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Darla - the Hot Mess

Have you ever felt like a hot mess?  Like you can’t string a complete thought together before your mind squirrels off in another of the thirty directions it's being pulled?  But there is one constant -- the niggling in the not-so-far-back of your mind that you’re missing or forgetting something.  This is totally me right now.

We recently moved again, and I hope we’ll stay here until we die because I dislike moving just that much.  This time our living room furniture didn’t fit through the door, no matter what was tried.  My most sentimental and favoured vase broke and I can’t find a best-loved picture that belongs with a grouping.  I know it’s just “stuff”, and it doesn't matter in the scheme of life, but now I have to shop for different furniture and I pretty much loathe shopping. 

It might help if I didn't feel such an urgency to get everything done as soon as possible. The older I get the more I need to feel that things are in their proper place - perhaps because my brain feels so discombobulated that something should feel as if it’s settled!  So when my daughter picked me up, not even 48 hours after we got the keys for this place, I have to admit I wasn’t all that excited about our weekend away.  I would’ve rather stayed and finished the work, but since we had planned this long before the decision to move, away we went!  

We took my daughter’s vehicle this time.  For the entire few hours of travel to get to our “relaxation destination” I tried to ignore the brightly coloured plastic toy sitting on her dash.  I couldn’t help noticing my grown child “fixing” this toy when, after a quick turn or sudden stop, it came apart.  Having four children, there are often playthings strewn about her SUV, but the next day I found myself even more curious about her patience with this particular toy.  So, after asking about it, this is what I learned ...

Her name is Darla.  She originated from inside a Happy Meal box, awhile ago.  Darla represents a large chicken nugget, and she sits inside colourful plastic pants that easily fall off her hard plastic body, leaving her a naked nugget.

When I asked my daughter why she tolerates it on her dash, this was her answer: “I keep her there because she reminds me of me — a bit of a mess.  She can hold it together when the ride is smooth, but when there's a quick stop or turn, she falls apart.  When I see her skittering across the dash I think, “Well, at least I’m not as big a mess as Darla.””

Cute. We laughed. But I soon thought of how I'd been feeling. I’m not sure who would be considered the bigger mess — me or Darla.  She’s pretty easy to put back together, but soon after she falls apart again, and so the cycle goes.

Then it hit me. Maybe that’s how God sees me too. I fall down, but He has always patiently picked me up again. Always. Nothing is impossible or too difficult for Him — if I would only remember to let go and let Him take care of things all the time. 

So … because of Darla, here it is — the message to myself and to anyone else who ever feels this way:  If we belong to Him, He holds us, and no problem is too big for Him to handle.  He understands "overwhelmed" and He promises to help us up every time we come apart.  Every. Time. 

Two verses with His promise and encouragement are:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) 

With Love and Prayers,

Pattie Janzen

As always, feel free to contact me with comments, prayer requests or just to say HI.

PS - I tried to attach a photo of Darla, but between having no Wifi and my continuing lack of

tech-expertise, it just didn't happen. My apologies.

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