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Today was one of those days. My firefighter went straight to the Fire Academy to teach for the day, after his 24+ hour shift, where he will work another 80 hours by Monday.

My 1-year-old woke up at 4:45 a.m. for the day.

My 3-year-old slept in my bed, and the baby woke her up for the day at 5:30 a.m. She was an emotional tornado all morning. “I want my daddy,” she whimpered over and overthe attitude seeped through every part of her being.

I accidentally poured milk into my coffee instead of creamer (meaning, my brain wasn’t quite doing its thing).

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We started homeschool lessons early, knocked out a few loads of laundry, did a quick mop of the kitchen, and then I sat down for reading with my 6-year-old.

The house was freakishly quiet, other than the Baby Bum songs quietly playing on the TV for my 1-year-old while he played.

Where, oh, where had my sassy 3-year-old gone?

Then I found her. Playing in her bathroom sink.

She was mixing her pink toothpaste and the baby’s clear toothpaste. She was swirling water and soap concoctions in the soap dispenser that dribbled all down the cabinet and floor. She quickly became angry that I was less-than-thrilled with the mess she made.

As I mentally huffed and puffed my way through cleaning another mess this morning, the emotional gut punch took my breath away.

God sees all of my shortcomings, insecurities, and continuous messes and still loves and welcomes me with arms wide open.

He embraces me and uses my messes as opportunities to draw closer to Him and grow in the process.

Instead of looking at the constant messes in my house through the lens of frustration, I want to be thankful that my kids are living life. I want to take the opportunities to teach them and watch them grow. I want to include them in the process so they can learn.

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Regardless of whether you feel like all you do is wash dishes, break up fights, vacuum crushed Goldfish, change dirty diapers, and concoct snacks so your non-eater will eat, you are doing important work. You are growing and learning.

Maybe we can surrender those negative thoughts of defeat and replace them with opportunities to grow, worship, and teach.

I’m not the best chaos embracer, but I’m trying. Sometimes I think that is exactly where we need to be to have chaos turn into a grateful heart.

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Lizzy Christian

Lizzy Christian is a toddler-chasing, coffee-sipping, firefighter wife, and vacuuming enthusiast who has a passion for writing. She is the founder of the Fire Wife Chronicles, which is geared on topics of motherhood, marriage, faith, & first responder family life. Lizzy received her undergrad in Crisis Counseling from Liberty University and her Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling – Crisis Response and Trauma from Liberty University’s Graduate School. She is a two-time NYC Marathon finisher and avid runner, and former School Counselor and Athletic Director. Lizzy married her high school sweetheart and together they have two sons and a daughter. Visit www.lizzychristian.com for additional resources and upcoming projects. 

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