“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.
Thanks for this reminder Becky! I’m getting my carpets cleaned on Thursday…the nice smell and clean look will last approx. 2 weeks 🙁 It’s nice to be reminded that other moms are grossed out by their carpets but it’s okay!
It’s always so comfy at your place, Becky! Don’t change a thing about that carpet, girlfriend! You have too many more fun-filled years with joyful spills to come! I completely agree about the discontentment issue. God is working overtime on teaching me to be present here and now and praising Him in the good AND bad. After all, He’s got quite the Spot Cleaner for my sloppy soul!
Twingle Mommy says
I’m trying to live in the moment with my preschoolers and Kindergartner, but I don’t miss those midnight feedings at all. I’ve had sick kids all week and I missed my precious sleep.
It is nice to just enjoy things the way they are before we have to deal with the inevitable change.
Btw, we have an ivory carpet, too. I love how bright our house looks with all the light colors, but yeah- kids and stains. 😉
Oh, friend, I’ve missed you! Don’t know why I can’t seem to find two minutes to linger here with you and your wise words. We put our house on the market last month- gotta sell before we move states in January- and just trying to keep the carpet and the kitchen and the.. EVERYTHING clean for the twenty-some showings that we’ve had has taken all of the joy out of mommy-hood for me. My vocabulary feels like a string of “no! don’t eat that in here”‘s and “put that fingerpaint away!”s and “what are those toys doing all over the floor”s…. My kids, who are used to a mom who embraces carpet stains and creative play think that their real mommy has been abducted and replaced with Commando-Clean. Can’t wait until we settle into our new home and have a food fight 🙂 I DO love your perspective and so agree with this—“I’m learning to value my blessings more than I gripe about my challenges.” Thanks for letting me celebrate your old carpet with you, and more than that, thanks for being a friend whom I celebrate every time I visit! Wish we could share a picnic on that old carpet together 🙂
Lisa Littlewood says
Oh gosh I LOVE this and RELATE on SOO many levels. We have terrible tannish carpet in our house that looks TERRIBLE, but you are so right…why replace it now?!!
And I had to laugh because I was SOOO wanting my 7 mo. old to give up her nighttime feeding at 4 a.m. and she finally did in the last two weeks and while I’m glad about it I”m also sad about it…I kept thinking ‘I must be crazy…Am I the only mom to be sad about something like this?’
glad to know I’m not alone!
Becky, this was beautiful. Got me a little emotional this morning. How true is this? We do wish for those things, but really, it is all about enjoying what we have, right now. Great reminder. Thank you!
I remind myself all the time. 🙂