As I write this, my linen closet won’t shut because the blankets and sheets are strewn in the doorway and down the hall. Why? Because my toddler likes to play on the shelves where he climbs up and squeezes himself onto them to play. Yesterday, he dumped oats all over the kitchen floor and distributed water all over his bathroom. And you want to know something? I sometimes clean these messes up when I find them (like the bathroom so nobody slipped and fell), but I sometimes leave them for later because I’m too tired to deal with them right then.
Before T died, I would do this mad scramble before he got home and tell the kids to pick up the common areas of the house so he didn’t trip on a toy as he walked in the door from work. I still make them pick up each morning, but I’m not nearly as concerned about having a clean house as I used to be, and that’s OK.
My days are busy running kids to appointments, practices, and activities. In between, I have to pay bills, meal plan, homeschool, cook, and do laundry. Life feels chaotic at best, and overwhelming at worst. I had a very structured routine and orderly life that was taken from me with the news that he was gone. When we’re trying to do the jobs of two people plus grieving, is it any wonder that our days seem cluttered and chaotic?
So what’s the solution? We embrace the clutter and chaos. It may seem crazy to embrace the very thing that reminds us time and time again that our lives are different now, but in doing so, we may find precisely what our soul needs. The clutter and chaos mean we’re still going. It means we’ve survived. Life is messy, but the clutter and chaos can serve as a reminder that we are honoring our husbands and our Lord by continuing to put one foot in front of the other. We give and give and give of ourselves so that our children can have as normal of a childhood as possible, and that is something to be embraced and applauded, despite the chaos.
Today, instead of feeling guilty or discouraged because of the clutter and chaos, feel encouraged. Smile. Embrace it, because as we know, life is short. The clutter and chaos mean we’re still alive, and that’s something to celebrate. Here’s a toast to us – those of us who are fighting the good fight and still going, despite the pain.