Have you had a rough year? I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t say yes to that question. And the severity of it varies from person to person. Know that I feel for each of you, and pray for your peace and health and strength.

As some of you know, I love to decorate for Christmas. I pull everything out just before Thanksgiving. It’s funny, when I look back at it, how one little tree brought me so much pleasure (and in a way I didn’t expect, it also taught me a lesson).

Here’s the tree – a pile of bare limbs in pieces, ornaments and stuffed bears, a golden star, and a frilly skirt. It looked disheveled – like a mess on the floor.

But after I put it together limb by limb, ornament by ornament, bear by bear, fluffed out the skirt around the bottom, and placed the star on top, that “mess” transformed into a beautiful Christmas tree ready to shine a light on the birth of Jesus.

Pleasure came when the lights sparkled each night and I reveled in the “creation” of something beautiful.

Kind of like putting a book together, or writing a story for Chicken Soup or one of the Guideposts magazines. I start out with a real mess of words on the page as the kernel of an idea flows into paragraphs. I fudge with it, adjust, move things around, rethink what should be up front and what pleases the reader. At the bottom, I wrap it up with a satisfying ending, and put an engaging title at the top.

Even though this past year has been hard in so many ways, the glory of the birth of Jesus brings me hope. If I can keep in mind that a “mess” can become something beautiful, I can plunge forward into my writing once again.

What are your goals? What will you be working on this year? Send me an email…I’d love to pray for you. My email: bj@bjtaylor.com

Follow your dreams,
B.J.& Charlie Bear


A Real Mess

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