Stingy out gets stingy in.

Well, Happy New Year! With the resurfacing of my old milkshake post came the reminder to me that I had promised a little more on the topic. Well, here I am, a whole year later, trying to do just that.

It does seem that every mother has energy, joy, and fulfillment sometimes, but consistently having these things can challenge us beyond what we feel is a reasonable amount. Joy all day? Every day? Even if Daddy is out of town, or when the whole family has the stomach flu, or when the pre-dinner warp spasm is upon the children? How can we maintain a cheerful, calm, happy, giving attitude when we certainly don’t feel like it? Well, here are a few thoughts, incomplete though they be, that may help usย  get a little perspective.

1) Perspective is the key word. I mean big-picture, honest, for-reals perspective. Things can get smoshy and desperate and smelly and tense in our homes in very little time, because we keep people there. But the reality is, no matter how terrible it is, it isn’t terrible. Not in the cosmic scheme of life. Watch a little cell phone video made by people on high ground who watched their world float away in the tsunami in Japan. Think of your grievances about your day, were you to be airing them to a personย  who suffered through something of this magnitude. Remove yourself from your fussing at the coffee shop to a nice caring friend and think of talking to someone like Corrie Ten Boom or Elizabeth Elliot about this problem. “AND THEN,” you say with dramatic tones, “THEY GOT NAIL POLISH ON THE CARPET!” ย Get outside yourself for a minute and see what is really happening. You have miles and miles of a list of things to be actively grateful for (no matter how difficult your situation is), and you should try to keep it in mind when you start wanting to tally up the troubles you suffer.

2) The milkshake analogy is just descriptive of a feeling, but it isn’t how the thing works. A friend of my sister’s once sorrowfully told her husband that her well had run dry. His very wise response was to say, “But it isn’t a well, it is a river.” In actual point of fact, my energy and joy is not something that I drum up somewhere alone. It has tributaries. Contributors. Often times the takers are also the givers. This is especially true of your husband and children. When you give freely, you receive fully. Stingy out gets stingy in. An example of this would be holding yourself back from your husband simply because you feel tired, stingy, selfish, or generally put upon. Not only have you cut off a way that you could give to him, but you have cut off a cycle that gives to you as well. Nothing, when it comes to people, is entirely simple. When you need, give. When you are tired, look for ways to lift the burden of others.

Another example of this would be the mess in your house (I trust that you have one). When I focus on the mess, I am aggravated by the things that do not matter at the expense of the people who do. When I consciously refuse to be upset by the side product, I am free to enjoy the people who are messing it up. Giving my own work freely does not just make me a martyr.

Let’s say the twins come up the stairs in wild dress- up ensembles. Chloe has a purse full of playmobile people, and Titus is pulling a blanket loaded with duplos. I know what this means to the playroom, and I know what it means to the place they are seeing as a destination. It means an imposition on me. But if I freely give, I am also free to get a good laugh out of them. I enjoy what they are doing because I took my own little issues out of the picture. They delight me. They delight me even when they are bombing the house out, if I am looking at them and not at myself.ย So try to see moments that feel like a take-take-take as more of a give-and-receive, give-and-receive cycle.

3) Let’s talk more about messy houses, because I can’t stop. Imagine you spent the day rearranging and cleaning up the living space in your home. You have flowers and clean curtains and fresh throw pillows and maybe a candle. You are pleased. The right lights are on. Things are good. And then, like the wolf on the fold, the people in your life descend upon your work. They peel off socks and put their feet on the coffee table. They come from afar bringing baskets of craftiness to spread out upon the couch. They pop popcorn and carelessly munch. Someone goes so far as to get out the puzzles. In such a moment, it would be easy (don’t ask me how I know) to become shrill. It is easy to see each chin-glancing popcorn shrapnel as an insult. “Don’t you value the work I do?!” “Don’t you care how long this took me?!” “Why can’t you just not do this??” Even if you don’t say it, you may feel a little despair, a little resentment, and a little “why do I even try?”.

