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I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Homemaking is not one of my spiritual gifts. Put me on a stage in front of two thousand people and I’ll have a ball, but please, please, please don’t ask me to pick out a rug or decorate a table. (I’m dead serious. Just ask Sandra, my former women’s ministry leader. She made the mistake of doing that and . . . well . . . it wasn’t a pretty sight–and I’m not talking about the table. I won’t go into the gory details, but let me just say no one’s had the nerve to suggest I be part of the decorating committee since.)

Now, for some women, this defect would drive them crazy and make them feel like total failures. And I admit, I do wish housework and organization and meal planning came easier for me. I’d love to be like my friend, Terri, who maintains a spotless, beautifully decorated home, or my friend, Carrie, who bakes homemade bread made from her own freshly ground wheat.

I can see it now: “Vonda Skelton, Domestic Diva.”

The truth is, I’m more like Erma Bombeck, the Diva of the Domestically Disadvantaged. She spoke for all us messies when she made the undeniable argument that no one ever died from sleeping in an unmade bed. And to that I say, “Preach it, sister!”

I have to admit, when I focus on my domestic ineptitude, it’s easy to get down on myself. I do wish I were a star in the womanly category of homemaking. But between throwing out moldy leftovers, apologizing to wilted houseplants, and convincing myself that chocolate is one of the basic food groups, I’d say I’m probably somewhere between mediocre and unfit.

People are always surprised to discover this little deficiency. There’s this false notion that speakers are speakers because they have it all together. Well that, my friends, is a big, fat lie.

The truth is, we’re speakers because we have a message. For me, it’s a message of failure and success, heartache and happiness, sin and forgiveness. It’s a message of hope. Oh, how I praise God that He can take my messes and use them for His glory! (And believe me, I’m not just talking about the house.)

As followers of Christ–washed in His blood and forgiven of our sin–we each have a message to share. Not because we’re perfect and have it all together, but because we each have a mess…and a hope.

And yet, we often hide behind our masks of Christianity, fearful that someone will discover the real us. The imperfect us. The needy us.

Even Paul, the one miraculously changed from persecutor of Christ to proclaimer of Him, struggled with imperfection and neediness. In Romans 7, he brings to light the very words we often keep hidden inside.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. . . . I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature . . . . What a wretched man I am!
Romans 7:15-24

Did you get that? Paul struggled. He struggled, too! He struggled with the same reality we do. The reality that we can’t measure up. That we can’t be all we want to be. That we can’t even be all God allows us to be.

But His Word tells us He loves us anyway, even though He knows about our mess. And then it also tells us He can use those very messes for His glory…if we let Him.

What are you struggling with today? What heartache? What sin? What mess has He delivered you from that you can now use for His glory?

As writers and speakers, we can share Christ by sharing the hope He offers. And we often do this by sharing the truth of our struggle.

Share the struggle. Share the hope. Share the answer.

And lives will be changed for eternity.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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