Their sleeping bags littered the floor, along with a pile of pillows and blankets, remnants of their “sleepover” the night before. Hand-lettered signs adorned the walls and furniture in the playroom, announcing stations for playing games and making crafts. My order-loving nature balks at the scene, wanting to call them in immediately to put things to rights and restore the room to its normally tidy state.
Then, as I step across the mess, I am reminded that before I know it, this room will be neat all the time. There will be no blond-headed whirlwind to scatter scraps of paper as she cuts out dresses for her paper dolls. My literature-loving eleven-year-old won’t have stacks of paper and notebooks on the shelves, waiting for her next attempt at a poem or a story about characters from long ago.
All too soon, the room will be clean and organized – and stay that way. It will be quiet, perhaps even peaceful. But the constant chatter accompanied by whispers of hope and the airy clouds of dreams built in spurts of imaginary play will be gone, too. And I know I shall miss the messes, and the energy, and the girlish touches that fill this space.
So let me stumble over the disheveled heap, listening to their voices and laughter in the room next door, and embrace what our home looks like in this stage of life. We can always clean it up tomorrow.
I'm learning to leave it for now, too. This time with my little ones will be gone too soon, and I need to leave the dishes and other cleaning for now so that I can spend the time with them.
Mrs. Stam says
awww embracing the mess isn't always easy, but creating memories are so important 🙂
Yes – embrace the mess and the craziness since it won't last forever 🙂
I can so relate to this, Tracey!! 🙂 This reminds me of a special book we have called, "Let Me Hold You Longer" by Karen Kingsbury.
I need to cherish every moment and seize every opportunity to show my love, especially to the ones I love the dearest! Oh, how I struggle with remembering the frailty of life and taking "creative messes" for granted. I am friends with a couple who struggled with conceiving for years, and the wife shared with a group of friends that she just longed to someday have a mess of Legos on the floor. 🙂
I have a special note in my Bible along these lines next to Proverbs 14:4. While I don't think it's the primary context of that verse, this verse really spoke to my heart as a mother…to embrace those messes and see the hearts behind them!
Great post as always, Tracey.
I know what you mean. Sometimes I sit and reflect on the stage my children are up to and the stages that have gone before, and my heart starts aching and the tears start flowing. I hate it when each stage and phase of their lives pass by and they grow up just that bit more, while at the same time I enjoy embracing the new phase they pass into because of the opportunities it presents. As for thinking about the time when they will be all grown up… I don't want to think about it even – it will be so sad to be done with the childhood years, and yet I know it will also be exciting to have grown up children to interact and converse with. Sometimes this musing about the past, present and the future makes the ache for more baby faces in the house stronger and sadder… But I try to make the most of what we have and find joy in every little bit of it. This is what the Lord has given us, and this is what we must make the most of – making every moment and memory count.
I need to find that book – I'm a Karen Kingsbury fan, but haven't heard of it.
I agree with your application of Proverbs 14:4! When the day arrives (all too soon) that my house is consistently neat, clean, and quiet, it will be because those who now fill it with noise and clutter are gone.
Your comment is so well written! Life is about walking that tightrope between holding on to the moments, reflecting on what is passing, while embracing the new that is coming. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers!