As I sit here writing this, the dishes are piled to new heights in my sink, the floors are covered in copious amounts of dog hair, wine corks, and miscellaneous toys and clothes. Our refrigerator decided to completely die so we have no cold food. All our other appliances – sink, stove, dishwasher, dryer – decided they needed maintenance all at the same time. And deadlines for work keep getting closer and closer. But all I can think of is how blessed I am.
The overwhelm of life sits just beyond the clean, peaceful room I’ve decided to close myself in. Here, you’ll find a few baby toys, a babbling, delightful little baby, a flickering candle, a journal and pen, and books. Lots of books. It makes more sense in this little room where I can drown out all the chaos and get to the heart of life.
I hope my children always remember that their house was a little messy growing up. I hope they remember that I often ignored the dishes to play with them, read to them, cuddle and laugh with them. I hope they remember that I let them help me clean and therefore, it was never done perfectly. I hope they remember that love is messy and there is great joy in that.
People say it all the time, that you won’t remember the mess, but I think I will. I think I will remember this messy, chaos that I find myself in right now, and I think it will be a happy memory. Within the walls of this home children are being raised. They’re being cared for. They’re being delighted in. That’s what matters.
The overwhelm is a constant threat that looms in the horizon of my life. It’s always there waiting to consume me. It’s overwhelming when I feel there is nothing to do and it’s overwhelming when there is everything to do. But today at least, it can’t get to me because everything that is overwhelming is a small detail. My family is healthy, fed, clothed, sheltered, and loved. Everything else is just noise.
My goal as a mother is quite simply for my children to catch a glimpse of God’s love for them by observing how I love them. Beyond everything else these little souls need to know that they are delighted in for no other reason except that they exist. To me, that means forgoing a perfectly tidied house where an overwhelmed mother is frantically running around. It means sitting in the mess with them and being at peace.
The house will get cleaned, eventually.