But the truth is, we need a new perspective. It is moments like this that should give us a lot of job satisfaction. These people are enjoying you. They are enjoying your work. But, like a great dinner all laid out on the table, you don’t enjoy it without touching it. A chef would not look at dishes coming back to the kitchen untouched as a sign of success. It would not mean great things about your work. Yet this is what we want from the work we do in our homes.

I’m sure most of you have noticed the magnetic power of what you clean. Clean the bookshelf up, and everyone wants to read. Organize the little toys, and everyone wants to play with the things they have been callously walking on for days. This is a sign that you are succeeding, that your people love your work. Think of it like food, because that is how it is getting used.

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77 thoughts on “Stingy out gets stingy in.

  1. I really needed to hear that about the “messes” situation. As soon as my 18 month old starts for her container of blocks, I know the living room is about to turn disastrous. I probably should print this article in large font, and tape it all over my walls. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for the encouragement once again, Rachel!

  2. Oh BOY did I need to hear this. All week I have been thinking “why bother?” Just today I got caught up on the laundry-not a STITCH of dirty clothes anywhere- (Happens maybe four times a year) and then in a matter of MINUTES I realize I need to change wet sheets on my two yr. olds bed-and I just washed and changed them YESTERDAY because of a different ‘accident’.

    I really liked the last two paragraphs especially. Hadn’t thought of it thataway before. But I will from now on. Thank you.

    PS. Out of curiosity~ are you on Pinterest yet? I was looking for you the other day. wink

  3. Thank you!!! Thank you for writting out what I feel so many times. I have a 9, 3, 2 and 1 year old…I am an organizer. I love things in place and my life with these 4 blessings is not in place most days, so it gets me down and I lose perspective. I have to remind myself that they need to enjoy the time they have in their childlike innocence. :) Thank you for the reminder. There’s no such thing as too much perspective! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Thank you! I need this shake-up today. IT IS NOT ABOUT ME. When I look honestly, I see how all these wonderful people in my family – little and big – sometimes have felt like an imposition rather than the blessings that they are. I especially love your chef analogy. Great ones give it their all and delight when the plate is licked clean. I want to be the next mom iron chef! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Chefs also do a lot of prep work and I’m learning that planning is so important to running a home well. It’s only taken me a decade to realize it….What do I need to do before the day starts to have a “mise en place” ready for my household?

  5. Thanks for such an encouraging post. I love how you speak to where mothers with little ones are at without over-spiritualizing it, but still dealing with the heart straight on.

  6. So yeah. I (tearfully) told my husband just the other night that I feel like my life consists of a) following the children around and catching things they are knocking over, and b) the children following me around and undoing everything I just did. It’s kind of funny written down. Now to make it funny while it’s happening.

  7. Thank-you, from the bottom of my heart, for this post. How I needed the reminder.

    I had JUST finished e-mailing a couple friends about the constant state of disaster the house seems to stay in and how, instead of being fun-loving, I am a shrieking Mother that even I wouldn’t like!!! :)

    Loved the chef/food analogy. I really got it!!

    Now I’m going to forward this to the friends I just e-mailed… telling them the Lord was gracious enough to answer my cry!!

  8. Thank you Lord for using this blog to help me put things in perspective and thank you that this has been going on daily now for the last few days and You know I needed to hear this now. Thank You!

  9. Wow, count me in as another one who needed to read this today. “Someone goes so far as to get out the puzzles…” You just described my day exactly, down to the husband being out of town. I had never compared the state of the living room to my dinner table before, but that really helps. Thanks for the attitude readjustment!

  10. Oh my goodness. That was so so helpful. Let’s see how it unfolds when the crew is awake and on the move. Thank you! And I love the photo too!!!! Way to get one with you and ALL the kids in it together — hooray!

  11. Reading this I had a flashback of our college days, looking at Potterybarn catalogs together. Back then I didn’t have any idea how painfully unrealistic those things are! When my boys were littler I had to stop looking at them entirely, so I wouldn’t covet after those spotlessly tidy rooms. As if perfectly balanced bookends could support a coffee table in the real world–HA! The bed is clean, but there are certainly no oxen around.

