Wednesday, February 8, 2012

a love letter to my messy house

Dear Messy House,

I know I grouch and complain about you more often than I should...and I take you for granted more times than I could number.  I shout, "I CAN'T. TAKE. IT. ONE. MORE. MINUTE!!!"  I'm sorry...please forgive me.  I want to take this opportunity to tell you thank you for all you do.

Thank you for the dirty socks and discarded newspapers by the bed.

Thank you for the pile of books beneath my daughter's bookcase.

Thank you for the stickers that are, well, everywhere: stuck to my daughter's toy kitchen, washed and dried into my sweatshirts, piled on the kitchen table, strewn on the floor.

Thank you for the cluttery scattered art projects that seem to be collect dust and disintegrate everywhere.

Thank you for my husband's teetering pile of books and papers on the table by his Lazy-boy.

Thank you for the mountain of smelly laundry collecting in the hamper.

Thank you for the pine needles that are trampled in again the moment I vacuum the floor.

Thank you for the water-splashed bathroom counter.

Thank you for the Mr. Potato Head arm, the blankey, the duck umbrella, the box of markers, the toy grocery cart, the toy dishes, the single toddler slipper...that manage to find their way around the house.  Thank you for all the trips I make through the house picking up single items and restoring them to their places.

Thank you that my house is never fully clean, that it is always in a state of upheaval and clutter.

Thank you...because this means that tiny feet tramp here and there...that a squeaky musical voice is heard through this house...that a strong and loving husband absent-mindedly drops papers here and there...Thank you for your daily cluttery signs that this house, this life of mine is peopled, is inhabited, is filled with light and love.  Forgive me for my exasperation and frustration.  Yes, we need order and cleanliness, but neither will be perfect, not as long as the strong steps and the flitting tip-toes of the ones I love most are found here.  And so I will take your clutter...I will receive your dust bunnies...I will give thanks for your scattered toys.  For I once was alone and I prayed on my knees, with tears, for these people to come.  I must not forget to give thanks that they are here at last.

Thank you, messy house.

A Grateful Wife and Mother

"God sets the lonely in families..."--Psalm 68:6

This post is linked up with the Practices of Parenting Blog Carnival over at Emerging Mummy.


  1. That was great! Lovely and just what I needed. FYI, De-Solv-It is the best stuff for stickers (and pretty much everything else including grease stains and spit up stains on clothing). Amazon has it, but if you are lucky enough to find it in a store, it's cheaper there.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Janelle. What kind of product is it? Soap? Powder?

  2. This is my favorite thing I've read today! Love love love it


    1. Wow...what a compliment! Thank you!

  3. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for it. And man....did I ever NEED to read it today. xo

    1. Thank you, Sarah! And thanks for hosting the blog carnival!

  4. Yes yes yes. I too prayed on my knees, alone, for these moments filled with life, and light, and people and clutter.

    I too hope for the grace to be thankful for it, for all of it.


  5. Yup, I needed this too. I might have to print it out as a reminder. Thanks.

  6. As many have already commented....I needed this. Need this. I love the way my house looks when it is all clean and fresh. When the laundry is caught up with. When the piles are neatly filed. When the toys are all in their place.'s missing something. It's missing the touch that makes it comfortable for our family. We need the piles of books on the floor and the glue on the table and the art projects that have been drying for days. They make it home.

  7. "And so I will take your clutter...I will receive your dust bunnies...I will give thanks for your scattered toys. For I once was alone and I prayed on my knees, with tears, for these people to come. I must not forget to give thanks that they are here at last."


    And I say that wholeheartedly while hovering at the dining room hutch currently covered in clutter. I can hear my daughter playing with her toys in the next room and my son making crumbs with his snack at the table. Crumbs and clutter are a worthwhile trade off for these moments.

    (found you via emerging mummy's carnival)

  8. Oh my soul, this is a good one! Such lovely writing. The title caught my eye in that dauntingly long list at the carnival and that ending is just beautiful! Yes, here at last.

    1. Glad to have caught your eye!

      What I write about here is hard to remember...but important!

  9. Yes! thank you for a house that is lived in. thank you for signs that children are growing here & learning here & being nourished here.

  10. Thank you for these words. They encouraged me to remember, today, that these messes mean life is lived here in this house.


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