Your permission to live a messy life

That woman? The one who looks so put together? You didn’t get to see her when she yelled at her kids or stared in her mirror wondering why she feels so discouraged. She has a messy life too.

That house? The one you visit and everything is in its place? That one? Well, have you ever pulled back a shower curtain, opened a closet or felt how lumpy the pillows are? Everybody has a messy life.

Some of us hide our messy lives well! And… sometimes we just need permission to be messy…to be real.

I lived for years trying to hide my messy life.

I didn’t try to hide it because I was embarrassed in front of other people, I tried to hide it from myself because I just plain didn’t like it — it did not fit my ideal image of me!

Do you try to hide your messy life from others… or from yourself?

When I talk about a messy life, I’m talking about a life that is real, not perfect and always put together — a life that is flawed! It’s the kind of life that looks longingly at the mental equivalent of The Container Store or IKEA, wondering why we just can’t seem to make our real life look that ideal!

Real life is messy, but instead of trying to hide it or constantly reorganize it so that it fits some ideal image, what if we just go with it?

What if we just enjoy being the real us rather than always trying to be the ideal us?

What if we invite others into our homes and show them we have cluttered closets too? What if we pull back the shower curtain and admit that no matter how hard we try, that soap scum is still there?! What if we invite others into our real lives and show them we just do not have it all together?

Admitting we have messy lives doesn’t mean we stop growing and learning, and it doesn’t mean we settle for less. Admitting our lives are messy means we settle for more.

When we admit that everybody has a messy life, we settle for more authenticity. We settle for more grace. We settle for more laughter. We settle for more of the real and stop thinking everything should be the ideal.

Some of you need permission to live your messy life! You need a green light to be you — the real you — the flawed, imperfect, authentic you! The messy, not-quite-there-yet you. The you who Jesus loves just the way you are!

So… here is your permission slip to live a messy life. I suggest you print it out or take a screen shot and show it to anyone, including yourself, who needs to remember that you have been given permission by the God of grace to settle for more grace in your life:

 ____________has permission to settle for more grace in her life today. She has permission to strive less and laugh  more. She has permission to be the real her and can take the day off from striving to be the ideal her. The holder of  this permission slip is expected to laugh hard, lean on grace, rest well and give herself a break.
This permission slip has no expiration date and is new and valid every morning, just like God’s mercy is new every morning.
 ~Permission granted by the God of all grace
 “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.” 2 John 1:3

This post originally appeared on and was republished with permission.

Jennifer Rothschild has written 14 books, including the bestseller Lessons I Learned in the Dark and Me, Myself, and Lies. She’s been featured on Good Morning America and Dr. Phil and is the founder of Fresh Grounded Faith events. Jennifer became blind at age 15 and now helps others live beyond limits.

Now read this: If your life isn’t ‘Pinterest-perfect’ 

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