Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:3-5 ESV
It may come as no surprise to anyone, but I hate a mess. In fact, I have great anxiety when I walk into the middle of clutter, dirt, and chaos.
Interestingly, prior to being married, there was once an event that took place when my mother-in-law to be, her sister-in-law, and my wife-to-be walked into the apartment that my now-wife and I would be sharing after we got married and they took one look around and were shocked.
They were shocked because they saw that there were no piles of dirty dishes piling up in the kitchen sink.
They saw the carpets and floors clean.
They found my bed made and all my dirty clothes in a dirty hamper.
They even found my closet with my clothes in a specific order and my shoes neatly ordered along the floor.
Don’t get me wrong, they won’t going around looking in my apartment for a mess. They were simply scoping out the space to get an idea of how we would move my wife in once we were married.
They made the comment about how surprised they were to find a bachelor living in such a clean environment.
Fast forward nearly 14 years (on May 14th of this year…yes…I remember!), and you will find my house full of toys, dirt, piling up dirty dishes, clothes everywhere, and just masses and masses of stuff.
No, my wife and I have not become hoarders. We just went from being a family of 2 to a hoard of 6.
Where once were 2 adults, there now stands 2 adults, 4 children, 2 dogs, a cat, and a rabbit. All occupying the same 1,650 square feet of space.
Bumping into one another.
Stepping on one another.
Crowding one another.
Aggravating one another.
Crying with one another.
Laughing with one another.
Screaming at one another.
Playing with one another.
Eating with one another.
Watching movies together.
You name it…there are now 6 people and a bunch of animals doing life together.
Did I mention that I hate a mess?
You can only imagine how this must pain me to see when I come home from a long day at the office, and an hour long commute home through some of the nations worst traffic.
And for a while there (a long while to be exact), I got aggravated. Miserably aggravated and angry. I took it out on my wife and kids, wrongfully I might add.
They were (and are) doing the best they can, and I wasn’t doing all that I could.
But the reality is this, this…mess….this is my life. This mess is a testament to what has become a beautiful blessing. This mess represents my wife and my children (and my animals) and this mess is slowly becoming less of a burden…and more of a reminder that God has dumped on my heaps of things to be thankful for.
Thankful for a wife who loves me and supports me, and works hard to manage a part time job and homeschooling our children (and trying to manage the household somewhere in between).
Thankful for four beautiful kids, each with their own unique personalities and interests. Not a single one of them like the other. Growing, maturing, learning, changing…not only blessings, but they are a responsibility that God has given me to help raise into equally wonderful adults.
Thankful for a roof over my head, food in my belly, clothes on my back, and transportation to and from my house and wherever I may need to go.
Looking back, and now also looking forward, I must do better at enjoying the moment and seeing this mess for what it really is….
….the aftermath of a beautiful and blessed life.