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#FiveMinuteFridays Mess

It's evening Friday and sunshine is spilling all its warmth over my shoulders ...as I sit. Finally. really sit for the first time since the day roller coastered out of morning gates...
I am shoulder soaking in May glory warming my back as I join Lisa Jo Baker's Five Minute Fridays at www.lisajobaker.com
and the word prompt is Mess


If I could have picked a word that described today ...I couldn't have described it better as that four letter summary...MESS...

I woke up in a funk after a baby that was up in the darkest hours of the night...we watched late night tv and ate cookies and read books about the Big Bad Wolf on repeat....
So I woke up messy...sleep deprived messy and gearing up for a day with an extra girl...our four year old niece who is energy painted with sunshine and laughter....

I had lots of things planned for the day...several ideas I had for 'craft time'....those pauses in a long day that cause a hush to fall momentarily and everyone to focus on the creative work of making their own little masterpieces...

We had seeds to plant and topsoil to pour into pots....I had to rescue the baby who was trying to eat the dirt and help morning glory seeds find their rightful places into plastic pots...I put out fires about who got to plant Basil and who got to submerge cilantro into the dirt with chubby fingers pressing the earth and then flooding the pots with a little too much water...it was a mess...
An earthy, dirty fingernailed mess....with all of the packets of empty seed packets to find afterwards...
It was worth it...whether the seeds poke through the soil or not....

We had felt animals to bedazzle with googly eyes pom pons and bright ribbons...
There were fights over glue sticks and dried Elmers all over arms... and one Chick whose bonnet just would not stay...I swept up googled eyes and felt snippets off the cracks in the floor and scraped dried glue off the table...it was worth it....

We did pudding painting...which halfway into this ordeal that is only described as a Mess, I definitely second guessed it.... all three girls got different bowls and all had different methods...
Oldest girl had butterscotch and lemon and finally decided to plunge her hands in...middle little wouldn't touch the strawberry cream that she whipped up and would only splatter it onto her papers with her whisk...."It's my strawberry sunset" she named it proudly...
Cousin approached the painting with all the abandon that is her...totally into it...not holding back...being apart of all of it...mixing her pistachio with her vanilla and then dumping an entire package of chocolate together and making her "mudslide"...she covered her hands in the muddy pudding and licked it off in sticky globs, laughing the whole time and slathering it all over the paper....
the clean up for this one was a little more time consuming....basically it was cleaning up Cousin and trying to wipe all of the Pistachio out of her nose and off of her chin, out of her nails...
It was worth it, for her to laugh as she watched the pudding wash off into the sink, "I could do whatever I wanted."  she was happy...she was a mess and it was okay...it was more than okay ...it was the goal... an all your senses involved sloppy mess to play in....







Lastly we spent at least half an our rubbing crayons all over a canvas....traces of little hands...scribbled hearts and just a myriad of colors all blending together...and all that wild delight as each person held the hair dryer over the canvas and watched all the crayons merge into a messy water color of sorts...
it was worth it...it held their attention and they would squeal over holding the hair dryer themselves and how many turns they were going to get to melt the wax and smell that terrible smell that had them all holding their noses...


They day is almost over and this house is somewhat emerging out of the messy status that was its home all day...
i've done some sweeping and finally scraped all of the lemon pudding out of the bowls...
You know what? our mess was a mess, but it sure was a fun mess for them...

Motherhood is in part about your ability to live in a daily mess and be chill with it...
All of these things you once did with efficiency....like cook dinner without someone hanging onto your legs and asking to dump in the spices, all of the battles you wage on clutter but the toys keep on coming...all of the times you sweep and mop and get repeating patterns within the hour...all the messy diapers...all the bathwater...all the sippy cup spills...its a beautiful mess...customized to de-perfect you....
Its that perfection illusion we all seem to have after watching HGTV or going to an old lady's perfectly clean home...that in order to have a great home it must be absent of the mess...
I know I thought it...
When I quit work after my second baby to 'stay at home' I thought of how clean i was going to keep everything, the amazing meals I would cook and how I would be on top and in control of all of this...
And I now laugh....
Whatever gives anyone the notion that a beautiful life can live outside of the mess is far from reality....
that a comfortable life giving home can be found apart from dirty mixing bowls, brillo pads, full trash cans, overflowing laundry baskets, and soap scum....
I truly used to feel like I had somehow failed...thinking about all of the things I seemingly wasn't able to do within in my own home...and now I know the real fail would be not allowing the people within my home to live happy there 
One day I had a neighbor tell my about her mom...how she had everything neat always...and that she weekly scrubbed down the walls and washed all the curtains (what?) anyways I knew this lady and her mom weren't close...And I knew why....she was too worried with the mess to enjoy those creating the mess.
While she was mopping up floors she was missing out on mopping up heart spills, catching tears, laughing silly over messy pudding or just being a woman relaxed and comfortable within the chaos of childhood...
I don't want to be that woman and I see parts of her rise within me when I say things like "Pick up this junk!" to two people who look at me in  utter horror that I decry any little pony or tea party set as junk...And I know its not junk...its theirs
Motherhood makes us know the truth of Jesus' words to the Pharisees...that you can't just wash the outer parts and leave the indsides filthy...that in fact some of the cleanest outsides are filled with the worst insides...kind of like people...kind of like some homes I've been in...
Motherhood calls you to be okay with a mess...to let go of the control of having to have everything go your own way...to say yes so you can bless another little person...
Motherhood makes you know that cleanliness isn't next to Godliness in the physical sense...a Clean heart doesn't come wrapped in sterile hands, but messy life dirty hands....in the thick of love 
now I'm all for clean toilets and lemon pine sol floors, and clean dishes...But life will mess them up and its okay that it does...i'm sure glad messes were the theme of this day....

Comments

  1. Wow. This is so profound. I am not a mother, but I have seen that those who are willing to live in and find beauty in the mess of mothering seem to be the most content, the most able to live in the moments, as best they can, fully present. What a beautiful mom you are... and what a truly beautiful gift you are giving to your kiddos by valuing and nurturing this kind of environment for them to grow.

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  2. Nicely written, Somer :) I enjoyed your craft as much as I enjoyed the message you delivered.

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    Replies
    1. why thank you Ms. Kessler and I mean that....if i write well its because of you wink wink

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  3. O. My. Gosh. I needed to hear this today in the worst {and best!} way. I love how you described the old days- pre mommyhood when we could cook a meal undisturbed. And letting the mess be there for the joys that the little ones have making it. Wow. Love your writing, your way with words, and your heart!

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  4. I'm so glad you visited my FMF post so I would find your. There is so much to celebrate in what you've written! I'm a mom of five, aged 24 down to 10, and I saw myself in your description of life with little ones. As a word of encouragement to stay the course, I'll tell you that when those messy, beautiful, curious tiny people grow into messy, beautiful, courageous teenagers, they'll bring their friends to YOUR house for comfort, affirmation, support, laughter, and probably lots of food - though by the teen years they may even bring their own food (sometimes). That's because YOUR house will be a safe place simply to BE and to be be loved. Many blessings to you!

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Five Minute Fridays
Morning

Morning seems sacred to me.  Having nocturnal children kind of robs me of the mornings I like to enjoy in silence and quiet thought.
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Morning breaks the night.
I love that Cat Steven's hymn Morning has Broken.  I've always thought the words were so beautiful.
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