It was a huge mess! Socks and shoes were on the floor. Toys were scattered everywhere. Paper confetti from a cut up note pad was covering the room like snow.
I had just picked up the little den a few hours ago, and now it was a total disaster.
On another occasion, I had been cleaning and cooking all day. At the very moment the doorbell rang and our guests arrived, I watched an avalanche of dry beans spill all over the kitchen floor.
This is my life right now living with a three year old.
My friend Adrian told me she was going to start a gratitude journal in 2016 and she asked me to join her. I have not read “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voscamp, but this idea comes from that book.
I think the goal is to find a few things every day that you are thankful for and write them down in a journal. Then at the end of the year, you can look back at all the precious gifts you were thankful for that year. It should add up to over 1,000 blessings!
So I have been giving this gratitude journal a whirl. I’m only a few weeks in, and WOW! I am looking at each day from a whole new perspective. I am finding myself looking for things to be thankful for throughout the day.
This journal is helping me to be less critical and more thankful for the things in my life.
And most of the gifts I am writing down are little things; simple gestures, encouraging words, meaningful conversations…moments that I totally took for granted before.
And one of the items that made it to my “gratitude” list was…
Yes, you read that correctly!
I am learning to love the mess!
I cannot keep my house clean for anything these days. Callie is like a tasmanian devil undoing everything I am doing. She jumps on the bed while I am folding laundry. She wears my shoes and then when I need them they are MIA. The other day she decided that my prayer box was a good place to put her peanut butter jelly sandwich.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are certainly moments of frustration. I lose my temper with her often and she tries my patience like no one else.
But the Lord has been teaching me to love the mess. Sometimes I just have to let go of my dreams of having a perfectly clean home and try to soak up these precious moments with Callie while I have her with me. They are already flying by so incredibly fast.
And I am very aware that these times will not last forever.
So I allowed myself to fast-forward.
One day she will grow up, leave home, and start a life of her own. Little socks will no longer be on my floor. Mickey and Minnie Mouse will not be wrapped in blankets at the “doctor’s office” (couch) getting their shots. My robe belt will be on my robe instead of upstairs in the bonus room wrapped around Lovey’s neck covering her boo boo like a band aid.
And I will miss it. I will miss all the crazy Callie messes! I will miss HER!
Then, I won’t thinking, “I wish I had kept a cleaner house back in those days.”
Then, Callie won’t be thinking, “I wish my mom had kept a cleaner house while I was growing up.”
My relationship with my family is much more important than a perfectly clean home.
Sometimes we need to just let go and love the mess.
And sometimes we need to have fun and MAKE a mess!
I want my home to be a place of love, where memories are being made and deep relationships are being formed.
And I am just so thankful that the Lord is showing me this now before it’s too late and I miss out on these priceless moments.
What I am learning is this: savor the time I have with those I love. Cherish every day I get the privilege of spending time with a loving husband and spunky energetic little girl. Don’t worry so much about petty things like my floors being spotless and my counters always being cleared off. I want to invest in my family and not worry so much about the mess. They are gifts! They are treasures that the Lord has given to me!
The Bible says in Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
I am seeing more and more each day how quickly time is passing. We won’t always have what we have. The people in our lives will not always be there.
We must treasure what we have and who we have NOW!
Then, I will be thinking this, “I wish there were little socks and shoes on my den floor.”
Yes, I want to learn to love the mess!
“Oh Father, help me to remember that my days are numbered, that life is so very short. The family and friends you have given me are treasures! They are gifts! They are messy, yes, but so am I! Give me a heart of wisdom. Help me to love and invest in the people You have placed in my life, to savor the time I have with them now. Help me to not take them for granted or get worried about petty things that don’t really matter. Lord, help me to love You and know You more every day and love the people You put in my path. Those are the things that have eternal value. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.”