God Brings Beauty Through Messy Transitions


January 26  

One Friday evening, just after the New Year, I spontaneously decided that it was time to update the girls’ rooms. So, after a quick trip to Ikea to pick-up new beds, a desk, and dresser, my family and I got to work in deconstructing a bedroom in the hopes of quickly reconstructing it into a beautiful space that our girls could work, play, and sleep in. Of course, as with any small home project, the cleaning out of a room and putting together new furniture took far longer than we had planned. Empty cardboard boxes, crates of clothes, and toys lined our hallways and living room floor for almost two weeks. And for this Type-A mom, the messiness of the transition was all too much to bear. Will our home, or lives, ever be beautiful again?!

Lately, doesn’t it seem that our homes are more messy than usual? Perhaps it is the pandemic or the other tensions that we all have felt these last months that has veiled the beauty and truth offered by God’s providence, or perhaps it is other things that you have endured as a mom guiding your children through hardships that you might not have imagined to be something that you would ever have to do. Whatever it is, it is hard to ignore the messes left by life’s unexpected transitions, within or outside our control. And at times, just as I lamented during my home project, it does seem that our homes will never reflect the beauty that they once did . . . or will they?

If there is one thing that I have learned from rearranging bedrooms, renovating a kitchen, and clearing out old barns, it is that out of the chaos and messiness of transitions things seem to become more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. Even when it is hard to imagine my life as a mom ever encountering physical or spiritual beauty again, especially in the midst of cardboard boxes and piles of clutter, I have found that not only does God grace me with more beautiful things, but that he offers a beauty that is more spectacular than what my heart desires. For it is out of this beauty that God also offers a truth for my eyes to see, my heart to internalize, and my lips to proclaim— the promise of everlasting peace no matter how messy my home appears to be. Borrowing from the words of Bishop Robert Barron, when God offers us beauty, it “leads [us] to the good, which leads [us] to the truth.”

And it is out of God’s gift of beauty that I have also learned that one of the primary responsibilities that I have as a mom is, in the words of famed interior designer Elise De Wolfe, “to make the world beautiful around me.” And to do so not just for my need to keep an orderly house, but, most importantly, so that my children can connect to God’s wondrous gifts of truth through the beauty offered in our physical and spiritual home. The next time I take on a never-ending messy home project or encounter messiness in my family’s spiritual home, I will rejoice in knowing that out of that mess God will soon offer my family and I a beauty far greater than what we could ever imagine. This is my joyful hope and may it be yours too.

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