Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cleaning up Messes

Ugh . . . . if there's one thing I hate - it's having to clean up other people's messes all day long. By "other people" - I mean my children. It seems like it's a never ending battle. I look around the house at all the clutter and messes and realize . . . hardly any of it is mine! :( My hubby tells me to hire a maid, but #1.) I am waaay too frugal to even think about spending money on something like that, and #2.) Isn't that what we are supposed to be teaching our kids to do?! So - number 2 is my goal! It's getting better, especially now that the kids are a little older and can actually do their chores ALMOST the way I like them done. :) hee,hee. Especially when my husband is out of town, I am much more strict about getting those chores done. It keeps me sane!

The last 2 days it seems there have been more "accidental" messes than usual . . . poop in my 3 year old's undies 3 times this week, mud tracked through the house by 4 happy, dirt-loving and playful boys, spilled cereal all over the living room (thankfully there was no milk!), etc. - and then today - a steaming hot bowl of Ramen noodles that my 10 year old just made. Not only did he spill it over 1/3 of the kitchen, but he broke 1 of my favorite 4 Snowmen bowls (that I've been meaning to put back in the attic since C-mas), and managed to burn his legs in the process slightly (thankfully he had jeans on . . . but it still soaked through! I could see the steam rising off his pants!). I didn't get upset about the bowl, because really . . . I can always buy other dishes . . . but my son is irreplaceable!! I learned a long time ago to not get too attached to my "things". They are not what is important in life. People are! My 12 year old did the crying for me though. He was so sad that my favorite bowl was broken. Bless his heart. :)

As I was on my knees trying to get the slimy, wet noodles and sticky chicken broth off the cold tile kitchen floor, I thought . . . "Sometimes it feels like all I do is clean up other people's messes!" . . . oops . . . did I just say that out loud?! I heard God's tender reply in my heart . . ."I know how you feel."

Wow. . . . . . how humbling. . . . . . how many times has God had to clean up my "messes" (and all the messes of ALL His kids . . . .billions of them!)? And not only that - how many times have I begged Him to clean them up for me . . . promising NEVER to do it again?! . . . and of course . . . I did do it again . . . and again . . and again . . . . wow. . . . . I am so sorry God. I will try to clean up my own messes from now on. In fact, I will try to not make any more messes (or at least - very few).

However, I can hear God gently and lovingly saying . . . . "I don't mind Lori. I LOVE to take care of my children! I am your Daddy. It's my job to help you. Yes, I do want to teach you how to avoid making messes and how to clean them up - but I will still help you. I will never leave you, nor forsake you. You are my child and I am honored to be called your Dad! I will always help you whenever you call out! Don't feel like you can't come to me with your messes. I love taking that which is dirty and making it clean! I love the transformation! I love the restoration! I love to work along side and with you my child in turning your 'lemons into lemonade'! Just come and ask! I'll always be here . . . waiting to help!"

Can you accept His help today? Do you have any "messes" that need cleaning up? How about the biggest mess of all . . . . being a "mess-maker" (sinner)? Have you told the Lord all about your messes (sins) and then asked Him to clean them up - forgiving you - FOREVER - and asking Him to be the Lord of your life now? Your Daddy? Your Savior? If not . . . . PLEASE do! If you don't know how - ask me . . . or ask your pastor, or someone at a good church. If you are not sure if you really NEED God to clean up any of your messes - or don't think you really have "that many" messes to be cleaned up (ie - you are a good person!) - please check out this video at - click on the blue box that says "Are you a 'good' person? Try the ultimate test . . ." on the right side about 1/2 way down. Let me know what you think of it and how it affected you!

I know my kids will continue to make messes . . . even thought they are MY kids (and kids are always "perfect" in their parents eyes . . . right?!) . . .and even though I have taught them over and over and over again about what not to do and what to do. . . . . they will still mess up. Will I love them any less? No! Will it sadden me to see them fall, mess up, or make messes in their lives? Yes. Will I help them - even if they don't ask? Most likely. But not if it will hinder them from learning how to grow up. Always rescuing your kids will do more harm than good. God is the same way with us. There ARE consequences to our actions, but God CAN redeem that which the enemy meant for evil - into something good!!! Praise the Lord!!

For some awesome resources on how to help our children to grow up to be responsible adults who don't make as many "messes" (in their lives) when they are older . . . .check out They have some great books on "Parenting with Love and Logic" that has helped us out sooo much - especially with our "Future CEO's in the making" (ie - our strong-willed children)!! You won't regret looking into it!

God bless you today and I hope it is a Mess-Free day! But even if it is messy . . . it can still be a "Good Messy Day" as my friend's 7 year old proclaimed at the end one particularly messy day! :)

Lori :)


Terri said...

Today I actually had one of those days when you were glad to see the mess because that meant you had a family. :)

bree said...

humbling, how blessed we are:)