I am in process of 100 projects of trying to reduce clutter, purge un-needed items that a family of six living in 1150 square feet simply cannot support, all the while trying to maintain the basics of living (laundry, dishes, homework, etc.) while not being home. In other words, there is no forward progress on any one project, and we've been doggy paddling just to get through the week with laundry and food. Food for each day....and clothes for each day, and that's about it!
My car is messy. MESSY. And, full of clothes, toys, bags, garbage, and items from a "haven't been at home at all" type of week.
My house is messy, cluttered, and unkempt. I am sitting now on my unmade bed, staring at piles of laundry that need to be folded.
And, as much as I'd like to say that this is an odd week out, it's more normal than it is not. Do I love to live in a mess? Am I the carefree sort that just isn't bothered by clutter? NO!!! I would LOVE to live in a Martha Stewart magazine or a Pottery Barn catalog. Cleanliness and order create a sense of calm and peace in my heart. However, no matter how hard I try....the slime, grime, clutter and goo of this stage of life overtake my ability to stay on top of them. Rather, I should say, they overtake my ability to stay on top of them with the time I have allotted to them given the life we live.
Because, when I hear of a friend that's frantic for help cleaning her own home due to an impending inspection that evening......or a friend that needs babysitting for the evening......or a friend who needs help going grocery shopping due to a recent surgery......I want to be there for them, and I don't want the life that is so controlled by my own schedule of orderliness and peace that I cannot reach out and help my friends. For, I am certainly not only on the giving end of this.......our life has been a circle of friendship and support.
Yet, as I carried my sleeping Grace in from the car this afternoon, I was overcome with thankfulness. It was one of those moments where I felt so full of joy and gratitude from head to toe that it caused a pain in my chest. I wouldn't trade my life in for anything at all. The little hands that nestle into mine.....the little fingers that grasp mine....the little voices asking for night time snuggles or nap time back scratching......little books being thrust towards me for reading.....little boo-boos that need kisses.....tears that need wiping.....small crackly high voices that join with mine in song and lullaby....sweet prayers....hands that "help clean" and make bigger messes.....feet that track in mud as the voices they carry proclaim the amazing thing they've seen or done out of doors. Watch me! See me! Hold me! Love me!
All of that may sound exhausting to some. Truthfully? It is. At times, it is absolutely overwhelming. Yet, it is beyond beautiful. It is a treasure that, though fleeting in time, will always be a part of my life and of who I am. It is a treasure that is shaping me and refining me in all of those characteristics that I would hope to have. And, while another may only see a sticky wrapper, I am blessed to have the treasure inside as my own.
.......even if occasionally my bare feet stick to the floor. :-)