The Advent of Messiness



The Christmas season has arrived at our house. Kids are done with school.

Concerts and parties are done. Now for family, pajamas, too much candy and PIE!


This afternoon, my kitchen table (along with a lot of other parts of my home) were really messy. Stuff is everywhere around here.


My son has taken over the downstairs with all that he dumped out of his book bag yesterday. No one has had time for laundry, dishes, bed-making or anything else.

To add to this messiness, I baked two Apple Pies with Oatmeal Crumb Topping today. They are the last two contributions to the firehouse pies this week, and they made a delicious-smelling use of some quick oats in my pantry. I’m a huge fan of using what you have.

It was indeed a messy process. There were lemons to zest and squeeze (must be in that order, I have learned from doing it the WRONG way), apples to peel, and crumb topping to mix.


The crumb topping is the funnest and messiest part of this pie. In a bowl, I mixed brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, oatmeal, salt and a whole stick of butter. Let’s face it: everything tastes better with a whole stick of butter.



The recipe recommends a food processor for making the crumb topping, but I like using my hands. It has to be blended until the butter pieces are small. It’s messy, but completely worth the results.

I have found the same to be true of this life. Often, the messiest parts of life give us the best results. Relationships can be complicated, and loving folks takes some work, but what beautiful results.

I am reminded of a childhood memory that is so vivid to me. I’ve probably shared it before, but I love it. My grandfather (mom’s dad) and grandmother, Johnnie and Alice,  had two giant Blackheart Cherry trees in their front yard. When cherries were ready to be picked, my parents sent us up into those enormous trees (I was quite small, so they seemed big to me) to harvest them. My dad fashioned these picking buckets out of a family sized plastic mayonnaise jar and a cord. We hung those around our necks and climbed up the tree. I don’t think I’ll ever forget picking cherries; one for the bucket, two for my mouth. What a huge mess it was! Cherry juice staining our mouths and our clothes. Pits raining down on us from whomever was spitting them out from a higher branch. Even after all we’d eaten, there was sure to be some delicious reward later–jelly or cobbler or something Mom or Grandma made. (Maybe even PIE, but I can’t remember) It is a family memory that I treasure.


Today, give thanks for the messiness of this life. Do the work that is worth doing. Love the people who are hard to love. Take time to enjoy what’s delicious in life.

Go out on a limb, where the good fruit is. Eat it up, and let the juice run down your chin! 


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