“Messy Glory”

Cardinals:Vickie Wade

The Post Is Dedicated to families of 6, 4 baby birds. Also to Deborah Wiles and her wordly insight πŸ™‚ “each little bird sings” “Messy Glory” Thank you, Ms. Wiles!!!

We have a family of six, plus a few we took under wing. (If you are a family of one in your household, read on, because you just might be messy Glory too!) Such beauty in this family of 6 cardinals. (There is always one child, at the moment, that needs to be smack dab in the middle between mom and dad, isn’t there?! Great wisdom there, Vickie! Can’t you just hear the conversation? Momma Bird, in tears, “When will he learn? He came close to a deadly collision with a tree yesterday?! I had to cover my eyes with my wing, again!” Daddy Bird, “Oh, no worries, dear, He’s a strong little guy, he will get it tomorrow when I show him a trick I used as a young stud, bird!” Momma bird. . . sighs, a little too loudly.)

Back to the lovely creative hand. . .Delicate wonder that whispers to memories of a snow flake floating across my cheek as a child. This is a real, true, beautiful portion of God’s Glory. Let yourself lean into it’s goodness from the brush of Vickie Wade. She sent me this print, just as a “happy” this week and so I’m looking at the poster in the “real time.” Thank you, Vickie for your generosity! Glory is and can be softly, wonderfully inviting. Thank you Father, for the lure of your goodness. We need to experience the calling of your Kingdom’s Glory, so the hard edges of this life do not cut us up into confusion.

One day, driving through lower school carpool, I had been struggling with the beauty of the Kingdom within and the mess of life without! Kathleen was reading aloud to me from a children’s book: “Mom, you are gonna love this part! She reads on. . .about messy glory” (Today, Neither of us could remember the name of the book!) The internet is so fun, you can find out just about anything! And so I went on a search with Kathleen’s help and we found it. . .The book! Yeah! “each little bird sings” by Deborah Wiles. (Also, the author of Love, Ruby Lavender) Ms.Wiles coined the term that has weaved it’s way into my heart of understanding. Said Booklist,”Wiles succeeds wonderfully in capturing ‘the messy glory’ of grief and life.” (Are any of you catching my love for birds, Vickie Wade, and this book title. . .Our God is so intentional in His love of words and brush strokes on canvas!)

It’s stuck with me ever since as who we really are . . .How can we learn from each other without authenticity and vulnerability? If we hold pretense of perfection, it holds all of us back in our Kingdom growth. Yes, I sob until a kleenex box is gone and I resort to a roll of toilet paper in my grief for life. The toilet paper from Target (now you know why we use so much toilet paper) is still not put up from a friend’s shopping gift last week. Our Christmas tree is in time out at a friend’s house because it was a “fire hazard.” (Discovered by a retired fire fighter dear friend!) Sometimes this disease makes me too tired to sit up in bed and hug my kids as they walk out the door for school. Our girls don’t make all “As.” They lose their manners in the tangle of sheets they fought to get out of bed on time for school or a class. A daughter walks through the room to go to dinner with girlfriends, and I wonder, when did you get that “grace” in your walk? Choices are not perfect, imagine that?! I had a day last week, I was ready to quit. I’m not your nice, “little church” lady. I’m a real wife that gets frustrated and a mom that gets disappointed and I’m an ALS patient that gets so angry at what this disease does I could ignite war with the United Nations. Lice is all too real at school and I fight a panic attack as I check heads. I receive a Bible Verse via text that pockets next to my heart for days, pumping life-giving blood. We will never get these little dogs “house trained” and my husband bites his tongue so much about it, he is swallowing blood. Things get lost and never get “found” again. Who knows, maybe Mollie dragged it under the bed in her “nest” of things. Girls burst in flares of anger and then snuggle to paint nails. Bucky is getting hard of hearing and my speech is getting worse, and I just thought male/female communication WAS a challenge?! Is this a joke? One of the girls pulls something out of the fridge, she cannot recognize. . .it’s a fuzzy green lump. (Mom isn’ t able to check the fridge as often.) My sister’s visit has to be postponed because the chaos does not allow room for any more breathing space. I NEED my sister, Lu! Ugh! And I, the nice mature Christian Lady, throws an internal temper tantrum that plays out as a sour mood for three days 😦 ) Trauma pours out tears at the kitchen table and prayer does not seem like “enough” to cover heart ache of my cherished child. What was my thought about war with the UN? Sounding pretty good about now! We laugh until we cry at our friend’s sense of humor πŸ™‚ I listen to a daughter’s voice share her heart and marvel at her wisdom. I cannot do the “easy lock” again with my wheel chair in the van, and everyone waits on me. . .”Take your time, they smile.” I smile patiently and say, “It really is the wheels on the chair, they have a mind of their own!” Could I run this thing off a bridge? (It’s so high tech it can probably swim!) I read a Blble Verse and it rings empty in my heart. One sister steps up for another and I don’t know until later how they “handled it on their own.”

And so, are you disappointed yet? Life is not all pretty and contained? I’m a mix of passionate emotions about the life I care about in God’s Kingdom. I’m a mess, each and every day. And I hope I”m becoming more comfortable with it. You show up, I’m in pjs, I don’t apologize or make excuses. Glory plays out in human lives as messy. I picture it as a child painting on a large canvas, BEFORE they get self-conscious. And our “mature” perspective wants to make it into “something” a wagon or a ball or a boat as if our recognition of it gives it value. The Glory that plays color out in our lives is often unrecognizable, it’s a mess. If it’s faith, hope and love finding their way into what we pretend to be the order of our lives. . . .It’s gonna get messy. Β The growth of Glory always is. . .Messy Glory.

I’m a Christian comfortable with my Best Friend. He knows my messes and He sees beauty coming out of the tangles, loss, and brokeness. Thank you Jesus for making Glory from my mess πŸ™‚ I love you, Lord.

13 thoughts on ““Messy Glory”

  1. Wow Tracey , it doesn’t get any more “real” than this post. Your words ring true for all of us and point our hearts and minds to Him.
    Thank you for sharing with us and allowing us to reflect on our own “Messy Glory.” I will never look at cardinals the same way again.

    • Hi Claudia! Thank you. As the hands of time, slip through our hands, and they do for all of us. . .the “real” gives meaning to our moments! Love you, Thanks for reading! twe

  2. Tracey – could the book be Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles? I googled “messy glory child’s book” and this popped up.

  3. My dear little sister and big and most loving heart,
    With each breath, you teach. With each heartache, your glow rises far above the clouds. With each prayer, we all stand at attention and know Him through you. Dear Tracey, these unchartered waters are ready for you to walk on. Please, when the moment arises, sound the gong so that we may follow your path. There is no way for any of us to understand, but this is not about that – about our being as close as possible to God through you. In that way, I feel as though this email is being sent to the heavens as well. We love you so. Toby

  4. As a family of six, this has been my favorite entry so far. It made me smile about my 4 baby birds. There is such freedom in knowing we don’t have to have it all together. As always, your words will stay with me throughout the day

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