Finishing anything has never been easy for me.
I'm easily distracted.
I fly by the seat of my pants.
I'm a professional procrastinator.
I love naps.
"I'll get to it sometime" is my daily motto.
If it weren't for grace, I'd say I'm a quitter.
But, Sarah. You have five children. Nope. I've been this way since I was a little girl.
I have this distinct childhood memory of my sister and I staring at the mess that was our bedroom after being told we had to clean it up or we'd get no supper. We both flopped on our beds and plotted for an hour (or hours - who was counting? We weren't.) about how we were gonna clean it up.
We wrote out our plan on our small little chalkboards. Erased it. Then wrote a new plan when we realized Plan A would mean we'd have to get up and actually do something.
Then we were so worn out from all the planning that we sat down on the floor amidst the mess and created a lavish Barbie wedding with a roll of toilet paper.
I'm sure hours passed before either of us ever gave a thought to the fact that all the planning, the chalkboard lists, and the really, really good intentions would mean the eminent banishment to our bedroom for the rest of our lives.
Sometimes I think I was just never taught. I didn't have organized parents. I didn't grow up in an organized house. When my mother said, "Clean under your bed", I threw everything in the closet. When she said, "Clean out your closet" - (worst nightmare EVER for a kid who was told last week to clean under the bed), I shoved everything under the bed.
I'm 38 years-old now. But, wow - I am still that eight year-old shoving messes from one place to another. When I clean out my closet - now, as a grown-up, a mother of five children for goodness sake - I put everything in my bedroom. If I need to clean my bedroom, everything goes back in the closet.
Sometimes I feel like I'm a prisoner of what I can't be, don't know how to be, wasn't taught to be. You may see me as Sarah, that Short Stop girl - she cooks, she blogs, she mothers, no, wait - she mothers FOUR, wait, wait, wait - get this - four BOYS. ANNNNND, she has a baby!
Let me tell you this: My shortcomings are not their fault. Ever.
Let me ALSO tell you this: It's easy to blog successes. It's easy to post photos on Facebook of happy babies bathing in the sink, Tweet out little boys crunching leaves on the sidewalk, and pin a make-believe life to a "Love being a Mom" board.
But, when I'm doubting and overwhelmed by all that I'm not, I see what is unfinished: A mess of stuff I shuffle around in my head - things I want to do, to be, to actually complete.
My latest vacation photos might as well be Plan A on a little chalkboard.
Homework, bills, homework, dishes, laundry, homework, spills.
"I'm sorry I'm so late in responding, friend. This text/email/phone call is so overdue."
And, the mess that sits upstairs in my bedroom AND in my closet is so catastrophic that even if the spirit of transparency hit me like the Ravens hit the 49ers in the Super Bowl last year (HOLLA!), there is no way in tarnation I would let you see a photo of it.
But, can I tell you why my soul is not discouraged? Deep down - in the places that define me?
Because God has enough grace for me for ALL OF THIS. All of my shortcomings. All of my failures. Every single "I'm not, I can't, I wish, I'll never be".
When I feel like a quitter, this is God's message of hope to me and I preach it to myself:
And I am certain that God, who began
the good work within you, will continue
His work until it is finally finished
on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Philippians 1:6 NLT
I may be an easily distracted, fly by the seat of my pants, napping, professional procrastinator extraordinaire. But, AMEN and AMEN, I've been given a promise by the One who made me and I'm here today to tell you that YOU have this promise, too: See, I am doing a new thing!
God is not a quitter. He walked up a hill and died for me in the most glorious finish in history. My life is His work. He doesn't give up.
He isn't giving up on me. And, He isn't giving up on you.
I may not be organized.
My bedroom might be messy.
And, my photos and vacation stories trapped in my head until who knows when.
But, I have God's promise - that He began something marvelous in me when He made me His, and until I fly through the ribbon at the end of my life and finish this race, I will cling to HIS grace, knowing that I am His project, His plan, His girl.
And, He ain't finished with me yet.
I've shared this with you before. But, Mamas and friends - we can claim this promise over every "I'm not, I can't, I don't, I will never be" in our lives:
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19 NIV
See, I am doing a new thing!
Grace for messy closets.
Grace for unfinished projects.
Grace for naps.
Grace for little girls with chalkboard plans.
Grace for their little boys with sticky fingers and muddy shoes.
While He's doing His great work in me.
And, in you.