  12. Oh dear, you have a camera in my house, don’t you? Joking aside, I seem to be in good company and I am thankful for this reminder and perspective shift. :)

  13. Rachael, Great stuff, as usual. Another helpful way I’ve heard of for keeping housekeeping in perspective is that cleaning sets the “stage” for the drama of “living”. It is so true what you say that as soon as you “put it all right” everyone comes to mess it up. You set the stage and they came to act.

  14. This is beautifully written! So many good ideas!

    I love how you describe “the well” as being a river.

    And there are also certain phases in home life. When we have small children, it isn’t practical to light candles in main living areas. It’s not always practical to have fancy throw pillows, because the children will play with them!

    Setting the rooms up neatly is really preparing them for husband and children to enjoy. I love how sweetly you described this!

    Blessings
    Mrs. White
    The Legacy of Home

  15. So what do you do if you wrestle with anger? You wrote: “How can we maintain a cheerful, calm, happy, giving attitude when we certainly donโ€™t feel like it?” Well, I never feel like it. I am overwhelmed with my kids, the housework, the endless needs and wants, the rebellion, the carelessness. I wonder why God saw fit to bless me with children. I certainly don’t manage them well. I barely get through the day, and my frustration level simmers almost always, and bubbles over at the slightest provocation. I hate it, want to be different, seek the Lord and pray, wrestle with it, and yet, every day I fail and fail and fail. What do I do with the anger?

  16. Even as an empty-nester, I found this blog encouraging. Have felt this way often. We must all remember to do all things as for the Lord. That is hard, but changes our attitude greatly.

  17. Yes, I often feel discouraged by the lack of mess and order in my life and home (four small kiddos). I realized again yesterday that this discouragement comes from having bad theology! Thinking that in this world I should find perfection of beauty and order and cleanliness. I just can’t expect a perfect life or home. We are living in a broken world and messes and our children’s sin should not surprise us. We should be looking for the blessed hope (Tit. 2)…looking to the perfection we will find in the life to come and in Christ. If this world were perfect, we would have no reason to hope for heaven and the glories of Christ! He is our hope!

  18. I followed a link from a mutual friend to this post. So glad that I did. Thank you for the perspective alignment. I remember when my guys were really little, I would find myself picking up toys while they were still playing with them to avoid a mess…pointless. However, I am finding as my boys get older the new challenge is to be selfless and enjoy them enjoying my work, and at the same time teach them to be thoughtful of others. There are a couple little girls out there that will one day be my daughters and I just bet they’ll appreciate husbands that close the lid, get the socks in the hamper, and rinse the sink after shaving. I’m learning as I go to try and find the balance between servant and enabler. ;). Thanks for bringing me face to face with that challenge again today.

  19. Perspective. Then action related to that new perspective–and not the feelings. Thank you for the reminder, Rachel–even in the grandmother stage.

  20. What great insight… we all need to be reminded of this. I just finished reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, and i can see what you say with clear eyes. I have been trying to take this view of life – i am utterly blessed, even on my worst day. I don’t always succeed, but the happiness is in the trying.

  21. Dear Michelle,

    It’s not about picking ourselves by our bootstraps. It’s not about fixing your anger problem. It’s not about trying to change the way you think or feel. And it certainly isn’t about reading a blog post and feeling more guilty that you’re not “doing” or measuring up to all these good and holy things. It’s not about any of that. Only the Lord can pick you up, only the Holy Spirit can actively work in your heart to change that anger into loving kindness, tenderness, and longsuffering with those around you. Only Christ Jesus can give you his joy. The joy is not in the clean house or the messy house, the joy is not even in the husband and the children or any created thing for that matter. The joy is in Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.

