Yesterday, I couldn’t stand the mess around here! We all came in from going here and there and I was the only one who seemed to see it, the only one who was going to do anything about it! It was just too much for one. I couldn’t finish all the laundry… (that never stops around here) or clear the table in time for dinner. Where did all the food go anyway? The same pile of odds and ends were still at the top of the stairs that I had gathered up from around the house days ago-no one had claimed any of it. The same bag of clothes belonging to a neighbor-child hung on the pantry door… undelivered. I cleaned up yet another trail of crumbs on the kitchen counter as I watched 3 big kids head down to the basement with pizza and 2 other children step around a game they had left out on the floor of the den, as they headed up the stairs to my room. I won’t even go into the state of the upstairs… the bedroom disaster areas!
I could feel the lava bubbling and quickly grabbed my current book stepping out onto the back porch. I needed a few minutes alone. I used to have a real problem with waiting too long for a time-out; pushing myself beyond what I could control and then so regrettably raising my voice. That was 10 years ago… now I just excuse myself. I quickly asked God for a new perspective, a change of attitude. He always comes through. I took a deep breath, sat down and listened, waiting. I began to think of how quiet it was outside and how I could sit and read for a few minutes now that everyone’s older (no babies to tend to). Then I began to think of my parents quietly sitting at their house across town. No more kids running in and out, no one leaving their stuff around. No piles of library books to keep up with or loads of dishes collecting in the sink (other than their little bit). No more mounds of laundry to sort through or jumble of shoes to break your neck on when stepping out the door. No wet towels strewn all over the railing on the deck from swimming, no disappearing snack food they just bought at the store! All is quiet, all stays tidy, what someone cleaned last week only gets a little dusty. They have all the time in the world to read and sit and listen to the quiet. Someday that will be me. Someday the halls won’t echo around here with, “Where’s the controller?” and “Who took my headband?” I won’t hear, “Momma. Momma? Momma!” It will be quiet and will stay tidy because our messy bunch will be gone. All of a sudden neatness didn’t seem so important and all I wanted to do was see the precious faces of my kids. I didn’t care anymore about the mess and clutter I was just thankful they were still here, close by. I sat for a bit and read a chapter, but when I went in my vision was different. The rooms inside the house only looked like my happy home. I thanked my husband for letting me have all these children (ours and then some), I went up the stairs, stepping over the pile of odds and kissed my little girls who were curled in my mussed up bed watching tv. I closed the doors to the offensive bedrooms and joyfully carried down another load of sheets and towels. I reminded myself as I started yet another wash, “It will be too quiet one day, they’ll all be gone and I’ll be done ‘doing’ for them.”
“Thank You, Lord for meeting me just where I am. For changing my perspective when I need it so badly. Thank You for my big chaotic, messy family that You have blessed me with. Thank You for the ability to do for them. They are a gift to me if only in that they keep me running back to You. But I know it’s more than this… they teach me about love and about giving until it costs me something. They teach me about You. Keep dishing out the Grace. I love You, Anna”