Hot Mess Express

By Reba Phelps

Have you ever felt extremely imperfect? Unworthy? Less than? Unorganized? Are you perpetually losing in the game of comparing yourself to others? Everyone else is way more attractive. Their kids are always on the “A” honor roll, perfectly behaved and always well dressed with impeccable manners. Their car is always clean and their kid’s never lose their lunch bill. You know the type. Everything they touch turns to perfection.

Personally, I have never fallen into this category. Not even close. Not even distantly related to perfection. Some days I feel like I have it all together but most of the time I’m 10 minutes late for a meeting that I forgot or 10 minutes early for a meeting on the wrong day.

This particular week so boldly reminded me that I’m not in control of my life and it also reminded me to be grateful for who is in control of my life.

Earlier this week while ironing a dress for work my youngest daughter ran across the house yelling, “Oh my gosh I have Student Council today. I have to be there at 7:15!” Startled at her tone and possibly a bit exasperated I left the iron neatly settled on my dress while I educated her in the ways of always being prepared (those who cannot do…teach).

I didn’t notice the state of my dress until the steam began to rise. My pretty dress was scorched. With time being of the essence I chose to wear the dress anyway with the hopes that my necklace would cover it up. Never mind the burnt smell that saturated the dress. That should fade during the day. Have to stay positive.

The only makeup on my face was my eyebrows. I never break this rule when it comes to the vehicular application of makeup. Thou shall not apply eyebrows while driving. Most makeup offenses can be covered up but not the eyebrows. Between large shades and tinted windows no one should be able to tell the state of my face while rushing the child to school.

Once the child was safely deposited I proceeded to my office where I would continue my crazy and imperfect day.

Not long after I arrived I received a text message from a good friend who is also a customer. She wanted to stop by. For some reason I felt the need to let her know that I had scorched my dress and I was a hot mess. Friends don’t judge.

Having worked in the public for over 20 years I have become accustomed to making a pass by a bathroom mirror to double check the state of my appearance. You know, checking to make sure I don’t have broccoli in my teeth. Who am I kidding? I was checking for Doritos. This quality control measure was not taken before my customer visit. Once I made the inspection it was most obvious that one eyebrow was way more surprised than the other. Epic face fail.

Hot mess express.

The day progressed with a series of minor follies that continued until I took my child to volleyball practice. Once I arrived at practice I decided I was going to wash the day away. Who cares that my dress was burnt, my eyebrows were jacked up and I had zero makeup on my face. I was going to immerse myself in the moment. Visit with parents and coach from the sidelines.

It was an amazing break from the flawed day. Once we left practice I made a stop by the local grocery store. It was your typical visit and I even felt like God was smiling on me when I found pork medallions on clearance for $4. I was thinking it was a well deserved ending to a stressful day until I heard my child utter the words, “Oh, I need to bring homemade cookies for the bake sale tomorrow.”

I stopped in my tracks.

These are the words that no mother wants to hear at 8 o’clock at night. She could tell by the expression of my face and crooked eyebrows that I was beyond mad. I proceeded to tell her that I don’t own a bakery. I don’t have an arsenal of baking supplies at my fingertips and with her lack of planning she can pick some pre-sprinkled cookies, bag them up and hope for the best.

We purchased the pre-made cookies and headed home.

Once we arrived home after this extra-long hot mess of a day my daughter noticed that we had some break apart cookies she could bake to add in with the pre-made cookies. Around the time she turned on the oven I discovered that we had left my pork blessing and the bags for the cookies in the store.

With the oven pre-heating we headed back to the store for the second time.

Once the items were retrieved we headed home again. I used this car ride to educate my youngest daughter about being organized, unforgetful, steadfast and punctual. Hopefully teaching her to be better than her mother.

When we walked in the house it was completely filled with smoke. This would be because I forgot to wipe the stove cleaner off from two days before. The perfect ending to an imperfect day.

Lots of things could have went wrong, truly wrong, during the day. But, I chose to remember who is in ultimate control of our daily lives. Jesus meets us right where we are. Imperfect. Late. Unorganized. Unholy. Unworthy. Incomplete. Ridiculous. Dramatic. Burnt dress. Crooked eye brows. Smoky house. Store bought cookies and hot mess express.

“On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days. So that we won’t take anything for granted.”

Ecclesiastes 7:14

7 thoughts on “Hot Mess Express

  1. Loved that article Reba.
    Sometimes we get off track to avoid us getting into other troubles.
    Like having to turn around and go back home because we forgot something. Which made us late for work.
    But maybe that keep us from getting in a wreck down the road.
    Jesus sees the big picture.

  2. I guess we don’t realize we all go through the revolving door of the Hot Mess Express every so often. But we pull ourselves up and out of it, in my case by a lot of practice! Reba I really enjoy your stories!!!

  3. Good job, Reba! I think that every mom can relate to this! We have all had those days. Thankfully there are better days to smooth out the rough ones.

  4. Wow!! You nailed it Reba…right down, or up, to the eyebrows! Thank You, Lord, for creating oversized sunglasses…they hide a multitude of sins for us girls!! ❤️

  5. Perfectly imperfect. It’s so refreshing to hear that I’m not the only one who rides the “Hot Mess Express” more than once-in-a-while. I think we could probably be soul sisters😄

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