I recently attended the Christmas program at my daughter’s school. It was so nice to hear the Pre-K to 8th-grade kids singing beautiful Christmas songs.
I arrived at our church about 10 minutes before the program, and it was tough to find parking. I’m glad my wife was there early to save a seat for me.

Life is Messy
Upon entering the church, I had the chance to grab a free book available to anyone who wanted a copy.
The book was called “Life is Messy” by Matthew Kelley. It is an easy read and provides many interesting observations.
Let me share a few with you …

  • Life is messy. This is the human dilemma. You’re not doing anything wrong.”
  • There’s no plan that you can devise that will solve the mess.”
  • It’s what we do with the mess that determines everything.”

The Wreckage of the Past
As I ponder my life, I can think of so many messy things.
At age 27, my wife and I divorced after just 5 years of marriage. What made things even worse was we had two young kids. This was a traumatic event for the entire family. It was even harder when she moved with the kids to Kansas, and I remained in Houston because of work responsibilities.
In my 30s, a company let me go because of “rightsizing.” I was newly married, which meant I had to seek financial assistance from my mother. She even allowed my wife and I to live with her for several months.
I remember the many times I awoke during the middle of the night wondering why I could not get myself on a consistent path to success.
There had to be a way. It seemed like I had fallen short enough times.
The Summit of Hope
Learning from these messy past mistakes can bring hope for the future.
The following quote from the “Life is Messy” book resonated with me …
I am broken. Pretending otherwise is exhausting.”
I’m confident that what is broken from past mistakes can be put back together and perhaps in an even more beautiful way.   
The fact is that my failures and shortcomings of the past are behind me now. I have learned from them, and they have humbled me.
The author, Matthew Kelly, mentions that humans are too focused on doing things exactly right. Instead of concentrating on how we can learn from our shortcomings, we are distracted by wanting to be perfect.
Yet, God does not rely on straight lines and right angles in nature.
Putting the Pieces Back Together
In all the messiness of life, I have learned that it is best to be completely myself in all situations. For example, if I treat people with love, respect, and kindness, it doesn’t matter if I am at a social event or a business meeting. These values are always appropriate.
I’m happy to say that my wife and I are on our 24th year of marriage, and we know the importance of placing God first. Because of Him, we are strengthened through our weaknesses and mistakes, and these only help us to grow closer to God, each other, and our kids.
In his prayer, a friend often says, “God, we thank you for everything you do for us that we can see, and especially everything you do for us that we don’t see.”
The Lord does work in mysterious ways.
Merry Christmas!