When Life's A Little Messy

It snowed in West Texas this week, and the beautiful blanket of white lasted for two glorious days.  I know it must have been torture for my little ones to go all day in their school building, counting down the hours and then the minutes until they could get home and go out to play in it.  As kids who have been raised here all their lives, they understand you have to seize the moment when it comes to snow.  You may not see it again until next year, because it doesn't happen often.

We spent twenty minutes digging out in the garage for mittens and scarves and hats.  Another couple of minutes were spent actually putting them on.  Then, after all the shoes were tugged on and tied, we realized snow could still find a inch or two of skin to freeze between the shoes and the pant legs.  So, we took the shoes off, dug around some more for some old soccer socks, and put those on a lot of little legs, pulling them up over the pants to keep out the cold.  The shoes went back on, finally, and out all four of my children ran to play.

I snapped some pictures of the snowy football tosses and the attempts at a snowman.  I got out the coffee mugs and put some water in the kettle to boil for hot chocolate.  I sat down to listen to snow squeals of delight.

And the door opened as my frozen children came back inside.

All that work for one brief party in the backyard.  All that mess for ten minutes of joy.

And as I looked at the red faces drinking hot chocolate at the kitchen table, I couldn't be upset, because 

sometimes joy requires life to get a little messy.

Sometimes joy means we have to put our expectations of perfection on hold for a little while. 

Sometimes joy asks us to put down the to-do list and set out on the path that wasn't on our map at all. 

Sometimes joy invites us to stop listening to the ticking clock that wants us to be somewhere other than in this moment, holding everything that is precious.

Today, I choose to fling wide the door to joy and welcome it in.  

"Come in this house and stay awhile.  You can bring your mess in with you."