    I believe you that you are seeking the Lord and praying and yet the days go on as usual. The Lord has his own timing for working in his grace and releasing us from some of our stronghold sins, like anger. Every Sunday for four years during the time of confession at church I would confess my anger and outbursts of wrath. All during those weekdays in my prayers I would confess those sins. Over and over and over again I would confess and fall, confess and fall, confess and fall. Yes, I am free from that stronghold now, that sin has NO dominion over me, but that doesn’t mean I’m completely free of it. It’s just that there is more victory in that area. Michelle, Jesus died for your anger. You are new in Christ Jesus! Anger does not have dominion over you, even though it feels like it. You are not a slave to your anger, you do not have to obey it. You belong to Jesus. Let him love you, let him cleanse you, let him heal you. Sit at his feet. Every time your anger is aroused, walk away and go to Jesus. Give him your anger, he can take it. Don’t try to wrestle with it yourself, let him be your warrior and protector. He saves to the uttermost!

    May the Lord overflow your cup with his grace and mercy.

  22. One more thing: Confess your anger issues to your family, then let them know that this is an area you are grieved over and you need their grace and longsuffering with you as the Lord walks you through this valley. Ask them to pray for you. Don’t try to hide it. The Lord says he gives grace to the humble. One thing that helped me personally (of course we’re all different so don’t take this as “you have to…”) is to confess my anger as soon as it pops up, right there, right in front of the family. Also, if a friend is over and I speak sharply to one of my children, I apologize right away in front of the friend. Basically, it got to the point where I was confessing ever single incident as soon as it cropped up, no matter where it happened or who was there. I found that my family and friends were very forgiving, loving and patient with me. I also started to notice that my children became quick to ask for forgiveness themselves. Although there were times when I felt VERY humiliated, I did not allow that to shame me into keeping it quiet and hidden. I knew that the sin would continue to rule over me as long as I kept my pride up (which is another sin). I had to be willing to die to self. If my Savior can take the shame of the cross, then who am I to try to hide my sins lest someone think I’m not as “good” of a Christian?

    Hope that helps. Like I said, every person is different and every situation is different. Do NOT take this as you have to do the same exact thing in order to overcome your personal situation. Our God is beautifully creative, he does not make cookie-cutter saints. We live by the same gospel, but it will look different in all our lives. Rest in that too. Let him make you the woman he wants to make of you. Don’t compare yourself to others.

  23. When it’s your husband who doesn’t like the mess, that puts it in another category all-together. Then clean-up time becomes a matter of submission, with a good attitude. Not an easy thing to do (I fail at it constantly) but necessary to show proper respect and proper example.

  24. In the midst of trying to read this article and prepare lunch, I discovered that’s three yr old had emptied every bin in the playroom and had stacked up the empty ones
    To proudly declare, “I made a castle!” Oy. I am happy to laugh, turn a blind eye, and ignore–even LEAVE– the mess. My husband, however, likes a tidy house and playroom. After reading this post and these comments, I know my prayer needs to be balance as previously mentioned. Serving my children but also my husband, while PATIENTLY teaching them to clean up after themselves (as would make Daddy proud). The rough part is my 8 month prego tummy! LOL Seriously, I have struggled w anger over the past, especially in dealing w the pressure in the back of my mind thy my husband will be very irritated if he gets home before I clean up these messes. I have swung between taking it out on the kids and losing my cool with them, to just giving up and letting Daddy take charge of the playroom since it obviously means so much to him! I suppose even the latter is not a godly attitude, and I will be praying for that balance.

    Oh, and PS–to put the messes in perspective I sometimes stop, snap a photo, and post on Facebook with a humorous caption. It helps!!!

  25. I must say that I greatly appriciated this article! It was so true and it slammed home for me. I get SO frustrated to see the home that I so painstakingly organized, scrubbed and cleaned, to become a huge mess and to look like a tornado hit it within minutes of my finishing. I can relate so much with you on this. I will have everything perfect and then come back in an hour later and there will be playdough all over the floor of my living room and toys strewn everywhere, books scattered all over my furniture, blankets made into forts in my dining room, magnetic ABC’s all over my kitchen floor (along with crumbs from the peanut butter and jelly sandwich that was made) – clothes all over the bathroom floor…need I go on ?

