Our Christmas Mess


A traditional Christmas card will not be arriving in your mailbox this year from the circus fam,  instead I give to you this greeting from me  to you. 

I’ve thought a lot about what I want to say in this card.  What image I want to share with you from my family to yours.  We’ve had a lot of great moments this year.  Many of them I’ve shared on here so I can look back and remember them in the years to come.   But, as I ponder this year about what image I want to capture our family this Christmas it isn’t the one of us all enjoying a National Park or the one of the kids all smiling in front of our tree before we chopped it down. 

No, this Christmas I want to share with you my mess.

minivan mess

Because, despite what those holiday movies and songs say over and over… Christmas isn’t about feeling good or just believing… it’s not about wishing or mistle toe or presents under the tree.  Don’t get me wrong I love me some mistle toe and presents and lights and cookies.  I enjoy it all.

But, Christmas is about Emmanuel.  Which means God with Us.  Christmas is about God sending His one and Only Son, Jesus to earth as a baby.  For one reason.  To Die.  For me.  Christmas is about Jesus making it possible for us to be with God.  Because we can’t be with God on our own.  On our own we are a Mess. 

On my own, I am a mess.


Literally and figuratively. 

Despite my best intentions, I don’t keep the van clean.  My sink doesn’t look like this every now and then it looks like this more often than not.  I say I am going to get up early and work out and read my Bible and tidy up the house before the kids come down.  But, I don’t.

I don’t have it all together. 

I am a mess.  And I need Jesus.

I need him to meet me in my mess.  I need him to forgive me when I snap at my kids for not picking up their stuff.  When I yell at them for fighting.  When I snap at my husband because his to do list for the evening doesn’t look like mine.  I need Jesus to meet me where I am.  And He does.  He reminds me what is important.  He reminds me that my worth isn’t found in clean clothes and a tidy sink.  He reminds me that I do not have to be perfect to have his love.  I don’t have to have it all together because He does. 

Jesus came because we messed up.  He came because we do not have it all together.  He came because He loves us.  He loves us in our mess.  And He loves us so much, so very, very much that He was willing to die in our place, so that we could spend eternity with Him in heaven. 

He was born a King in the lowliest of places.  In a messy stable.  Jesus, King of Kings, Lord of Lords was born in a dirty, smelly barn.  Because Jesus meets us in our mess.   He didn’t chose to come in a palace, He chose to come in a dirty stall.  And I am so glad.  I am so glad He continues to come and meet me in my mess.  I am so glad that I don’t have to have it all together. 

This Christmas, I want to remind you that we are all messy.  Despite what you may see on facebook or on tv.  Despite whatever image you have in your head, we are all a mess.  Not one of us has it together.  But, thanks to Jesus, we can be made clean.  Thanks to Jesus we don’t have to stay messy forever. 

Merry Christmas dear friend, from my mess.



  1. Thank you for being so real -- it's an encouragement to hear those thoughts voiced so clearly

  2. Love love love!! He came knowing we were a mess and loves us in spite of our mess. Merry Christmas from one mess to another!!

  3. Amen, and many thanks! Merry Christmas!

  4. This was the best text back I could have ever received! :) Can I just hug you! Thank you friend!

  5. LOVE it! So glad to know we're not the only ones living in "mess" this holiday season, despite our best intentions. Jesus is the reason for the season!!!

  6. The Holy Spirit is speaking through you. This melted my heart.

  7. I love you. For your heart, for the Mama and friend you are, and for how you inspire and encourage me. Absolutely wonderful, Crystal. Merry Christmas, Circus Fam!

  8. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing these words and your "mess".
    Merry Christmas!

  9. Well said Chrystal, and I thought I was the only mess!

  10. Wow! Thanks for this clear picture of the Gospel!

  11. [...] So I LOVE this picture of God’s grace during this Christmas season. This is exactly what this season is about although we try so hard to make it about other things. Take a look at her blog. http://lifeatthecircus.com/2013/12/19/our-christmas-mess/ [...]

  12. YOU SAID IT ALL Thanks maybe in about 40yrs The house is quiet you will look back & say we had a very good life.
    We are proud of all of our family`s . Love to ALL By what ever you call us we Love . Mema Pap Gma Gpap.

  13. Very good point. I can't do all this without Jesus. Helps to SEE I'm not the only one. Beautiful and real post. Thank you.

  14. […] viewing the holidays in the terms put forth in this post from Life at the Circus would help keep my perspective from being skewed negatively and keep the absence out of the space […]


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