Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

Every day it feels like I’m moving through a mess. I can’t even make it through the front door without tripping over boots, coats and school bags. It doesn’t get much better as you walk through my house or the rest of my life for that matter. Like the kitchen table for example. Here is one I think all families can relate to.

My kitchen table, a perfect fit for four chairs, is always a mess and by mess I mean sticky from the grape jelly, spilled hot chocolate, and glue. I mean cluttered with art supplies because my boys are going through a crazy arts and crafts phase. I mean toys. I mean dirty dishes because obviously, and yet I’ve already done the dishes once today. I mean whatever gadget my husband is soldering at the moment. I mean socks, underwear and shoes because where does everything in the free world get tossed . . . 

I mean life—and such a beautiful mess it is. I won’t kill myself trying to keep it clean.

Moms, if we allowed ourselves to see the mess for what it really is, never ever would we consider it or ourselves a mess. We wouldn’t feel the need to make excuses or apologies when unexpected company drops by. I’m not sorry for the mess and NO I’m not lazy or lousy housekeeper. There are four people living here who love spending time together, why would I spend every spare minute scrambling to hide such beautiful evidence of a happy family?

Yes the floors get swept, the dishes get done, the bathroom gets scrubbed and you can bet the kids pitch in and do their share. However, our favorite board games are always sitting out, and lately Legos strewn about (because family time). The couch cushions are on the floor (because they make the perfect pirate’s ship) and pillows are scattered like rocks (because the floor is lava and if you touch it you die).

My desk is piled with work (because God is always providing). My to-do list is never-ending, and often what I hope to achieve this week ends up on next week’s list (because life just doesn’t fit into an assigned window of time). My calendar looks worse than my to-do list (because the kids have a growing interest in things and in order to figure out their talents, likes and how to be contributing members of society there is no avoiding it).

All this can quickly weigh a mom down into believing she is a hot mess. The guilt of running late, missing appointments, and the pile of boots at the front door turns into this giant mess, and instead of seeing it for what it is, we assume we are failing, falling flat on our faces. This is the moment we need to take a deep breath. This is the moment we need to bite our tongues. This is the moment we need to take a step back and change our perspective on things.

This isn’t mess. This is the reality of a thriving and functioning family. This mess of toys, piles of laundry and the kids doing a cannonballs off the couch into the middle of it all is a blessing. We need to stop letting our blessings become our frustrations. We need to stop feeling guilty because we are incapable of organizing, scrubbing, and perfecting every part of life. We need to let the mess go and opt for playing with the kids, spending time with a friend, dating our husbands, freely giving of ourselves, and making that much-needed “me” time.

In the end, our kids won’t remember the mess, but they will remember the time we took to play with them. Our real friends won’t comment on the mess, but instead give a hand with the dishes while visiting. Our husbands (if they even notice the mess) will only remember how we showed our love to them. We won’t be remembered for how organized the pantry was, but for our hospitality and giving spirits. And our “me” time will fill our cups, making everything else possible.

So why, moms, are we letting perfect steal our joy? Why is it so hard to put the dishrag down and accept that this isn’t a mess, but life at its finest? We moms are not a hot mess. Our homes and hectic schedules aren’t mess. Don’t forget, we were “fearfully and wonderfully” made not to be maids enslaved to what society deems to be a mess, but to live a fulfilling life God hand-selected for us.

That is not a mess—that is a gift and it includes the crumbs!

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Jen Miller

My name is Jennifer Miller, but I prefer simply Jen. I live in Hawley, MN. It is a small town built along the railroad tracks and surrounded by fields. I married my high school sweetheart in 2005 and we have two little boys, Jack (5) and Grey (3). Motherhood took me by surprise just before my 30th birthday and since then I have been stay at home mom and have loved every minute of the craziness. I am a staff writer for the Hawley Herald and do most the work from home. Being an introvert it took me out of my comfort zone, but so worth it because I love writing. It is something I do every day and it allows me to be home with my boys.

The Room that Built Me

In: Living, Teen
Old photo of teen bedroom covered in posters, color photo

Before Pinterest, before social media, before anybody cared, my room during high school in the early 2000s was decorated with magazines taped all over the walls. It proudly displayed gaudy wallpaper, an out-of-place blanket, and random trinkets. None of the furniture matched, and it didn’t matter. It was home to pictures taken by my trusty disposable Kodak camera, printed promptly at the local K-Mart of course. A big radio took up all the space my dresser would allow, and a neon green cordless phone found its home on the floor next to my bed. RELATED: Ahem, Your Favorite 90s Shoes...

Keep Reading

Hey Friend, Meet Me in the Mess

In: Friendship, Living
Friends smiling

If you come to our home, you’ll likely see a basket of folded or unfolded laundry waiting to be put away. You may even see a pile of dirty clothes hanging out by the washer. If you come to our home, you’ll likely find spitty bits in the sink from where little kids brushed their teeth in a hurry and forgot to rinse. Despite my best efforts, they always seem to find their way back. If you come to our home, there’s a 50-50 chance the beds will be made. If they were made, there’s a high chance they were...

