Hey mama! Are you overwhelmed by the mess that happens with kids? Life happening within your home can be messy, but I’m slowly learning that the mess is worth it. Sometimes the best memories are made in the chaos. What if we shifted our perspective and see the mess for what it really is—proof that real life is happening. Instead of feeling frustrated or defeated by having to sweep yet again be encouraged sweet mama. The mess is a sign of life.
It was a very ordinary Monday morning. The warm summer sun flooded into our living room as the sounds of giggles, the inevitable sister squabble, and the hum of the dishwasher filled the room. With full bellies and a clean kitchen I sat down to sip my lukewarm tea. It didn’t take long for the ever so famous mid-morning 3 word sentence to echo through our home, “Mama! I’m hungry.” If this scene sounds familiar you’re in good company.
As the girls happily skipped to the dining table with a bowl of bunnies in one hand and a baby doll in the other I found my attitude shifting. Instead of being filled with joy about morning snack time, frustration crept in. I was annoyed that I had just cleaned up the kitchen not that long ago and visibly irritated that another mess was inevitably in the making. Soon after I got the girls situated at the table a bowl of bunnies took a tumble. As I was picking up the crumbs my loud discouraged exhale was met with a powerful truth, “These crumbs are a sign of life.” Isn’t it funny how sometimes the most profound moments come out of the ‘just living life’ times in our life?
If I’m completely honest with you in my little world mess equals stress. Having kids has been stretching in a lot of ways, but especially when it comes to the disorder that occurs every single day within the four walls of our home. If I could have it my way I would have everything neat and tidy always, but if your life with kids is anything like mine then you know that’s just not going to happen.
Play creates mess. Imagination creates mess. Just living life creates mess. But a little miracle happens in our heart when we start realizing that the mess is actually a gift. What if we started looking at the mess with a new perspective. What if we saw it for what it really is—a sign of life in our home.
The shoes in the middle of the hallway are a sign of life.
The laundry waiting to be washed and folded is a sign of life.
The books arranged imperfectly on a shelf is a sign of life.
The toys strewn on your living room floor is a sign of life.
The little handprints all over your windows and fingerprints up your stairway are a sign of life.
The crumbs you’re sweeping up yet again are a sign of life.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Hold up. I find sanity in maintaining order in my home.” Sister, I’m right there with you! Keeping your home clean and tidy is not wrong—in fact I know that personally I thrive as a mama when things are in order, but it all goes back to our heart posture. If we’re trying to keep our homes clean out of a heart of proving, striving, and a desire to control that’s obviously not healthy. I absolutely love this quote:
“Don’t sacrifice the good to chase the perfect.” Emily Ley
There’s good life-giving things happening in your home and family that will most likely make a mess. Inviting mamas and their kiddos over for a playdate might mean toys on the floor and spilled snacks. Going on a hike with your family might result in muddy shoes, stinky socks, and dirty clothes. Creating special memories in the kitchen with your kids will most definitely result in flour spilled on the floor. But those messes are signs of life. The toys and crumbs? Signs of life. Muddy Shoes and dirty clothes? Signs of life. Flour on the floor and melted chocolate on tiny fingers? Signs of life. If I get so caught up in chasing perfect (aka no mess) then I might choose to sacrifice the good stuff of life without even realizing it.
There’s beauty in the mess. I obviously want to teach my kids how to clean and pick up after themselves, but I don’t want them growing up in a home that makes a huge deal about the mess or misses out on the good stuff because I’m afraid of the mess. Messes can be cleaned up. Oh how I wish I could remember that simple truth some days.
Sometimes when we get so caught up and stressed about the mess we communicate to our kids that perfection equals approval and worth. But goodness that is the farthest thing from the truth. God sets the perfect example by entering our mess, flaws, and brokenness and makes beauty out of ashes. His love for us is unconditional and unchanging. We don’t have to clean up our life before approaching Him. He wants us to come to Him right now, mess and all. I want to approach messes more like that, because hallelujah that I don’t have to get it all together.
Life happening within your home can be messy, but I’m slowly learning that the mess is worth it. Sometimes the best memories are made in the chaos. Let’s be mamas who shift our perspective and see the mess for what it really is—proof that real life is happening.
Instead of feeling frustrated or defeated by having to sweep yet again be encouraged sweet mama. The crumbs are a sign of life.
P.S.: Love the scripture placemat as much as we do? They are perfect way to bring truth to meals, snacks, and arts & crafts time! Plus 8 meals will be donated to kids in need with the purchase of EACH placemat through a partnership with The Children’s Hunger Fun. You can find more about them and purchase them HERE.
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Wow, thank you so much for your honesty and vulnerability in this post. I feel like you spoke straight to my soul. I also have two daughters, a two year old and a four year old, that play best when they can make a mess. I’m getting more intentional about letting it go and letting them be little. Yes, I like to tidy up and organize so I can think clearly, but that doesn’t mean I have to be obsessive. Right now my glass sliding door is covered in stickers and I have no intention of cleaning them off any time soon. I look forward to reading more of your posts!