Ellie had a "family" stocking project. Get ready for some brutal honesty but when I saw that damn stocking come home in her folder with the instructions.."Do not use markers, crayons, or pencils" "Be creative use twigs, ribbon, buttons, etc" I thought to myself.."What the HELL?!" I can barely get our arses to school each morning in clean clothes, with our homework done, lunches packed! And now I have to come up with the time and materials for a "winning stocking." Ellie nagged me for over a week about the stocking. "Mommy!" she pleaded.."We have to do the stocking! Everyone else did their stocking!" I was shamed by the stocking! So, yesterday, I sent Caroline to the neighbors for glue, because of course we didn't have any to start in our stocking. By the way, back in September I designated a drawer for school/art supplies and the Simpson kids have blown that to hell. Anyways, Caroline, Ellie and I sat down and embarked on decorating the dang stocking yesterday. I looked in the pantry and found raisins, sprinkles, candy canes and a glitter pen. Perfect! I thought. We were hard at work and when we finished, I proudly surveyed our masterpiece and thought. YES! That is worthy of the other kid's stockings. Mrs Rumora, Ellie's first grade teacher, might think I am delinquent but boy, this stocking was worth the wait!! Fast forward to this morning when Ellie ran to its "safe, drying spot" and found a runny, NOT dried, raisins were too heavy, this stocking which was glorious last evening, now SUCKS!" Ellie looked at me with dismay in her eyes and said..."Mommy, this is a mess!" Jeff looked at me silently, with judging eyes that screamed.."What the hell were you thinking with the raisins and green, sugar sprinkles that seemingly melted into the glue making a BIG, GREEN, MESS?" How did I react? I got creative! I would not be dismayed by our stocking mess! I quickly devised a plan. Get a Harding's bag sweet girl, we will put in there to continue to dry and tomorrow, I am sure, Mrs. Rumora will be able to hang it! She was fine with it, Jeff humored me and I haven't heard anything from Ellie's sainted teacher so I am assuming our messy stocking will find its place in the first grade hallway!
I have been thinking a lot lately about Christmas and the gift we all received all those years ago in the manger. Jesus came amidst the mess and was born in a messy, stinky stable to redeem us. He can make good of any mess we've created. He sees our well intended stocking plans and wants to help us right our wrongs. What a gift! Every year I find myself in awe of the God I am so privileged to serve. I can never make too many messes for Him. It has taken me the good part of forty years to process that truth. Christ will always seek me. He wants all of me and you, even the messy parts! Amen! I can't think of happier reason to celebrate Christmas than that! Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a less messy New Year!