Learning To Be Thankful Despite The Mess

This has been one of those weeks at our house.  I've felt overwhelmed, overworked, and under-appreciated.  I came home a few nights ago after grocery shopping at 10 PM (so that I could sneak out without any kids in tow), and after finally unloading the trunk full of groceries noticed that my kitchen was a disaster.  Not only had I cooked dinner, couponed a crazy good deal for that meal, and then gone out and shopped again, but my family had left their dishes out, their shoes everywhere (the shoes are driving me nuts in our house!), and right smack dab in the middle of my kitchen was a set of drums.  Seriously?


I was mad. Really mad. I felt stomped all over, hurt, and angry.  I managed to get those groceries put away, clean up the kitchen, and put away all the shoes.  As I put those shoes away, God tugged on my heart.  I had no less than eighteen shoes in my entry way. . . my kids have abundance.  I had a set of drums that littered my kitchen. . . I have three precious children who are healthy and love to beat on a drum.  I had a load of dishes in the sink to put away. . . our home is filled with plenty and all of my family is well provided for. 


Guess maybe I shouldn't be so mad.


My heart changed, I packed my husband's lunch for work, and vowed to do better the next day.  In truth, I'm not sure I did much better at all.  I still got frustrated with all the summer clutter in our home, still nagged my kids too much, and once again stood far from the woman I'd like to be.  But, somewhere in the back of my head I remembered that what matters right now isn't the clutter and the craziness, but rather the people that hide behind it.  So, I'm really going to work to remember to appreciate these ones, and maybe a few of you might join me too.


And on a VERY far side note, I have to share a few fun pictures of my crazies.   Since I don't spend the money that I make from blogging, my hubby and I decided it was okay to splurge on a fancy camera (especially to take food photos). Here's a peek at some sweet pictures of the tornadoes that run through my home each day . . .


Do you know how hard it is to be mad at a face like that? If you're a momma, I know you understand! If you've had a rough week enjoying the messes that go through your home, I'd love to hear your thoughts . . . I'm pretty sure we're all in this one together.

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  1. Datbi Nolen says

    I sooooo relate to everything u just said…..I have 8 children ( yes thats right 8 ! ) and no we r not crazy….. We akways knew we wanted a large family. Three girls that 21,20 and 18 (20 and 18 still live at home thanks to the economy) and 5 boys 16,11,8 and the twins are 5. I vow every night as I lay my exausted body to rest at midnight not to yell as much,complain,micro-manage,and definatly not rub my temples as often and pray that bed time come early that night ! I feel like in general we are great parents but summer is rough on me ! The messes drive me crazy,blankets and pillows in the t.v. room,balls and toys left in the yard,towels from swimming,dirty clothes piled in the laundry room, I am a neat freak so I have to try to find a happy medium betweeon cleanliness and normalicy, not always the easiest task ! Wow what a chat huh ? But I do have to admit reading your blog and then actually putting my own experience into words made me feel better and a lot less like the only frustrated parent in the world ! Thanks you, Darbi from Westlake,Louisiana

  2. I also can soooooo relate to everything you just said. I also have 3 children (11, 4 and 2). There are times I just want to grab some ear plugs and lock myself in the bathroom. Working full time and coming home to the craziness everyday can definatly push me to the limit. It’s nice to read about someone elses experience and how they deal with it. Love your site. Keep up the good work.

  3. Brandi Waits says

    I can COMPLETELY relate to this! Its a daily thing for me to tell myself not to get so worked up over the mess that my family makes! I have a 7 yr old lil girl & a 4 yr old lil boy & I’m 6 & a half months pregnant w/ our 3rd child (a lil boy :D) & a husband who is just as much of a kid as our lil ones are. I’m very OCD about keeping the house clean & keeping the laundry in order & it drives me CRAZY to spend half the day cleaning up for it to be completely destroyed in less than an hour! I find myself getting onto the kids about cleaning up their mess behind theirselves just to have my husband come home & make a bigger less than we even started out with! Not to mention that during this pregnancy it seems like it takes everything I have just to get up the energy to even clean the house. Then I find myself just a lil heartbroken to think about how much time I worry about keeping things in order, when I should be spendinh every precious moment w/ my 2 munchkins before the 3rd one comes along. I would love to find a way to juggle both without going crazy.

