The picture above is indeed my living room. Sometimes the mess is way worse than pictured. I have a tendency to cringe whenever I pass by my living room. After all, my house has a play room just for the kids, yet toys continue to be dragged all over the house. There are also things that you can’t see, that I see every day, and yes, leads to more cringing. There is a coffee stain that I failed to clean properly, old carpet that my cats have mangled, and a couch that is falling apart due to two fast-growing little monkeys who call it their own personal jungle gym. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve pointed out to said monkeys that the arms are ripping at the seams and I wonder if my patience and rationale are on the verge of extinction.
The living room is obviously a mess, but there are hidden elements that I can see which others cannot. The couch cushions on the floor were put there by my daughter, who was concerned about knocking mommy over on the hard floor while we were playing a variation of “Mother May I.” The Legos on the floor represent two determined little builders; my son, who vowed to build the tallest sky-scraper in the world, and my future interior-designer daughter planned a magical home for her tiny Shimmer & Shine genie figurine. The balloons are leftover from an epic birthday party that my son will never forget. The balloons stay there, because my kids never seem to tire of the endless play a balloon can provide. The giant foam fingers serve many purposes at playtime. Due to a surplus of foam fingers at a basketball game, my husband was able to hoard a big stack and bring them home. I have to admit, I was pretty annoyed at first, because heaven knows the kids have plenty of toys. But with these foam fingers, almost every day is like watching “Props” on Whose Line is it Anyway? The fingers have been transformed into tools, light sabers, oven mitts, guns, even pogo sticks. Beyond the mess I see compassion, creativity, simple pleasures, fun memories, contentment. We have all heard the cliché, “It looks like a tornado came through here!” That’s right! A tornado of fun! A tornado that spewed out games, giggles, and goofiness.
What does your house look like right now? I encourage you to seek out the treasures embedded in the mess. I’m not saying that my approach to the messes in my house will always be so optimistic. I feel like a hypocrite with every clacking key I press. I am hoping that this will trigger a better perspective in my day-to-day momhood.
After all, what does God see when he sees us. A mess, perhaps on the outside, but we are still His favorite mess. God doesn’t care if there are dishes in the sink. He doesn’t care if it has been three months since you’ve vacuumed. He doesn’t care if you are still wearing those yoga pants that you haven’t been able to get in the laundry yet. Keep on momming! Embrace the mess and see the joy!
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7