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How many of you find preparing and packing for vacation stressful? I do! Several times I had gotten in the car, finally ready to take off, and was asked if I’m ok? Nope. Not even close! Of course, I gave the “are you kidding me look” first. On top of making sure I have everything for 3 children, myself, the dog, (Mark was on his own!) I like to have the house cleaned up so we come home to a clean house. It’s a bit of a tornado when we come home, so to have only the vacation tornado and not the regular house mess of a tornado is a bonus!

Over the last several years, my kids have been packing their own bags/suitcases. If the beginning, I’d have them pack, then I would go through it to make sure they had everything. Then, we graduated to telling me what they packed as I checked off the mental checklist and reminded them of a few things they forgot. Now a days, I tell them how many days we will be gone and how many outfits they need to pack. When they say they are finished, I go through the list and see if they’ve got everything. It works most of the times! Pajamas, shampoo, soap and jackets have been forgotten. But, we make due and all is well.

This past weekend I dropped all three kids off at their cousin’s house and I went to my sister-in-law’s house for the weekend (and some adult time!) to help her clean out her classroom. She is retiring this school year and she asked me to come help clean out her room. (Note that I’m not a pack rat.) As I was getting ready for the trip, I had a few last minute errands to run, remind the kids what to pack, get the house cleaned up, get Pongo ready for one of his favorite puppy/house sitters, oh and make sure I packed my own suitcase. I have my own mental checklist I go down when I’m packing. I forget little things, but rarely do I forget necessity items! And honestly, I felt like I was running around like crazy trying to get ready for our trip. I was excited to be without children for a few days (no, I’m not a bad mother!) and spending time with some of my favorite people.

I get the kids dropped off and I’m back on the road. I get to my destination, smiling faces meet me at my car and talking immediately starts! 🙂 We get in, get settled, we visit, have some laughs, eat brownies and ice cream. All is well. We say goodnight and turn in for the evening. I open my suitcase, look down and say out loud, “You have got to be kidding me!” I forgot to pack my underclothes and socks!. Yep, not a one. I check to see if Wal-Mart is still open. Nope. I check to see what time they open in the morning, 7 am. I text my sister-in-law, who is right down the hall, and let her know if she hears me in the morning, I had to make a Wal-Mart run and told her why. No sooner did I send it, she busts out laughing. We stand at the opposite end of the hallway, laughing. Who forgets their underwear? Apparently a hot mess momma (me) does! In the morning, I think, I’ll take a shower then I can put clean clothes on after I get back from Wal-Mart. I go to get my shampoo and conditioner and you guessed it, I forgot to pack that too.

We made the Wal-Mart run, got the necessities and got started on our day of packing up her classroom. We are in her classroom, maybe, 15 minutes. I step up on a chair to get things off the wall. I step down and roll my left ankle and sprain it. Yep. After a lot of deep breaths, not passing out from pain, calling a nurse friend, deciding no, I don’t need to go to the ER; I set myself up in a chair, an ice pack and a paper shredding machine. My job just became the paper shredder queen! Hot mess, right here!

Later on that afternoon, we are back at the house, talking about my grace of spraining my ankle. I made the comment that I’m a hot mess. Without missing a beat, said with the most sincere love, I was reminded that I was their hot mess. It didn’t matter that I forgot my underclothes and had to make a pit stop before starting the day. I didn’t matter that I sprained my ankle and couldn’t help as much as I wanted to help. It didn’t matter that I would be nursing my sore ankle all weekend. I was their hot mess and they loved me anyway! That’s what mattered.

Often times we forget how much we are loved in spite of ourselves. Sometimes we forget or take for granted the unconditional love we are given by our loved ones and our Heavenly Father. I’ll take being a hot mess if it reminds me that I’m Someone’s hot mess.

Thank you, Jesus for the reminder of the ones who love us and the love you pour out on us. Thank you for putting people in my path to remind me of the greatness of love and experience a little bit of heaven here on earth. Thank you for reaching down and providing a “heavenly hug” that I desperately needed. Thank you, Jesus, for it all. I am a hot mess, but I’m Your hot mess! And you wouldn’t have me any other way. Thank you, Jesus.

Life is messy. We are all a hot mess in one way or another. Just take a deep breath. Maybe several. A boat load if needed! You may feel like one thing after another is falling apart, yet the One constant is His Love. No other Love can go beyond His love. If you have humans on this earth that love you unconditionally, then you are doubly blessed. I am doublebly blessed and grateful for their love and thankful for their presence in my life.

Thank you for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together in Him.

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