My family is hibernating. We’re on the tail end of an 11-day escape from school, work, and routines. It’s wonderfully liberating. And I’m going crazy.
Because my house is a mess.
I’m talking total disaster. It’s like Toys R Us blew up in my living room.
As soon as all the Christmas presents were unleashed from their packaging, my girls scattered new dolls, stuffed animals, coloring books, lip gloss tubes, plastic tea set utensils and Disney Magiclip figurines across carpets and tables and sofa cushions, so that everywhere I walk in this house, I’m tip-toeing through landmines. Valiant attempts are made to pick up throughout the day, but that’s the tricky thing about being on vacation—we’re all home and living in this space and making more messes every hour. I can’t keep up with my daughters’ enthusiasm for play time.
“Girls, can we please organize some of these toys?” I stood in the center of post-Christmas shrapnel and felt the urge to weep.
“Sure, Momma!” Giggling trickled from the girls’ bedroom down the hall. I followed the sound and found them kneeling on the floor together, rocking their new twin mini-dolls in their arms.
“Shhhh!” My two-year-old warned. “Babies are sleeping!”
“Oh, so sorry to disturb you.” I backed out of their doorway, smiling.
Suddenly that mess didn’t look so messy anymore.
A hundred times over the past couple weeks, I’ve thought about moms and dads in Connecticut who didn’t get to see their child open gifts this year. And not just there, but everywhere, in all corners of the planet, every day there are parents quietly reeling in heartache over what’s been or what will never be.
God gave me my kids today. Yes, they are loud and they are needy and they can’t seem to figure out how to put their socks in the hamper or their crayons back in the box. They bicker and spill and eat too much candy. But they are here with me, and they are healthy and happy and delightful. They hug my legs and tell me they love me. They beg me to make cake pops and color princess pictures as if nothing else in all the world matters more than sharing these moments together.
It’s outrageous how much I love them.
So that disaster in my living room? I’ve decided to celebrate it. Our mess, our chaos, is a sign that my home is filled with family. And I get to spend the day cluttering the house with them, my favorite people. Praise the Lord.
You see, the difference between a burden and a blessing is perspective. I’m training my eyes to detect joy in messy places.
* * * * * * * *Happy New Year, everyone. Thank you for stopping by this space each week to read and be encouraged. I appreciate each one of you and value your comments and support. For fun, I thought I’d share a list of my favorite Time Out posts from 2012—because even if you’ve already read them, we all need reminders, right? I know I sure do. I wish you and your families a year overflowing with faith, hope and love. As your fellow mom in the trenches, I look forward to writing for you in 2013.
Some favorites from 2012, in no particular order…
- I Love You Lots and Cows
- If You Give a Mom a Minute
- The Witch. I Hate Her.
- Why I Date My Husband
- Don’t Lie to Me
- Birthday Musings from a Sappy Mom
- When You Don’t Feel Like Doing Your Job
- How a Wiggles Movie Changed My Life
- Queen of the Castle: A Fresh Perspective on Housework
- I Should (Not) Do That
- When Mom Wears a Dress
- How to Raise a Timid Child