“Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?” (Mark 8:18).
My family is hibernating. We’re on the tail end of an 11-day escape from school, work, and routines. It’s wonderfully liberating. And I’m going crazy.
Because my house is a mess.
I’m talking total disaster. It’s like Toys R Us blew up in my living room.
As soon as all the Christmas presents were unleashed from their packaging, my girls scattered new dolls, stuffed animals, coloring books, lip gloss tubes, plastic tea set utensils and Disney Magiclip figurines across carpets and tables and sofa cushions, so that everywhere I walk in this house, I’m tip-toeing through landmines. Valiant attempts are made to pick up throughout the day, but that’s the tricky thing about being on vacation—we’re all home and living in this space and making more messes every hour. I can’t keep up with my daughters’ enthusiasm for play time.
“Girls, can we please organize some of these toys?” I stood in the center of post-Christmas shrapnel and felt the urge to weep.
“Sure, Momma!” Giggling trickled from the girls’ bedroom down the hall. I followed the sound and found them kneeling on the floor together, rocking their new twin mini-dolls in their arms.
“Shhhh!” My two-year-old warned. “Babies are sleeping!”
“Oh, so sorry to disturb you.” I backed out of their doorway, smiling.
Suddenly that mess didn’t look so messy anymore.
A hundred times over the past couple weeks, I’ve thought about moms and dads in Connecticut who didn’t get to see their child open gifts this year. And not just there, but everywhere, in all corners of the planet, every day there are parents quietly reeling in heartache over what’s been or what will never be.
God gave me my kids today. Yes, they are loud and they are needy and they can’t seem to figure out how to put their socks in the hamper or their crayons back in the box. They bicker and spill and eat too much candy. But they are here with me, and they are healthy and happy and delightful. They hug my legs and tell me they love me. They beg me to make cake pops and color princess pictures as if nothing else in all the world matters more than sharing these moments together.
It’s outrageous how much I love them.
So that disaster in my living room? I’ve decided to celebrate it. Our mess, our chaos, is a sign that my home is filled with family. And I get to spend the day cluttering the house with them, my favorite people. Praise the Lord.
You see, the difference between a burden and a blessing is perspective. I’m training my eyes to detect joy in messy places.
Happy New Year, everyone. Thank you for stopping by this space each week to read and be encouraged. I appreciate each one of you and value your comments and support. For fun, I thought I’d share a list of my favorite Time Out posts from 2012—because even if you’ve already read them, we all need reminders, right? I know I sure do. I wish you and your families a year overflowing with faith, hope and love. As your fellow mom in the trenches, I look forward to writing for you in 2013.
Some favorites from 2012, in no particular order…
- I Love You Lots and Cows
- If You Give a Mom a Minute
- The Witch. I Hate Her.
- Why I Date My Husband
- Don’t Lie to Me
- Birthday Musings from a Sappy Mom
- When You Don’t Feel Like Doing Your Job
- How a Wiggles Movie Changed My Life
- Queen of the Castle: A Fresh Perspective on Housework
- I Should (Not) Do That
- When Mom Wears a Dress
- How to Raise a Timid Child
Thank you! This is what I needed to see today as I am about ready to go crazy with the mess in my home. My family is what is important and I’m so thankful for them each day! Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to you, too, Andrea!
Such a great reminder. Thanks Becky. 🙂
A reminder for me as well. 🙂 Thanks for reading.
Mama Fry says
Thanks for the perspective reminder.
I’m feeling overwhelmed with school planning and a house full of disorganization. Girls who seem more interested in “me” activities, has made me feel under appreciated.
Your blog reminded me of why I am homeschooling.
Thank you and bless you for listening to God when I have turned him down.
Tuning our ears to hear God… now that’s a great New Year’s resolution.
Laura Boggess says
Happy New Year, Becky! These are wise thoughts for this first day of 2013. I’ve so enjoyed having you in the Playdates with God community this year. Many blessings in the coming days!
Thank you, Laura! I love being part of Playdates each week. Blessings for a wonderful 2013!
I’ve had the same thoughts Becky. I still can’t wrap my mind around that tragedy but I know that God caught my attention concerning my children. Now those little things that used to pluck my nerves are not so nerve wrecking anymore. My impatience with my boys has turned into gratefulness for God’s patience with me and when I find myself running short, the mere thought that my children don’t belong to me and that they are only mine for a little while, makes those moments that we spend together much more important and those toys much less annoying.I love how God draws us in through reality checks. I spent the last week pouring more into my boys and it has been amazing. I’m so grateful. love this post! keep writing.
We are thinking alike. I had such heartache dropping my daughter off at school again this morning. The break was good for my soul.
Rosilind Jukic says
Stopping by from Playmates. We must be on the same wavelink or something. 🙂 I wrote a similar post just today. Isn’t it so true, though? It’s all about perspective. I’m learning to celebrate messes, too. I hope you had a happy New Year. Blessings from Croatia! Rosilind from A Little R & R http://www.littlerandr.org
Thanks for stopping by, Rosilind! I love how blogging makes the world smaller…so that a visit from Croatia is just a keystroke away. Happy New Year!
I had the same feelings this week! It’s sad that it took a tragedy to help so many of us find perspective!
The mess is not always a bad thing, especially around the holidays. It is a time to celebrate. There will be plenty of time to clean later.
I’ve been feeling much the same way. Whether it’s a mess or them being loud or wanting to sleep in my bed or whatever it is- I take a look at it for what it is- it’s not kids being bad(that’s a different issue), it’s kids being kids. And I’m cherishing it instead of making them do something different just because it would be easier for me.
I’m laughing, Shell… so you have a little one climbing into your bed in the middle of the night, too? I’ve come to appreciate the extra chance to snuggle, since these days will not last long.
Ashley Ditto says
You are such a powerful voice over motherhood. I have always love and am inspired by your writings.
I appreciate you so much, Ashley! Blessings to you and your girls today.
Tricia Ballad, Author says
Stopping by from Pour Your Heart Out. Your post really speaks to me today! I used to pine over perfect living rooms in magazines, but over the years of children and homeschooling I’ve come to realize how lifeless they are. Yes, there are books and crayons everywhere, and childish drawings taped to the walls instead of framed paintings, but those are OUR treasures – they show the life we live!
Amen, Tricia! We have those drawings taped to our walls, too. Someday I’ll miss them.
Sarah Brooks says
AMEN! It will be over before we know. What a time to cherish. Already dreading my crazy munchkins going back to school on Monday. 🙁
JD Bailey @ Honest Mom says
What a great post! I really do let the mess of my house get me down. My oldest daughter is getting a desk next week and I think that alone will help organize the chaos. But what I really need to do is step back, relax, and let some of the mess go – and enjoy my kids. 🙂