    But after reading your article, it did make me think a lot. My family is very appriciative of my work when I am done, and often makes comments on how nice the place looks. But I always said that I never wanted to live in a home that looked more like a museum than a home. I have gotten what I asked for! :) A home that is lived in and full of life, laughter and love! Thank you for helping me to realize this, and to be thankful for what I have. I would rather have my family surrounding me and a mess everywhere, than to be alone and lonely, and have everyting neat, tidy and in order!

  26. Michelle, I’m like you. And I think Luma is right – it’s in the Lord’s time. I dealt with anger for a long time, confessing it and praying and aching for it to be gone, and suddenly He took it away. It was for a while too, like several months, of being more patient and cheerful. He lets the anger come back (I think b/c it doesn’t take much for me to feel smug about what an awesome mother I am), but the point is I’ve experienced relief. Keep confessing and asking.

  27. I find it fascinating that we women can be consumed by a need for clean and find it hard to let go of this area for the sake of the momentary joy of children! The business of life can have us building mini idols all day long and when they get knocked down we get angry! I hear all the time mothers of little children are busy and finding time to be in the word of God is hard. It is. BUT i find without His Word to refresh me, i try too hard on my own, get angry and let my selfishness rob my joy in Christ. I can only remember the “image of Christ” for so long until I need to visit Him in personal, intimate ways.

    LOVE the picture of food preparation as a perspective when starting home preparation!

    Such a fun photo, too!

  28. Thanks Rachel,
    I recently gave my “obsession” of wanting the house spotless up to the Lord b/c He convicted me of how easily my priorities were becoming out of place. My husband is a HUGE help, and it’s not that he helps clean, but he makes sure I spent my day in God’s Word first before even thinking of cooking/cleaning–and this helps me to have my heart right before the day begins. My husband also tells me, “STOP! Relax! Come watch a movie with us!” And that’s the right perspective to have. After all, when all is said/done, what does a clean house profit me if I didn’t enjoy my family to the fullest? If we enjoy our loved ones as though it were their last day–our messes would never matter to us! Our children grow up so fast, and when they are so little and making messes so quickly, THOSE are the precious moments God gives us to enjoy! And although they may seem like forever, they will eventually fly out of our hands and we will wish we could live them out all over again. It’s such a blessing to read how to have the right perspective NOW, as we’re living in our messy, but joyful homes! :)

  29. Thank you! This is just what I’ve needed to hear. Life is overwhelming and messy but we have to see the big picture. You said it perfectly. Thank you!

  30. Great post, Rachel. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

    “The kindly old landlord on whom he had reckoned had been replaced be someone whom the barmaid referred to as ‘the lady,’ and the lady was apparently a British innkeeper of that orthodox school who regard guests as a nuisance.”

    I remember reading that on page 1 of Out of the Silent Planet when I was about 17 or 18. It amused me because I saw myself so clearly in it. I was working in a bookstore and I’d get fussy when people had the gall to come in and BUY things and mess up my displays. I’d fallen into the wacky idea that bookstores were about books rather than about people, and were about clerks rather than about customers.

    Whatever God has given us dominion over — families or bookstores or schools or churches or businesses or whatever — is not for us to rule for ourselves, but for others. That’s the way to enjoy the blessing of authority. I don’t rule over much — just myself and my house — but I can always use a reminder that it’s given to me to give away.

  31. Hi,

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I just tried to get onto the Loving the Little Years blog and my PC security system identified it as an “attack page.” :( You might know about this already, but thought I’d mention it in case not.

    And thanks again for another great post! :)

  32. Yep, yep, yep. And something else: I tend to feel most put upon when I am overworked. If you can get help, get help. No shame in having a little help around the house.

  33. Just cleaned the play nook… just spent the day chasing little people out of the play nook so they wouldn’t undo my work (before it was all the way finished). Thank you so much for the perspective!

  34. Your words challenge and encourage me. Like a warm hug and a punch in the gut at the same time. Thank you for glorifying God with the gifts that He has given you!