Keep Reading

God Calls Me Flawless

In: Faith, Living
Note hanging on door, color photo

When I look in the mirror, I don’t always like what I see. I tend to focus on every imperfection, every flaw. As I age, more wrinkles naturally appear. And I’ve never been high maintenance, so the gray hairs are becoming more frequent, too. Growing up a lot of negative words were spoken about me: my body, my weight, my hair, my build. Words I’ve somehow carried my whole life. The people who proclaimed them as my truth don’t even remember what they said, I’m sure. But that’s the power of negative words. Sticks and stones may break our bones,...

Keep Reading

I’m Afraid of Going to the Dentist

In: Living
Woman sitting in dental chair looking nervous

I never used to have a fear of the dentist. Growing up as a child who struggled with sensory issues and hated brushing my teeth, combined with struggles with food and not eating very healthy, I often had cavities and needed trips to the dentist to fix them. So trips to the dentist were just common for me, and I got used to it. By the time I was a teenager and needed braces, those trips only got more frequent. Did I enjoy the dentist? No, not really. But I never had any anxieties about it until five years ago. It started...

Keep Reading

She is an Anonymom

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother standing at sink holding a baby on her hip

She stands alone in the church kitchen, frantically scrubbing pots and pans while the grieving huddle around the fellowship hall, and she slips out the back door before anyone comes in. She is an anonymom. She gets out of her car and picks up the trash thrown into the ditch alongside the country road. She is an anonymom. She sits on the park bench, watching her children play. In the meantime, she continually scans the whole playground, keeping track of everyone’s littles, because that is what moms do. She is an anonymom. RELATED: Can We Restore “the Village” Our Parents...

Keep Reading

Your Husband Needs Friendship Too

In: Faith, Friendship, Marriage
3 men smiling outside

As the clock inches closer to 7:00 on a Monday evening, I pull out whatever dessert I had prepared that week and set it out on the kitchen counter. This particular week it’s a trifle, but other weeks it may be brownies, pound cake, or cookies of some kind. My eyes do one last sweep to make sure there isn’t a tripping hazard disguised as a dog toy on the floor and that the leftover dinner is put away. Then, my kids and I make ourselves scarce. Sometimes that involves library runs or gym visits, but it mostly looks like...

Keep Reading

Memories are What Matter—Watch the Chevy Holiday Ad Making Us Cry

In: Living
Chevy holiday ad

I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more I find that this time of year feels fragile. I love the holidays, don’t get me wrong. But these days I recognize a comingling of joy and sadness that envelopes so many during this season. It’s a giant heap of emotion as we sort through the good, the bad, the happy, and the sad of the past year and try to make sense of where we are right here, right now, in this moment of time. So when I saw Chevrolet’s new seasonal ad last night, I was...

Keep Reading

This Is Why Moms Ask for Experience Gifts

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Mother and young daughter under Christmas lights wearing red sweaters

When a mama asks for experience gifts for her kids for Christmas, please don’t take it as she’s ungrateful or a Scrooge. She appreciates the love her children get, she really does. But she’s tired. She’s tired of the endless number of toys that sit in the bottom of a toy bin and never see the light of day. She’s tired of tripping over the hundreds of LEGOs and reminding her son to pick them up so the baby doesn’t find them and choke. She’s tired of having four Elsa dolls (we have baby Elsa, Barbie Elsa, a mini Elsa,...

Keep Reading

6 Things You Can Do Now to Help Kids Remember Their Grandparents

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood
Grandfather dances with granddaughter in kitchen

A month ago, my mom unexpectedly passed away. She was a vibrant 62-year-old grandma to my 4-year-old son who regularly exercised and ate healthy. Sure, she had some health scares—breast cancer and two previous brain aneurysms that had been operated on successfully—but we never expected her to never come home after her second surgery on a brain aneurysm. It has been devastating, to say the least, and as I comb through pictures and videos, I have gathered some tips for other parents of young kids to do right now in case the unexpected happens, and you’re left scrambling to never...

Keep Reading

When You Need a Friend, Be a Friend

In: Friendship, Living
Two friends having coffee

We have all seen them—the posts about the door always open, the coffee always on, telling us someone is always there when we need support. I have lived with depression my entire life. From being a nervous child with a couple of ticks to a middle-aged woman with recurrent major depressive and generalized Anxiety disorder diagnoses. Antidepressants, therapy, writing, and friends are my treatments. The first three are easy, my doctor prescribes antidepressants, I make appointments with a therapist, and I write when I feel the need. RELATED: Happy People Can Be Depressed, Too The fourth is hard. As I...

Keep Reading