I told my friend as we prepared dinner at our house last night…

“I really need to clean up this paper pile”.

It’s been sitting on our kitchen counter for months.
You probably have a paper pile monster of your own.
Like me, you really want to get rid of it. You may
even trim it down sometimes.

But there are always a few things that just need to stay there
for whatever reason so they keep the pile structure aΒ possibility.

And it grows.

With every sorting and pilfering through, it seems to grow, and become more overwhelming.
And I keep saying… “I’ve got to get around to sorting it all out.”

Last night, just minutes after I told my friend that I needed to get that pile “under control” our daughter ensured that I would indeed get that pile under control.

By spilling a giant glass of thick dark grape juice on the countertop where the pile lived.
We caught it fast but the spill sprinted and spidered out to reach the pile, absorbing into and touching
every paper it could find.

In the quick clean up efforts I said, “It’s ok! Mommy needed to do this anyway!”

I sped through the pile, sorting and tossing–but mostly tossing.

There were only a few things worth keeping and I realized something.

Life is muchΒ simplerΒ than I make it sometimes.

How on God’s green earth did I come to the conclusion that I would be a failure
in life if I didn’t read and respond to every piece of mail or every correspondance from our children’s schools? What made me think that having a pile meant having control?

It only took one mess to get to the bottom of it.
And I find myself thankful for life’s messes because often it’s the same messes
that lead us to swift change, a new discovery, or something as simple as a clean countertop.

I wonder how often we do the thing our grandparents cautioned us about? We spend our time cryin’ over spilt milk when we could be getting some serious perspective or a nudge in the right direction?

I wonder how often we pity our mess when in fact there is growth in the mess and joy to be experienced.

His power is made perfect in our weakness…yet we cling to our ideas of power and order and wonder why we don’t have peace.

So, let’s have a party when a drink is spilt.

It’ll give us a chance to clean house, to serve each other, to forgive, to be perfected in weakness, and it may teach us a great lesson in life. That we really don’t need so much. And when so much piles up, what we really need to do is pour some grape juice on it and see whatΒ survives.

Palm Trees - Brooklyn Lindsey - Lakeland, FL - Speaking

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