Today, I couldn’t stand it any longer. The mess around here from all the kids and their friends was too much. Am I the only one who seems to see it, the only one apparently who is going to do anything about it? Ugh.
I couldn’t seem to finish the laundry… (that never stops) or get the table cleared off for dinner. The same pile of odds and ends I had gathered up days ago, was still at the top of the stairs! No claimers yet. The same bag of items belonging to a neighbor-child hung on the pantry door… undelivered.
After cleaning up one more trail of crumbs on the kitchen counter and watching 3 big kids disappear to the basement with left-over pizza – I felt my blood boil. Two other children leapt over a game in the middle of the den, running outside. That was it. Before I exploded, I needed a time-out.
Quickly, I grabbed the book I’m reading and stepping out on the back porch. I used to wait too long for break; pushing myself beyond what I could control and then regrettably raising my voice. That was 10 years ago… now, I excuse myself. I take a deep breath, sit down, waiting. I ask God for a new perspective, a change of attitude and He always comes through.
Yesterday I thought of my parents quietly sitting at their house across town. No noisy kids running through. No piles of library books, games left out, loads of dishes in the sink, or mounds of laundry. No jumble of shoes to break your neck when stepping out the door. No wet towels strewn all over the the deck, no disappearing snacks – just bought at the store! All is quiet, all stays tidy.
They have all the time in the world to sit and read in silence. Someday that will be me. Someday, the halls won’t echo with, “Where’s the controller?” and “Who took my headband?” I won’t hear, “Momma. Momma? Momma!” It will be quiet and tidy because our messy bunch will be gone… All of a sudden neatness didn’t seem so important, I was just thankful the kids were still here.
I sat for a bit, reading a chapter, listening to playful voices in the yard. My house looked like a happy home now. I thanked my husband for letting me have all these children as I went up the stairs, stepping over the pile of jumble. I kissed 2 little girls curled up on our bed and closed doors to offensive bedrooms. Then joyfully carried down another load of sheets and towels.
Thank You Lord, for meeting me just where I was today. Thank You Lord for my big chaotic, messy family I’m blessed with. They are a gift, teaching me about love and giving until it costs. They keep me running back to You.