Jesus at the Center of My Messy Life

“How Clear is Our Vocation, Lord…” but not the kitchen counter…

I’m firmly in that stage of life where it seems as if every waking moment is spent in the kitchen. Homework, meals, games, conversations… it all happens in here.

I’ve tried setting up a little space somewhere quiet for my artwork and devotion times, but I never seem to actually make it there. When I do I’m often interrupted moments late by some catastrophe or another. Turns out if I leave the kitchen unguarded ridiculous things happen, like meal shake powder all over the floor, paint splattered on the walls, or windows “washed” with a PBJ…

So instead, my Bible and art projects end up in here on the kitchen island with everything else.

I’ve found that having all my stuff handy means I get to is far more regularly. My Bible and study questions are right here and I’m able to work on them in bits and pieces, or listen to passages while I prep dinner.

My copy of When From Death I’m Free has green frosting stains on the bottom of several pages. But because it’s out I’ve often been able to grab opportunities for “parallel project” time while my youngest is playing with play dough or my grade-schoolers plow through math homework nearby.

I usually keep a clipboard with my illustration work for Visual Faith Ministries handy, using moments here and there as inspiration strikes and time allows. I can edit out a little grease stain here and there on the computer later. Most of the time.

My favorite are the 3×5 cards with on-going prayers reminding me of things prayed for already, and nudging me to continue the conversation.

Written out like that makes it sound like a disaster! And to be honest, it is sometimes.

But in the midst of this kind of busy, I NEED Jesus to be right there all over my kitchen counter. I may not often be able to meet Jesus in a tidy corner of the house, but He doesn’t mind being a guest in the center of our messy lives!

Jesus is there grounding me in my true identity, as His dearly loved child. He is in the conversations sparked by others seeing my half-finished project. My kids know I pray for them because they see their names, in their favorite colors, on a 3×5 card I used to pray over sibling squabbles. It doesn’t matter that we got marmalade on it before it was really finished. That prayer brought us closer together. 

It’s not ideal, and I’d love more time and more space, but right now this is what it looks like to have Jesus in the center of our lives.

Letting go of my ideals for time and place has led to conversation and growth! It seems like a lot of clutter, but His steadfast mercy and love shine through the occasional paint or spaghetti sauce splatter. God is good. Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest. 

On Mother’s Day, 2018, I wrote in my Bible Journal the text of the hymn, “How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord.” While my vocation may be clear, my kitchen counter is not! And Jesus meets us there, at the center of our messy lives.

3 Comments

  1. I always believed in “lifetime fitness”, where I made sure to be as active as possible whatever I was doing. Katie’s approach brings me to the conclusion there is also “lifetime spiritualness” or whatever might be a good name for it. It’s growing in a relationship with Jesus where He lives in me all day in whatever I am doing. Thanks Katie.

  2. Absolutely! It’s very similar! It might be hard to find the perfect time to fit in an amazing work out, but all the little ways you can sneak in extra activities throughout the day really add up. The same is true of our relationships with others and especially our walk with Jesus! Those set aside times are amazing, but so are all those bits and pieces 😊

  3. I loved your inspirational message, “Jesus at the Center of My Messy Life “ I raised four children in the same environment and don’t regret it for a moment. I have taught in a Christian school 22 years and almost ready to retire. I know my heart and passions are loving children and love to live this “messy” Christ centered life with my grandchildren. I am forwarding your article to my daughters, who are raising their children to love the Lord and each other. ❤️
    Thank you! 🥰

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