes.

God works in forgiveness and joy and love. He’s the kind of God who turns our weak-sauce failures into brilliant successes. #fail #successstory #redeemed Click To Tweet

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV

When you’re in the midst of a ridiculous circumstance of your own making, remember that your weaknesses are how Christ’s power can rest on you. Learn from those mistakes, and carry the lessons with you as you move forward.

Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me.

Philippians 3:13

After all, God isn’t focused on what you’ve done. His grace is enough to cover both your oh-so-human mishaps as well as your outright sin. Let’s focus on Him, instead of ourselves.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

Ephesians 2:6-8, NIV

How to Be Blessed in the Midst of the Mess

Here are a few ideas that will help your mistakes look a little more like a miracle.

  • Be open to what God’s teaching you through your mistake.
  • Be patient with yourself when you’re a hot mess.
  • Enjoy the gift of grace you receive regularly from others and from God.
  • Look for and appreciate the good results of your mistake (like grace, lessons learned, laughter, and hopefully a brilliant new invention).
  • Move forward and focus on Him.

Will God turn your hot mess into a blessing today? I think He will.

 

God Bless This Hot Mess Printable

I just had to provide a little freebie with this post, because it’s kind of the story of my life. I want you to remember that God is going to bless your mess too. Click the download button to grab the PDF and print it out!

Download the PDF

I grabbed this free printable, and you should too! God Bless This Hot Mess. #amen #hotmess #free #printable Click To Tweet
God Bless This Hot Mess (printable)

God Bless This Hot Mess

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22 Comments on God Bless This Hot Mess

  1. I love this so much! What a wonderul way to encourage others to see the blessings in our mistakes. Or at the very least to extend ourselves grace. Why is that so hard to do sometimes? I know it is for me. Your positive outlook on “the kitchen is cleaner than before after cleaning up my messes.” Brilliant. Thank you for your shining light and for sharing it with us at Live Life Well.

  2. I am not one to laugh at my mistakes yet, I am still so embarrassed, and battle with feeling of failure. This is based in fear and something that i am working on this year, as I go through my year of fearless. Thank you for this wonderful reminder that these feelings of condemnation are not from my heavenly Father.

    Thanks for linking up with #LiveLifeWell!!

    Blessings,

    Amy

  3. I had to click this because I am a hot mess to. I never thought of the 5,000 people as ALL forgetting to bring a snack hmmm wow! This is super encouraging + I love your printable!

  4. Great post! I love the idea of having a little more grace when we make mistakes, coupled with a willingness to openly learn from them! I know this in theory but often forget when it’s my turn to make the mess! (Incidentally, I have a mug that says God Bless This Hot Mess!…it’s one of my favorites!!)

  5. This is so good! I so admire your perspective on this, Laura! While reading it, all I could think was how this is so unlike my attitude – and that’s not good. I don’t really have grace on the radar much, and really thinking about it, I think I’d feel a lot more joy if I did. Ugh, I think our own expectations are the hardest to live up to. Thank you so much for sharing this. It really helped me re-think my perspective. Grateful! (And we were out of butter today, too. I tried to sneak ghee on the bagels and waffles, but they weren’t having it! ) Thank you again!

  6. This made me laugh out loud, Laura! I think all the moms in the room are applauding! More than just making me laugh, it made me think. Turning your mistakes into a reason to be joyful is a beautiful thing. Too often, I digress down the road of the grumbling mama after a series of sugar spills and unfortunate events. Thanks for challenging me with this today!

I'd love to know what you think. Thanks for commenting!