  35. Thank you Rachel for taking the time to help others. I have known I need a new perspective. This is the insight I needed to really help to change me in this area. I seemed to not get the purpose of the clean home! I am really thankful you took
    more time to expand on this subject.

  36. The kids and husband are the job – the housework is the distraction. NO body in the house really cares about clutter except you. We get too prideful and concerned what somebody might think if the house doesn’t look like a magazine (like any house does!) Do we want the kids to think that all we care about is the way the house looks? There is a time to clean up, though – but it’s not all day long and it’s not necessarily every day. I liked making it a group project – David, you do the blocks and legos, Julie, you do the books, Brian and Tim, you take down the fort….etc. Specific jobs they can handle. Lots of kids can’t handle “clean up the room” but if it’s a specific type of toy, it helps them learn to sort as well as put things away. Also, we sometimes had a rule that they could only have out one or two multi-piece items at at time – then had to ask for a new one (unless they made a “City” that took all day and used everything! we have photos of those magnificent items, wooden train sets and all!) Also, when they were under 5, I rotated the toys/books – every month I would hide about 1/3 of what they owned and then the next month hide another 1/3. If they asked, I’d say, “It must be here somewhere!” and distract them to another toy. :) Every month they were so excited to have “new toys”. :)

  37. Hi Rachel,
    Boy did I need to find you today! I’m currently attempting to start a ministry at my church focusing on Titus 2:4. We’re seeking to encourage an older generation of moms to mentor moms currently in the trenches. While doing some online searches to add to my training packet, I came across a blog that mentioned your book. From there, I found your blog entries on John Piper’s site and now here! I’ve read the excerpt of your book on Amazon and all 4 blog entries from Piper’s site. I’m (supposed to be working at my part time job) teary eyed by your heart for motherhood and its call as a mission field. What a great new attitude God has used you to lay on my heart today. I’m struggling with feeling sacrificial, and not knowing who I am and then struggling with the selfishness of these feelings. I am mommy to 2 wonderful gals age 3 and 7 months. I have stopped everything to just be their mommy. Prior to my firstborns arrival, I was the Executive Director of a non-profit, public speaker for women’s and youth events, and constant volunteer at my church. Except for a 2 day a week job that I’ve taken to help my family financially, I stay at home full-time. I LOVE being at home with them and long for the season where I can be home completely full-time. But, in the midst of loving this, I’ve felt lost. I’m resenting the laundry, lack of love for my cooking, and the diaper blowouts that happen just when you’ve put on that new sweater you got for Christmas. My focus is OFF! It’s off the Gospel and everything that God called me to do when He called me to be a mommy. Thanks for sharing your heart and for sharing your Faith. What a shift I’ll have while seeing these chores as my Mission Field. I need a mom like you in my life. Thanks for the encouragement. Keep writing! Keep encouraging. Hope I’ve provided an ounce of much deserved encouragment to you today! God bless! -Erica-

  38. Thank you for the post-wedding laughter therapy, Rachel! And I am hoping for lots of grandchildren with whom to enjoy your wisdom. Not to mention, enjoying it with my growing/grown children.

  39. Rachel,
    I was wondering if possibly either you could do a post (with experience from your own childhood), or possibly your mom could do one on how to this perspective applies when you’re in a pastor or elder’s family. It seems like there’s a certain level of tidiness you need to maintain when spur-of-the-moment hospitality is a regular reality (and really lots of families would need this, not just church leaders). What are some practical ways you can keep loving your kids and maintain a tolerable level of cleanliness?

    Thanks,
    Brittany

    P.S. And you and your kids are adorable! I love how it looks like they’re nearly squishing you out.

  40. Rachel Carrying on the blessing ~ that is how I think of your messages on this blog. Thanks! I can still apply it.

  41. Gaining perspective by considering those less fortunate is at times helpful, but I feel only momentary. To truly gain perspective, we must always look to the cross. How do you ask someone who is the victim of the horrible circumstance to gain perspective? Their only hope to gain a better perspective is the cross and that should be our only perspective as well.

