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confessions of a messy house

December 2, 2011

Sometimes failure looks like a messy house.

Failure leers at me from the kitchen sink where dishes multiply with the voracity of an alley-full of un-spayed cats.

Failure jeers at me from the dining room table that is covered with everything from two-night’s-ago dinner crumbs to Bible study books to Christmas cards that I have every intention of getting in the mail sometime before April.

Failure snickers at me from my bedroom where my bed is piled high with maternity clothes waiting to be absorbed into the closet and a mattress which was generously baptized in cat urine during our beach-Thanksgiving hiatus.  What a lovely welcome home gift.  Big Friend and I are unceremoniously camping out on the floor of the vacant nursery while we decide what to do with the pee-logged mattress.

My perfectionist soul looks around my house in bewildered wonder and weeps.

My perfectionist soul makes list of all my friends who have it more together than I do.  The list is lengthy.  It includes…everyone.

And this is where a whisper of grace comes in.

Sometimes success looks like a messy house, the grace whispers.

…Because truth be told, my house looks like this because, when Little Friend is not sleeping, I’m pouring my minutes into her and neglecting the dirty dishes and cobwebs.  I’m wearing out the knees of my jeans on the floor with her pretending to submit to the doctor’s prolific shots, concoct blanket-pillow fortresses, and eat pieces of pretend cake that go down with an “Mmmmmmm.”

…Because if I had the perfect house of my soul’s dreams, I’d have a little girl playing in a corner by herself while I whisked around making everything look just as it should.

On days when I open the front door and sweep aside the pile of yesterday’s mail dumped on the boot tray and want to cringe from the failure that screams from every room I enter, I’m grateful that a whisper of grace can be louder and more insistent.

So excuse me while I go play with Little Friend and let the household duties take the backseat for awhile.  Later, when I’ve discovered how exactly to emulate Super Woman and have a lovely home and happy kid, I’ll invite you over for a playdate.

Then again, why hide?  Why not just come over today and get a glimpse of the failure/success of my life?  It’s not pretty.  But it’s real.   And it’s grace-filled.

This post is shared with The Gypsy Mama’s Five Minute Fridays.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2011 10:17 am

    I love it. When I read the very first line of your post I said… but sometimes success looks like a messy house! We may not have little friends and urinating felines… but we have finals and lots and lots and oh yeah, lots of textbooks 🙂 Enjoy the finer things in life, and I dont mean pristine homes with high end finishes… I mean your precious little girl 🙂

  2. December 2, 2011 11:02 am

    “So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep.
    I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.”

    Love, Grandmama

  3. December 2, 2011 12:32 pm

    Oh yes! I have this same ongoing conversation with my perfectionistic self, to keep fighting against it for the sake of my little friends. 🙂
    And your pic is so peaceful and lovely…

  4. December 2, 2011 2:45 pm

    🙂 Wonderful how you’ve come to terms with how I feel.
    Grace! We are exactly where we are supposed to be!

  5. December 2, 2011 4:46 pm

    Your kitchen sink and mine could be BFFs. I would rather play all evening with my kids and be too tired for dishes every day until Mom is “uncool” (you know it will happen one day, but they come back around later)

  6. December 2, 2011 8:51 pm

    This old adage will keep you in line… tell your potential visitors…. If you want to see my house, please make and appointment. If you want to come and see us, come anytime.

    You can never “buy back” the time you didn’t spend with “little or big friend”.

    The next time you leave for vacation, leave some worn clothes, (like dirty underwear) with your scent on them around your bedroom, on the bed,`in the bathroom, etc. Many times the cat will “mark” your bed because that has the strongest “scent” of where you were last. You can pick up your dirty laundry when you get home.

  7. Nancy permalink
    December 2, 2011 11:44 pm

    Grace is right. You are so smart to listen to grace and your heart. Little friend continues to benefit, bless and be blessed

  8. December 4, 2011 8:21 pm

    Thanks for this post! I, too, am a recovering perfectionist & I needed to hear this tonight!

  9. December 13, 2011 3:22 pm

    First of all, that’s a gorgeous pic. I’m such a perfectionist, too. Things get messy. Then if I know I don’t have time to clean it I simply…don’t. Because I know it won’t be perfect. It’s a messy cycle.

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