Grateful for the messy things

The past couple of months have been full of a busy and new excitement.  It started with the birth of my first granddaughter Alayna Lynn and ended with my children being together in our home this past week. There will be a lull in activity now and a much quieter Christmas as four of my kids spend time with friends and in-laws. I choose to find joy in both the chaos and in the upcoming silence.

I am awake as usual in the wee hours while the only noise to be heard is the back and forth tick tock of two clocks in opposing rooms. My Christmas lights are warmly glowing and a fresh cup of coffee sits on the table in front of me.

I think of the past few weeks, the clutter, jumble and blessings of an imperfect household.  Diapers, pacifiers, dog hair and fingerprints on the glass slider. Games, cardboard boxes, loud voices and sunflower seeds in plastic cups on my country table. Toddlers playing, aunts and uncles happily carting them around and never a dull moment.

This Thanksgiving as usual everyone helped, wiped, picked up, washed dishes and held tiny hands. I tried to capture the chaos in photos but like the colors of a remarkable sunset, pictures pale in comparison to reality.


Just a few shorts years ago, a crumb, hair or stain would have sent our household into a different kind of chaos as an unruly fury seethed just below the surface. A neat, orderly and spotless home became a shining example to neighbors, friends and family.  Visitors asked repeatedly where the toys, mess and disorder of a large family were hidden.  A tiny piece of fuzz on the floor left behind by a recent sweeping was sure to elicit that look of anger and disgust, warning of a possible eruption.

No pets were allowed and in particular dogs. I adhered to these rules even when we moved back to the United States. He was nowhere to be seen but the grip of compliance still reigned and was far reaching.  I scurried around on his visits looking for any evidence of rules that I had not followed and strived to keep what had been considered order.

During this holiday things felt different, a soft and lovely energy dotted with joy, love and acceptance rang throughout our home.IMG_4712

At one point I stood, taking in the random messiness of the moment, feeling proud and full of a delight that could not be contained. My grandson toddled past with a piece of muffin in his hand, he shoved bits of cake into his mouth leaving tiny bits behind. I watched the crumbs gently fall to the floor and with a childlike rebellion I brushed them aside and under the couch!

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I relished every spill and crumpled tidbits on floors and counters. I sat on the couch, dotted with tiny crumbs and dog hair. Pillows were haphazardly placed on one end and a piece of cereal crunched under my slippers. There would be plenty of time to sweep, dust and polish, but for now I enjoyed this new feeling of absolute imperfection.


60 thoughts on “Grateful for the messy things

  1. For me, the gingerbread house has it … slightly wonky, bright, chaotic squitches of icing and filled with love. That is you, your family and your life and I give thanks that I know you and. send love across the ocean for a peaceful continuation of the holiday season xxxx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Such a beautiful post Lynn, life is messy and embracing the mess and chaos (when it’s good) is therapeutic. You have overcome so much and I am so proud of you, you continually inspire with your strength and love. Happy Holidays dear Lynn and your beautiful family.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is really wonderful to see, dear sister. You have a life, where there are space for imperfection, joy and happiness 😀
    You have such a kind and beautiful family and now you are able to enjoy all, also the mess. Much love to you ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Beautiful and memorable times you are together. The ogre is not there relax and enjoy yourself. I hope you are going to put this story and others with your feelings about the extension of his long reaching arm that still affects you. It shows a great deal of self improvement.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is so wonderful to see the change and how life is back. What a difference and how much happiness the chaos causes and how much it is enjoyed by everyone. Whatever was you are so blessed with what you have today. Sending you the biggest hugs, Lynn 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely happy photos, but I suspected there was an undertow and there it was, he still looms even when not physically there and it is wonderful to see you strong and confident in your rebelliousness. I am so happy for you. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  7. How wonderful Lynn! Learning to live again isn’t easy… grandchildren and children can go a long way in bringing our hearts back to what really matters! Your pictures captured so much love and joy! Lots of hugs!!!


  8. Oh Lynn, I couldn’t be more happier for you, to have had all the kids, parents, dog, muffin crumbs, laughter, giggling, hugs and the smell of food cooking around you….the warmth and love of a family….so happy for you….and look at you pushing crumbs under the couch…I love it…I can’t stop smiling when I look at the pictures….what a lovely, lovely holiday… ya sister….xxkat

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You have such a beautiful family and the new baby is so precious as are the boys! I’m so glad that you are able to let go of the “must have a perfectly clean house for my husband so he doesn’t get mad at me.” Thank goodness he’s not around anymore! You can enjoy your family completely stress free! I’m so very happy for you!! xoxoxxoxo


  10. Good for you! Your environment sounds just right for enjoying family, pets and their accompanying mess. I also thrive in the perfection of imperfection. I find it is harder to live up to now that I live alone and not much mess accumulates. Thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lynn, so many great times are full of messy, crazy, and noisy moments!! 💞
    You have had this for several years but finally, you have the “piece de resistance” of grandbabies! They are the cherries 🍒 on top, the best part of getting far away from pressure and controlling behavior! You deserve this, my dear Lynn. ❤


  12. You are such a gifted writer and storyteller, Lynn. Your suffering has given you such wisdom and the ability to celebrate warmth, joy, and connections. Your courage, strength and determination are transforming pain into beauty. You have earned the right to messy joy and it has been your courageous choice to share it to touch the lives of so many others. Thank you.

    I’m reminded of a quote that a friend shared on my blog recently: “What is to give light must endure burning.” (Viktor E. Frankl). ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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