Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm thankful for this mess!

Last night I started to feel a complaining spirit come over me.  I was trying to fix supper and just thought of how much longer every task takes now that I have a baby.  Over the past 5 months I have slowly improved my skills of laundry, cleaning, shopping, sorting, organizing, and cooking while holding a baby.  And I love that baby of course and am so incredibly grateful that I am blessed enough to stay at home with him.

Then I have days like yesterday, where I start to long for the way my life used to be.  Where I could wake up in the morning, get to work on my "chores" and in one day completely straighten and clean our entire 3,000 sq. ft., two story, 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, with time left over to make a nice meal from scratch.

Now, of course, I don't really long for that, because I never want to be child-free, he is one of the best parts of my life now!  What I really long for is time.  Time for myself.  Time for my husband.  And time for this house!!  Which, by the way, seems never to be done, a phenomenon the majority of you reading this have discovered a long time ago no doubt.  And I don't like it.  I want our home, our bedrooms, our bathrooms, our kitchen, our floors, our furniture, our porch, our yard to look, feel, smell and be a certain way.

Could I accomplish everything I want to do with our home the way I did this time last year?....probably.  If I wanted to sacrifice good quality time with the baby.  Time that I currently spend holding, playing, talking, and teaching him.  Time that I invest in really meeting his needs, really giving him my full attention, really using our time constructively.  But what is more important, a clean home or a loving family?

I would like to answer, a loving family who lives in a clean home!!  I have heard so many women say something along the lines of "when your children are grown, they won't remember the sink full of dishes and the piles of laundry, they'll remember the time you spent with them."  I believe that is true, at least if they do remember the messy home, the time shared will have been more important to them.

But still....I just haven't and can't let go of the idea that somehow, someway, someday, I am going to *figure it out.*  I am going to know how to successfully keep a clean, neat and tidy home, with a happy and proud husband and emotionally/spiritually healthy children.  How can I let go of that?  I have just as many cynical people in my life as the next person and when they criticize, mock or belittle the idea of a clean home, a happy family, etc. I just wonder if they actually think it would be better for me to long for the day when my home is cluttered, messy and dirty, my husband is withdrawn and unsatisfied and my children are complete brats.

So for those of you cynics, I just thought you should know that I am okay with my unrealistic dreams, they are *dreams* after all ;-)

So back to the point.  I decided this morning I would combat that spirit of complaint and frustration about my house and my yard and my time, by giving thanks (Ps 106) to Jesus Christ for the many ways He has made our cup overflow (Ps 23) with blessings.

Praise the LORD!
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Who can speak of the mighty deeds of the LORD,
Or can show forth all His praise? 
          -Psalm 106:1-2, NASB

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows. 
         -Psalm 23:5

And so this is a summary of what has been my prayer today, and I hope you will consider making it your prayer as well. . . .

Thank you Lord for the piles of dirty laundry.
It is evidence that we are fully clothed.
Thank you Lord for our water and electric bills.
It is proof that you have provided clean drinking water, heating and lighting.
Thank you Lord for the sink full of dishes.
It means that we have all been well fed and our tummies are full!
Thank you Lord for weeds that need pulled, grass that needs mowed.
It is because you have given us land on which to grow food and play outside.
Thank you Lord that I don't have enough closet space.
It is a reminder of how much you have blessed us with possessions.
Thank you Lord that our puppy chews on our trim, our carpet, our doors (!!)
It is a reminder that we can't store our treasure where moth & pups destroy!
Thank you Lord when the baby wakes me early in the morning with crying.
It is because he is healthy and you have protected him through the night.
Thank you Lord that our checking account is never overdrawn and that it never seems to have anything extra either.
You have given us neither riches nor poverty, so that we will not be satisfied and forget you, nor be in want and steal.  (Proverbs 30:8-9)
Thank you Lord for the messy house, the floors which need swept, the furniture that needs dusted, the bathrooms that need cleaned.
It is a blessing to have a home, a roof over our heads, soft floors beneath our feet, and soft beds in which to rest at night.

Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. 
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
He also is to be feared above all gods.
          -1 Chronicles 16:25-26

1 comment:

  1. Great post Jess! We are so blessed. I liked the prayer. :)