A few days ago I walked into my house with no kids waiting for me and no kids in tow. It was weird. That happens…never. It was completely silent, but the aftermath of the day’s activities was apparent everywhere I looked.
There were cars on the floor and leftover snacks on the counter.
Three balloons sat lazily in a corner, discarded after the previous day’s mommy school activity.
Half of a travel toothbrush that I think Little Brother found in my bathroom several days ago lay on a shelf.
Several remotes were piled on top of the entertainment center out of reach so we don’t have to replace another one.
My house was a mess.
For a moment, I thought to myself what life would be like if I didn’t have these two crazy boys making messes all the time. I had a vague memory of when I first got married…when I rarely swept (because no one was intentionally throwing food on the floor) and when I didn’t have to worry about stepping on matchbox cars even if I wasn’t paying attention to the floor in front of me.
Our tiny apartment at the time, was almost always clean, partly because we were gone most of the day, partly because I had time every evening to straighten up messes, and partly because no one was following me around undoing everything I cleaned. For just a second, I longed for those days.
But closely following those images of my clean house came the thought, I chose this life.
I chose this life knowing that messes were part of the package. I chose it knowing that I wouldn’t get enough sleep. I chose it knowing that I was going to sacrifice a lot of personal comfort and freedom. And I’m glad.
This is my life. This is my JOY.
Then a smile crept over my face and I chuckled a little…because all the messes were evidence–evidence that my life is everything I ever dreamed it would be. The cars that meant I have healthy, inquisitive, active children. The crumbs in my kitchen proved that I have enough to eat and a comfortable house to live in. My husband’s shoes sitting by the door–evidence that I found the man that I wondered for years if he even existed, the man I will love forever.
It’s not a perfect life, but it is good. It is full of JOY.
Now, granted it’s easier to think of the chaos this way when I’m standing in a quiet house looking at it than when I’m surrounded by little boys who sometimes seem bent on destroying any order I try to bring to the house, but still….the truth was revealed in that quiet moment. I was grateful for the reminder that even though my life is exhausting, messy, and frustrating as I try to manage all my responsibilities and find time for my dreams, it is a wonderful life.
So next time my house looks like a tornado hit it (which is daily), instead of screaming at the universe in frustration, I’m going to try to remember that the mess is the evidence of my two little joys and the life we are building together.
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