Everyday in the Gaffner home there is an endless supply of pop tart crumbs, scattered toys, crocodile tears, and tantrums, oh the tantrums. Some days are more exciting than others. A few times a week when my day comes to an end I sigh the sigh of the weary and worn. Being a mommy is exhausting. Maybe this mommy wouldn't be so exhausted if I wasn't also so obsessive about mess. I am not sure when I became this way but all I know is that dirt on floors and crumbs on tables are my worst nightmares. Toys strewn from one side of the house to the other increases anxiety and though I try my best to just relax and let the kids "just be" for awhile, I always end up cleaning. And with my crew that means that I clean several times day. I burn out vacuums and destroy brooms with my compulsions. No, I do not think I have a clinical problem... just a neatness problem.
Well this week was an especially busy week in the Gaffner house. We had church meetings, PTO meetings, Christmas concerts, candy caning (look for another post on that), and all the stuff in between. Michael had a few days off during the week which I used to my advantage attempting to get church work accomplished. It was just overall a crazy Gaffner week. I imagine everyone will have a week or two like that around the Holidays.
The week ended on Friday, a Friday with nothing to do and nowhere to be. I was so ecstatic about the prospect of just chilling in my jammies. And so chill, I tried. My boys were equally as excited when they awoke on Friday morning to find their best buddy Jaydin with us for the day. Jaydin is my good friend Teresa's youngest child, who is exactly a year younger than Dean. They are great together and having an extra little dude during the day is like a walk in the park for me. They play and play and play some more.
Yesterday they were happily pulling every toy in the playroom out of its box and container when they asked me if they could go play upstairs. I relented and as they played upstairs, I cleaned their mess in the playroom. All of a sudden I realized that they were exceptionally quiet upstairs. I stopped cleaning for a moment to listen and heard whispers. Whispers are a bad sign. Quiet is even worse.
I started to ascend the stairs to take a peek at what they were doing when I heard Dean exclaim, "QUICK put it down, she's coming". As I rounded the top stair, Dean and Jaydin were passing me to go back down. The bedroom was destroyed. The three little stooges had pulled every stuffed animal out of the toy box, scattered clean clothes and..... pulled out all Tyler's makeup. The bedroom smelled delicious and mysteriously like Bath and Body Works antibacterial soap and I could see the pieces of lip gloss and lip stick all over the floor and beds. As I gathered my wits and scanned the room, Christopher was making a beeline for the closet. Holding something in his hand, he ran for the kids clothes closet, and shut the door.
I stepped as softly through the mess towards the closet as was possible. Silence. I knocked on the closet door and said quietly, "Christopher are you in there?". There was a long pause and then a little voice said ".... No".
How could you not?
Sure the mess was horrendous. But at least it smelled good.
Sure I would be cleaning upstairs for the next 15 minutes.
But Christopher cracked me up and I laughed. A good laugh.
The kind of laugh that I think can only come from enjoying moments like that with my children.
Now I did punish the boys with a good "talking to". And when I opened the closet door, I had to pop Christopher's little hand to get him to hand me the lip gloss he was attempting to hide.
But I guess I laughed because I am the same way.
I mess up all the time.
I am not perfect (I know, I know... you are shocked to learn this).
But God loves me still.
I am not saying that God just laughs when I am disobedient. He certainly disciplines and he most definitely expects us to work hard at holiness.
But He also loves.
My children frustrate me when they disobey. They cause me more mess in one day than I am sure I could make on my own in a month. But even when they are up to no good, they are still mine. And they make me smile.
We all have something that we think we can hide from God. But He sees us every time.
Don't be ashamed to come out and show Him your mess.
He loves you.
He will clean you up and help you through whatever disaster you have created.
Don't hide in the closet with your sin and shame.
Besides, with Christopher in there... there's no room for you too. :)