Deserted crayons scattered across the floor marked the crime scene I had just entered. The evidence screamed of tiny bodies once inhabiting this empty space. The crime: colored wax that nicked the top layer of my desk. A flashback of days earlier reminded me of how I had carefully stroked a paint brush against this same surface. Now the fresh coat of Egg Shell Blue carried the unwelcomed signature of a budding artist.
I shook my head in disbelief.
I bent down to pick up the last few items distributed across my sunroom floor. Evening had settled in, and I needed a few moments to myself.
Earlier in the day, my youngest jumped carelessly on the couch. His small frame knocked into a shelf, causing every item to come crashing to the floor.
The combination of this mishap with the condition of my desk frustrated me beyond words.
Now, with each child tucked into bed, the peaceful sounds of a quiet house surrounded me. Yet, my mind screamed in irritation.
I wanted to keep nice things in my home. Is that too much to ask for?
With a long exhale, I whispered a prayer to heaven. Lord, could I at least have one space to call my own? To have it untouched by little hands?
I smeared a fresh mop across the floors, as I managed to calm down.
From the hallway, I could hear my two boys exchanging giggles as they created bodily noises in their beds. Boys! A smile slowly embraced my heart.
A gentle whisper reminded me that one day silence would blanket the walls of my home.
One day, sticky fingers and smudges will be a thing of the past. Broken vases and crayon marks a distant memory.
And I will miss it.
Maybe not the messy rooms or dirty floors. But the very thing they represent: my home is filled with love. Nice items or dedicated spaces pale in comparison to the love that envelops me. I’m surrounded by precious people God has entrusted to my care. With all my heart, I want to treasure each moment with them. I don’t want to live in a frustrated state where I’m merely surviving these years. I want to delight in the everyday mess of parenting. Yes, even in those noisy, broken-vase-and-nicked-desktop kind of days.
Parenting is Messy and Exhausting
Every parent faces challenging days. We are raising little people who have incredible personalities and are driven by passions within. Yet, our children lack the common sense and maturity to navigate life without us.
Parenting requires us to transform demands into polite requests. Convert negative behaviors into wise choices. Instill character in the face of adversity. Disciple hearts who will love God with everything in them and serve Him faithfully. To raise individuals who will become independent of us and make a difference in this world.
As we raise our children, the daily responsibilities of parenting can take a toll on us. Perhaps, you find yourself wanting to wave the white flag (or desperately wanting to hide under the covers). Does this sound familiar? I know I can’t be the only mom tired of hearing her own voice correcting the same behaviors again and again.
Finding Delight in the Everyday Mess
So, how do we find delight in parenting? How do we look beyond the mess and exhaustion to find joy in this journey?
We must focus on the big picture. In a single moment, we can easily allow the overwhelm to overtake us. We lose sight of the end result when the days blur together and the tasks seem endless. When you feel this way, take a step back and gain a larger perspective.
You are called by God to raise up the next generation right there in your own home.
Your sleepless nights with baby will eventually end. You will survive the toddler years. Your child will eventually grow past the awkward stage, the temperamental stage, or whatever other challenges you are facing.
Yet, as you weather the stormy days, remember the purpose within each challenging season.
Rather than getting hung up on what they are doing in a single moment, let’s resolve to stay focused on who we are developing.
In this process, we must acknowledge that this journey takes time. Identify what your children need in each season and be intentional about shaping their hearts gently and consistently.
And when your patience is tested beyond measure, inhale slowly and remind yourself: This moment will pass. I can do this. I will get through this behavior.
Most importantly, find rest in God’s presence.
Amidst the chaos, we must remember that God has given us incredible people to raise. He has wired our children a certain way for a greater purpose.
God has chosen you to be the primary influence of your children’s lives.
You have been chosen!
Do you know what this means? God Himself will equip you for every season of this journey. Allow Him to be your source of strength, courage, and perseverance. If you’re struggling to find delight in parenting, ask Him to fill you with joy every day.
I pray often for the Lord to fill me with a fresh love and passion for my children, and He answers my request every time.
Encouragement for the Journey
If you’re tired and weary from parenting, I pray you will find true rest in the One who chose you for this wonderful role of parenting.
The Lord is the God who lives forever, who created all the world. He does not become tired or need to rest. No one can understand how great His wisdom is. He gives strength to those who are tired and more power to those who are weak. Even children become tired and need to rest, and young people trip and fall. But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again. They will rise up as an eagle in the sky; they will run and not need rest; they will walk and not become tired.
The years we have in raising our children will pass very quickly. Too quickly. As we kiss boo boos, wipe dirty faces, and sweep up crumbs, may we always embrace this season of life with appreciation and a sense of awe. The quiet, clean house will become a daily reality replacing the clutter and noise. But not today.
So today we must choose to appreciate the life we have. It’s a journey that not only grows our children but transforms us in the process. It’s a beautiful mess. Full of God’s grace. You can do this, Friend.
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