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I was chatting with our most advanced in years church member last week, her children are grown and gone, her husband died. I think I was complaining about how much I had to do and hadn't done yet that day.

And she looked at me and said, "Someday you'll be walking around your house looking for something to clean because nothing will be dirty."

I'm young, healthy, and so are my four beautiful kiddos. It's busy, it's messy, it's stressful...but does it have to be? I was reading over at Preschoolers and Peace a while back and something Kendra said really stuck with me: You shouldn't be so focused on the "HAVE TOs" but should instead embrace the "GET TOs": I get to teach my children to read and all about David Livingstone in Africa and how to write a good book report and how to count by tens to 100. I get to prepare delicious meals for them every day. I get to cuddle them all afternoon on the sofa with a good book or a good PBS kids show. I get to help them learn the skills it takes to run a home. I get to give them warm, positive memories of home. AM I?

I mean, what do I really want anyway? A house that has no evidence of children living it and a bunch of free time to myself? Doesn't the Bible say something about how young women should keep busy so they don't become troublesome gossips? (I need to find that verse, but I have a beautiful sleeping baby on my chest and a 5 year old eating eggos in my bed next to me...)

So my prayer this morning is that I will gratefully embrace the noise, the mess, and the busyness. I hope you can, too.


Very sweet. When my boys were 4 and 1, I needed some help overcoming depression. I will never forget my Christian counselor telling me "Do you really think your boys care if your house is clean?" They just wanted Mommy.

Unfortunately, even though they're old enough to clean themselves, they STILL don't care if the house is clean. :)

January 27, 2009 at 9:31 AM  

good reminder Julie!! Did you hear we're moving?

January 27, 2009 at 1:16 PM  


There is freedom in accepting, (even embracing) that you will not be in control of your life for a few years.

It flies start embracing! =)

January 27, 2009 at 3:41 PM  

What a great post! My babies are 13 and 15, and have always been homeschooled. I wish when they were younger I would have relaxed more about things. Now, I'm just enjoying what I can, because I know in a few years they'll be off on their own. Then, maybe, I'll clean the house. . .

January 27, 2009 at 5:19 PM  

And it's the way you share thoughts like these that keeps me coming back to your blog. Thanks

January 27, 2009 at 5:23 PM  

Oh, the quote from that older lady in your church will take your breath away. Wow! What a reminder!

January 29, 2009 at 7:07 PM  

i really needed to read this today. thanx for sharing.

January 30, 2009 at 8:08 PM  

Amen! I totally agree- what could be better. These are precious and formative years and we need to embrace them and be thankful for them. What a wonderful opportunity God has given us. Let us make the most of these years. May our children one day when they are older say that they had a mom who was a woman of prayer and had joy in the parenting journey.

January 31, 2009 at 2:34 PM  

My youngest last two/twins just entered college last fall and I really don't recall a lot of comments from them about a messy home. I am receiving phone calls of how much they miss their I say... Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow for babies grow up we have learned to our sorrow....quiet down cobwebs and dust got to sleep, I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep. Blessing on ya!

February 3, 2009 at 2:08 PM  

Though my kids aren't out of the house I can totally testify about how quickly those preschool years pass by! Life only speeds up; thanks for the reminder to enjoy and be grateful for this passing season...

February 7, 2009 at 4:26 PM  

I think you are absolutely right, but why is it so hard to think like this?

I've tried a million times, and time and again I catch myself thinking: 'This is hard' or 'this is boring work'.

I know I should be grateful, and I am, but sometimes it's hard to get the feeling...

March 27, 2009 at 9:02 AM  

Hi! Saw your site from Karen Campbell. I am also a PW. Your post was good. I wish I had not cared so much about my house being clean when my 2 boys were little. As long as the basic stuff is done, the rest of it will be there when you have time to clean. And the older lady's comment was right-on, too.

April 3, 2009 at 6:22 PM  

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