  42. Oh dear friend,
    You had no idea how much I needed to read this tonight. I.am.tired! Your description of clean room and then the family walks in…That’s my life! The 2 year old is impossible (and I love her to pieces!). It seems all we do all day is that my 3 kids haul toys from the playroom and I haul them back…or make them do the work (no fun either way). I am trying to remember that they enjoy the results of my work…and I will try to enjoy them ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for this post!

  43. What if you’ve worked through the entropy of your house and the importance of the little people there and what eats at your joy is feeling ill-equipped to deal with the intensity of emotional and relational discord within and among your children. Feeling as though the imminent and on-going physical tasks and the onslaught of disciplinary situations reduce the moments of constructive and harmonious conversations and activities and interactions to a point where you wonder if you are even raising your children but maybe just there to keep them alive. Shouldn’t there be more order and peace and constructiveness in the daily ebb and flow of inherent (with that many humans living so closely together) chaos??? Is this “normal” = The way God wants it to look, to be in this situation/season?

  44. Rachel, loved your article-very applicable in my life. I have appreciated how you offer in your writing a different angle to look at things-it is amazingly helpful and you illustrate your points with wonderful examples. My favorite part of this post was, “someone went so far as to get out the puzzles…” :) I laughed out loud when I read that as my own times with my kids came to mind and I remembered myself entering into a spiral when the puzzles found their way out everywhere in addition to other chaos. Currently they are in our garage…for a break :) Thank you so much again, Kim

  45. Just popped over from a link on another blog, and LOVE this post. I so look forward to reading more …

    I’m the mama of 12 children (ages 10, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 22, 22, 24, 26, 27). I MISS the blocks underfoot … the toys to help pick up … the little smiles and chubby fingers ….

    The paragraph on perspectives really touched me. 2011 was the absolute WORST year of my life. However … while devastating in many ways … it does not in any way compare to Corrie Ten Boom.

    Laurel

  46. Has anyone told you, “YOU’RE AWESOME!”? (that’s a joke…there’s 67 responses to this post at this moment!) Thanks for your wonderful ministry. I’m sending this on to a friend. I’m sure this will help encourage her.

  47. LOVED this!! The analogy of a chef wanting people to eat the food on the plate and touch it and get it all messy is a wonderful reminder to me to see their delight in the clean areas of our home by then messing them up as a gift!

  48. Thank you for your article, It does give perspective but also doesn’t say don’t do housework or that you give up. Often when i read it seems to be either live for the kids or keep a spotless house, But here you’re saying enjoy the children value them, count your position as their wife and mother as precious, and yet clean and tidy so that the environment they are in is a lovely one, homely one showing them you care about their basic needs, but not allowing yourself to fall into despair when they feel comfortable in your home and are using it, I have a lot to think on and pray about today thank youxx

  49. really wanting to share this on my FB.. but cant find a link! Thank you for this post! Will make house cleaning today easier!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  50. WOW!! I’m so glad I stumbled across this (sent to me via a friend)…I’m going to have to go back and reread – thanks!

  51. Have you been a fly on my wall…Just wow and wow…took the words right out of my mouth! (i am sure other mothers would agree)

    xxx THANK YOU AND THANK YOU. xxx (im sure my family will agree…i am in the middle of spring cleaning, and mmmmm are you sure your not a fly on my wall heehee.) thank you for reminding me, of the JOY of of having blessings, to love and enjoy one another as a privilege, and not to see them as messy monsters, which in turn makes me a green monster ๐Ÿ˜‰

    XXX THANK YOU AND THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN XXX

  52. Thank you is not quite enough to say at the moment. After 2 weeks of being stuck inside, the flu, colds, ear infections, pink eye, sinus infection, and my hubby being gone for most of it, the Lord has shown me that I am an angry mom sometimes. I continue to repent when my mind is drawing close to the Lord and feeling sorry for myself when Ive convinced myself that I’m in the wrong house and body!
    I appreciate these posts of encouragment so very much and pray that I too will, by God’s grace, change my perspective. So glad we will all be friends in heaven!
    Love, Paige

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