  4. Great photos & message. As moms it is too easy to get sidetracked & discouraged juggling responsibilities (that never seem to end) and relationships (needing time & attention with those we love). My 12 year old daughter is spending 4 nights with a friend who moved to another state. My laundry is caught up, the house is vacuumed, groceries are organized in pantry, dishes are clean… it looks great. But it is quiet. Too quiet! Too soon she will grow up & move out; the house can always look like this (but probably won’t). Who cares? I’d rather have her here & have fun; yet I forget that balance sometimes. I needed your message to help keep it all in perspective. Thanks for being real and for valuing what you do to help us shop better!

  5. Tracy Abney says

    Ugh. I hear you, Laurie. Seriously. Some days, (ahem, today) I just want to go back to bed and start over. I can’t even count how many times I’ve disciplined the 2.5 year old and its only mid-afternoon. I’ve already called Eric in tears, telling him that I have a horrible headache and I just want to be alone! Not to mention the fact that I almost killed myself on the stairs because I stepped on a giant lego and slid down 3 stairs.

    Anyway, I’ve been there. I am there.

  6. What a breath of fresh air… to read your honest thoughts. There is something refreshing about your authenticity with your readers that just makes me smile. I’ve had one of those weeks as well… and it’s not that I don’t love my family… it was that I was feeling overwhelmed, which means I needed to take a deep breath and pray a prayer of thanks! A prayer of thanks for 3 awesome kids… who have lots of matchbox cars that feel like they’ve taken over my house. 🙂

  7. Tami Tompkins says

    I have read all the comments, and life is to short. I was blessed with just one son, and he’s now 20 years old and holding down two part time jobs. He’s still living at home and we yell and bang our heads against the walls trying to get him to keep his room clean. We home schooled all 12 years of his schooling and he still has work left to do, before I can get his transcripts of grades. He wants to do bible school online. He does pay for his own car and insurance. I have two small designer dogs and a heinz 57 dog who is scared of everything. My husband has a cat, who only likes her master. One of my dogs is 10 months old and is part time potty trained. Those pee pads just don’t work, I have to shampoo my carpet every day. The carpet is ruined, so ceramic tile is going on the floor. On top of that, my mother-in-law lives with us in our finished basement during the spring and summer. Her stuff is in my basement, so we can’t use part of our basement. Lol she has a very nice guy friend who wants to marry her, She is saying no and I am saying to her yes you had better marry this wonderful man. I want my basement back. And no my son hates to clean the kitchen or put anything away. One of these days we will be snowbirds, when? When my mom in law gives us her fifth wheel and my son is finally on his own. Which I don’t think it will happen for many years to come. lol

  8. You guys are so kind… and I’m soooooooo glad I’m not the only one who feel like this! I have such good intentions each morning of showing goodness to my children (and my husband!), but by 8 AM I’m almost deflated some days (by 8 AM!) I do think it’s so good to hear that we all feel worn out by it, but I know not one of us would change a single thing.

    Thanks for your sweet encouragement . . . misery really does love company (even if it’s happy misery!) 🙂

  9. Donna Wilson Smith says

    Just breathe ladies! We all can relate..
    I get depressed at times as well. Yet we are blessed
    even tho we struggle in different ways!
    Thank you for sharing, perfect timing.
    We are down sizing, packing to get ready to moveg along with
    this mess to deal with.
    Yes we are blessed, thank you Lord..

  10. Susan in Hav. says

    As I read this post I can’t help but think of how much I miss that craziness.. My boys are now 21 and 24 years old. This too shall pass! Enjoy every day of it and know that ever day that goes by is one less day you have with each one of your children. You turn around and that time is gone forever. You moms know this…just a reminder!

  11. Connie C. says

    Love your breath of refreshing honesty – thanks for sharing!!
    I had to laugh about the shoes – we have three sons 18, 15, 15. We have a beautiful 3 shelve piece a friend made to put their shoes on. Where do they leave them? ON THE FLOOR IN FRONT OF IT. Oh, gosh, it makes me crazy. Once I took all their shoes and threw them into the middle of the garage. Not my best parenting moment, but gosh it felt good at the time! 🙂
    Like OP said, this too shall pass.

    • Thank you Connie for sharing that I’m not the only one, and goodness, I love the idea of putting them on the garage floor (ha!) 🙂 I might try that one….

  12. Marcia W. says

    A very wise woman told me once that as you are picking up those shoes, say a prayer to the one who wears them. Use the clutter as a reminder of those that you love and to lift them to the Lord.

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