I am not, as I have mentioned before, a very good housekeeper. I imagine when they were passing out “ability to keep your house clean” in heaven, I was in the line for “ability to remember useless trivia.” I would like to blame the problem on my children—who do, undoubtedly, make a significant contribution to the chaos—but unfortunately I am also aware of how much of the daily clutter is mine.
If you are like me, perhaps you have had this experience: You come home from an exhausting day of errands or playing or whatever has taken you away from home. You open the door, thinking only that you are looking forward to kicking your feet up and relaxing in your sanctuary for a couple of minutes, and then . . . you realize that there are shoes jumbled by the front door, a box of crayons dumped out on the floor, books and toys scattered across the couch, and probably a pile of dishes in the kitchen sink.
It is daunting and tiring, and I wish I could say that I am improving in my ability to maintain a clean household, but sometimes I’m not sure. Sometimes the first thing I think when I get home is, “I wish it weren’t such a mess.”
|Fortunately, the kids who make the |
mess are pretty adorable, and that
helps make up for the mess itself.
Then a funny thing happened a few months back. You may remember this post, in which I mention that my house was broken into and a bunch of stuff got stolen. The thieves, in their hurry, also stepped on a few things, dumped out a few drawers, and made a bit of a mess.* Since that time, when I leave the house, I am a little paranoid. I tend to take expensive items with me more frequently—or I hide them really well.**
But the really great change is that sometimes, when I come home now, my eyes scan the room, seeing the shoes and the toys and the books. Then they move to the cabinet that holds the tv—which is still obviously in its place. Then my first thought is, “I’m so grateful this is our mess.” I’m so glad it was not some stranger who came through and did what I see before me.
This attitude, of course, fades in and out—I’m not always happy to rediscover that we left the house looking like a tornado swept through—but in some ways that break-in was a gift that keeps reminding me of how blessed I am. That even though I don’t have a perfectly clean home, we are safe from invasion for another day. And I’m glad to have the little shift in perspective.
*And I’m still a little cranky about that quarter pan of brownies.
**I hope no potential thieves are reading this. If so, ignore what I just said. We don’t have anything valuable anymore. No use looking.