“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it,” (Psalm 118: 24).
I’m desperate to replace my carpet. Our poor floors have seen so many juice spills, muddy shoes, Play-Doh crumbs and potty accidents, it’s a wonder we can even detect their original color. Ivory, right?
Yeah. Who installs ivory carpet in a house with kids? Not me. The carpet came with the house ten years ago, and I’ve wanted to rip it up ever since.
But why now? With two little girls hosting tea parties and flipping cartwheels on the floor, what’s the point of installing new carpet if it’s just going to get spilled on and crushed under dirty bare feet? Unless, of course, I change the household rules. But I’m not ready, not yet.
Because changing our carpet means changing our lifestyle.
When that spotless flooring gets nailed down, suddenly nobody can eat in the living room. No more popcorn parties, mobile snacks, or pizza night in front of the TV. Sandbox grains will not be allowed to spill from pant cuffs, which means no more sandbox, essentially. And no way, no how will the Sunday newspaper toy store ads end up spread across the floor next to a bucket of markers with their caps off. Life around here will become tidy and civilized, do you hear me?!
Don’t! Mess! The carpet!
Please. Our house has enough rules. So for now I’ll keep the schleppy carpet and make no apologies when my girls drip chocolate ice cream on the floor because, eh, it’s already shot and we like our gooey ice cream.
It’s a choice, see. As much as I wish I had clean carpet, I wish more for carefree kids. In other words, I’m learning to value my blessings more than I gripe about my challenges.
We’re faced with that choice in every stage of parenting.
When we wish the baby would sleep through the night. Then she does, and we miss those midnight snuggles.
When we wish for the school years so we have more free time or fewer childcare costs. Then the kids start bringing home piles of homework and twenty birthday party invitations and that ridiculous basketball tournament schedule. Maybe the toddler years were easier in some respects.
And when will our teenagers ever pluck those chips off their shoulders and realize how smart their mother is? Then eventually they do—in a college far, far away.
And the house is quiet. And the carpet is clean. Then maybe, just maybe, we’ll wish for one more day of dirty feet and cartwheels, and Cocoa Puffs stuck in the rug.
I want to love the stage I’m in right now, every day, good and bad, joys and frustrations. Because discontentment is a liar and a thief. This is the day the Lord has made—yes, even this one—and I will rejoice in it. Will you join me?
I’ll let you eat ice cream in my living room. Just watch where you step. I think somebody spilled orange juice in here this morning.