November 8, 2012

Please Excuse the Mess...

I have a sign hanging in my family that says this:

Please excuse the mess.  The children are making memories.

It doesn't make much sense when people come over, because when I have company, I pretend that we are tidy people.  In reality, we live in squalor... which is why my friend, Sam, thought of me when she saw this sign.  It was the sweetest, most offensive gift I ever got.

You see, for about three years now, Sam and I have met almost every Friday morning at the world's worst diner to do our Bible study together.  It is a time where we ask for accountability, we give unsolicited advice, we verbally abuse challenge each to grow in areas where we are struggling, and we confess how poorly we keep house.  Okay, she keeps her house pretty tidy... but, in my defense, I have twice as many walkers making a mess, so I blame the tiny toddling disaster-people.  Soon, my kids will be older and more responsible and her non-walking baby will start walking, and will make the place an absolute pig sty.  I look forward to the day I can smugly pass that sign back to her.

But, for now... it really belongs where it's at.

Day 8: I am thankful for my home.

I want to say that I am thankful for my home because I am a domestic goddess that keeps it sparkling at all time, after all I have a magic eraser in a holster alongside a toothbrush meant just for scrubbing.  Sadly, this would not be an accurate picture of me, or my home.  I won't say that it is a dump or anything, it is just so constantly lived in, that I can't stay on top of it.  I once took the time to figure out how much money I would make if I was actually being paid to do all of the things I do as a mom.  I could definitely afford a cabana boy housekeeper if I made just a little something for each monotonous task.

Well, until that happens, I am in charge of my home... so it isn't perfect.  So, instead of feeling thankful for my home just when every surface is completely free of calendars, art projects, yearbook order forms, and grocery lists... I am going to focus on being thankful for my house, just as it is.

I mean, deep down, don't we all want to be loved for who we are, just the way we are??  My house is old and lovely and she has kept us warm and safe for six full years now!  Doesn't she deserve a little unconditional love??  So, I am thankful for my home.  Clean or messy, quiet or chaotic... I am just thankful for it.

I love that our old heaters tick and bang.  I love that our house is very tall.  I love that we have brought two of our babies home to this house.  I absolutely love my bedroom.  I love it.  It is a cross between a rugged cabin and a bed and breakfast... and it makes me happy.

More than anything though, it is just the venue in which much of my life takes place.  So, I could honestly take it or leave it.  It's just the shell.  I am thankful for it, but I am not the type of person who gets really attached to objects.  I would love to move, again and again, and never stay in one place.  I am thankful that we have a home, but I am mostly thankful that it is filled with kids and noise and so many memories... and I am even thankful for the mess.

Okay, now I am just lying.

*note: the actual mess featured below the sign!

Here is what I am hoping you will do... have someone over to your home without cleaning up first.  Let them see the squalor in which you live, and let them love you in spite of it.  (They will judge you silently, and buy you a sign if it's really that bad.)  If your house is impeccable, then be thankful that you do not live within a stone's throw of me... because I would constantly be throwing stones at your and your stupid cleanliness.


  1. I have hosted more people than I can count in the past 3 weeks since bringing Birdy home. And girl...squalor doesn't even begin to describe it. It is full on hoarders over here. And that's just the way it's going to be for a while. It has to. I'm actually ok with it! For now. Because I kinda have to be!
    ps- I need that sign!

  2. Lara,
    I'm Matt Gavenda's wife, he and Tom were friends in high school. I just wanted to comment on one of your posts since I've been recently internet stalking your blog.

    He works from home as well and I have a toddler who is, I'm sure, as much work as 2 average toddlers. We also have a newborn. I'm terrified of someone coming to our door right now- I'm skim coating the dining room walls- and our house is a PIT. Even my very patient husband mentioned the "situation" in our kitchen. It isn't always THIS bad but it is always cluttered. We are here too much to keep it clean... Just wanted to say I feel ya!

  3. Awww, i loved this same home for many years! :)