“… a time to keep and a time to throw away,” Ecclesiastes 3:6b (NIV)
Last week we had our computer doctor out to our house. Due to multiple circumstances, he hasn’t been here in about three years. A lot has changed in our lives, and his, since then. He has gotten married while my husband and I have entered into “teenage parenthood.”
I have to admit, I was slightly embarrassed to have him come over because our house is far from magazine perfect. Our house is very lived in. Very. Lived in.
In addition, it was December, so we had all our extra activities associated with getting ready for Christmas – and I was going on week three of bronchitis/asthma/feeling awful. I barely had energy to work my 25+ hours a week, let alone be a wife, mother and/or Suzy homemaker.
He had to come back a second time and finally by then, I addressed the elephant in the closet, as well as the sock sticking out from under the toy bin, the dust bunnies and laundry room sink overflowing with pop bottles, a reptile bathtub and outer snow gear that was “drying” for two weeks now.
To my statement of, “Please excuse our ‘very lived in’ house,” his gracious replay was, “I completely understand.” And I realized right then, he probably did. He was married with children. He knows that to live, things get messy. We could spend all our time cleaning and making things look picture perfect, or we could keep things tidy and sanitary; yet divide our time between cleaning and playing. Our family chooses, for this season, to balance between cleaning and playing.
When we were first married and even through when our kids were really little, our house was much neater. We had less stuff because we had less bodies to use less stuff and it was easier to keep it organized. I realize that the next time my husband and I will have “less stuff” will be when we have less bodies in the house and I’m not ready for that stage yet.
So, while I still like my counters cleaned off and a generally picked up house, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Some days are easier than others to ignore the mess and engage in a movie marathon, and other days it still gets to me. I’m trying to learn to savor these moments and the unique version of chaos that we have chosen for this season.
If you invite me over to your house, I promise I will help you celebrate your own version of chaos, if you have one.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017