Beyond Borders

courage. faith. action.

adoption, Jesus, Gospel, Isaac, worn

Beauty and the Mess.


On Fridays, Lisa-Jo Baker invites you to write for 5 minutes without stopping, without editing. 5 minutes on a word prompt. There is a whole bunch of ladies that write and link up and even have a twitter party the night before in anticipation of the event. Yeah, it get’s that exciting! You can find them on Twitter here #FMFParty….. For more information about 5 minute fridays click here.


This weeks prompt is Mess




Toys are lying across the floor. Like a scene from Toy Story when Andy walks in the room and all the toys freeze and drop so as not to be seen alive. That’s my living room. If you walk into the kitchen most likely there are dishes piled high waiting their turn to feel new again. And please! Do NOT even ask to see the bedroom. That is where the clothes hide. Who knows if they are clean or dirty, at this point in the week the baskets have been pulled through, dumped out and put back so many times there really is no telling. Might as well wash them all again.

To the outsider looking in with their untrained eyes all they see is the mess, but they are missing the beauty. Their eyes never see beyond the mess, because their hearts are closed tight. If only they would open those hearts just for a moment, they would see it, because that is where the magic happens.

It’s the giggles of a little girl twirling and wiggling to the music playing. Her blowing kisses and bowing for applause. Her running to you and giving hugs. They way she chews her food. The “cheese” she smiles as you take a picture. The bear she calls Rawr that she holds oh so tight. He is worn and loved, but you can see in his eyes he doesn’t mind.



photo 2

The little girl that might have never known what it felt like to be loved. One that might never have survived her first years of her life. All she knew from the moment she was conceived was anger and hatred. I imagine her little body wrapped up in that womb. A place that is supposed to be nurturing and loving that brought nothing but harm to her developing body. Drugs. Chemicals. Alcohol. Nicotine. Things that hold a lasting effect on her physical and emotional being. I imagine the things she must have heard from her womb. Yelling. Fighting. Violence.

Then once her little body entered the world, she didn’t feel the love and the warmth. The feeling of a mother that swaddles her close and tells her she is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. That she could never have known a love like this without her. Instead, she was passed from home to home, person to person. She was starved. Left to cry in playpens. She felt nothing less than abandonment.

Three years ago today, she came to our doorstep, and that day marked the day she became our little girl. Though the ensuing months would still include visits into this other life, we fought for this child. We prayed for this child. There were days I questioned what in the world was God thinking bringing us a little one. Our cups were already filled to the brim with autism and migraines, and chronic illnesses and there just wasn’t room for one more tiny drop. How could we love more, give more, be more. He opened our hearts, gave us bigger cups, and in His time, she was made ours. Forever.

I still question it sometimes, when my eyes focus on the mess, and I miss seeing Him, He reminds me with the soft voice of this little girl as she lies her head on her pillow with Rawr snuggled tight her eyes struggling to stay open, and she whispers it with a note of thankfulness in her voice as if she knows, “I go niat niat. I wuv you too mommy.”

And it’s all a mess. Our beautiful mess.






To read more stories about Mess, check them out here.



Author: Shelly Richardson

A stay at home mom, married to my best friend, who loves like Jesus. Together we have four beautiful daughters. One biological, one adopted and two by way of marriage. Our 12 year old daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome when she was 6 years old and our youngest was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old. I have dealt with chronic illness most of my life and at times has been debilitating. It is through this illness and the special needs of our children that drew us closer to God. Beyond Borders is the place where I write out my story of living beyond my borders. A place to share of God’s love and grace, His mercy and sovereignty, and what that looks like in my own little world of chronic illness and autism. A place where courage and faith intersect and He moves me to action. My hope in writing is that you find something that inspires you. Encourages you. Makes you smile.

6 thoughts on “Beauty and the Mess.

  1. Really beautiful mess 🙂
    Love the laundry baskets full of clean/unclean clothes. So so true. Happy three year anniversary!

  2. Wow! This is just beautiful.

  3. One word: WOW!

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