It was 5:48 p.m. when dinner was officially over in our house. My husband had taken the shift feeding our baby girl who was covered in food—just the way she likes it at 11-months-old. Her belly, as well as ours, was full. So were our hearts. The minutes were long as we giggled at her dirty face. For a while, we were all carefree.
All too quickly, though, reality struck. I looked to my right, then to my left, and all I could see were messes. Pots and pans. Dishes. Paper towels used to clean our little one’s face. I fixed my gaze straight ahead, hoping to avoid the kitchen altogether, and looked into the room where our family spends more time together. There it was again: that mess! The overwhelm hit hard as I asked myself, “Can I ever get away from it?!”
The answer is simple and it’s, well, no—not as long as I am the mother of small children. The messes will change as our family changes, and they might even become bigger as our children grow bigger. The chaos is here to stay, and I should be thankful for it.
Instead of worrying, I should refocus the lens through which I see my surroundings and say, “Lord, bless this mess.”
Bless this mess all around me as I stand here in my kitchen. Thank you for dishes and silverware and pots and pans, which dirty so easily, so quickly, but also create wonderful meals that bring loved ones together. Thank you for modern conveniences like running water and dishwashers. Thank you for this highchair, which holds my baby while she learns to feed herself, and for the collection of cheese shreds and barbecue chicken I’ll soon retrieve from deep in the corners of her seat. Thank you for the crumbs under my feet. Yes, even them. Each one is a gentle, yet crunchy reminder of what You put on our table.
Lord, bless this mess. You provide all our needs and then some, and Your ways are always good. I will walk out of this kitchen with a smile on my face.
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Three steps later, I’ll enter the family room. The floor is covered with board books. Twenty-nine of them to be exact. Every night after our baby finishes playing, her books are filed away on the bottom of our TV stand where she can easily crawl up the next morning, choose her favorites, and “read” them. The problem is they’re all her favorites and off they’ll come, one by one, onto the floor where I’ll hop, skip, and jump over them and around her ExerSaucer until I pull a muscle in my leg.
Lord, bless this mess. Thank you for these pages that contain numbers, shapes, colors, and animals, all of which are molding my little girl into the woman You want her to be.
Thank You for her Christmas books that tell of Your birth and how much You love her. You really love her—and our family—more than I could ever imagine!
Thank You for the clutter that fills our room as it is a sign our baby had fun today.
Thank You for the time I’ll spend tidying up; it gives me a moment to slow down and look to You with gratitude.
I tidy after I rise from the sofa where I’ve just finished feeding our little one before bed. I carry her warm, snuggly body down the hall into our bedroom and into the conjoined sitting room, which is perfect for her nursery. I walk slowly as it’s dark and I haven’t reached the only source of light in her room, a small lamp. There are also clothes everywhere. I mean everywhere. More books, too.
Lord, bless this mess. Thank You for lighting my path when things seem dim—in this room and in my life.
Thank You for the clothes I have folded and refolded and still not put in their rightful place because You’ve blessed me with a child who needs me in this stage of life. Her clothes are many, but instead of creating stress, let them serve as reminders of Your provision. You have told us we shouldn’t worry about our bodies or what we’ll wear, and I believe You also mean that when our clothes are in excess.
It was 9:03 p.m. when our girl was fast asleep in her crib. She rested well, just as she does at the end of each day. She never sees our home as I do. Because of the lessons I’m learning through her, I can take a step back and say, “Lord, thank you for this mess.”