“’Just leave it all, sweetie. Leave the mess. I love having the mess around me because it means you all were around us today. In fact, I may even leave it until tomorrow just so it feels like a piece of each of you is still here.’
What an incredible perspective.
A grandmother’s point of view with an empty nest.
And a mother’s point of view with a full one.
The moment kind of took my breath away.
And filled my heart with such a bittersweet reminder.
Just how often I hustle and bustle to pick up our home’s messes. Just how often I get after our little ones to ‘please’ straighten up. Just how often I sigh and quietly grumble under my breath. Just how often I wish for even just ten minutes of a straightened home.
A few years ago, I read an article that both broke my heart and simultaneously pieced it back together with the most bittersweet reminder. The story was about a mother who lost her daughter at a young age. The first Christmas rolled around without her daughter. As she sat on the living room floor wrapping presents amidst the chaos of her children and dog leaving messes with every step they took…she took a deep breath and swallowed her greatest wish of all, caught in her throat, as tears welled in her eyes.
What this mother wouldn’t give to have her daughter back with their family, making messes everywhere. Stepping over her gift-wrapping station. Leaving cookie crumbs across the kitchen counter. Spilling her milk onto the floor. What she wouldn’t give to have her daughter and all her messes back in their home again.
The words of the article never left my heart. I have tried with all my heart, even in the deepest, messiest trenches of motherhood, to be thankful. To praise God for the beauty of such a wonderfully chaotic life, right before my very eyes. Fresh within my worn hands. Overflowing my undeserving heart.
Watching my parents lose my little brother at such a young age taught me to never, ever take life for granted. And so, I learned to continuously thank God above every single day for these beautiful messes.
Yet, in the hectic-ness of motherhood, we can still lose sight. Our huffs and groans tend to overpower our thankfulness. Our exhaustion and weariness tend to trump our gratitude. We plea for clean and tidy, all while forgetting what the messes truly mean.
But then, God?
He just has this incredibly remarkable way of quietly whispering into our overworked hearts and souls just when we least expect it, and so very often, just when we need it the most.
And this weekend, He did just that. Through the gentlest, kindest voice on Earth: a grandma’s full heart after spending the day with her grandchildren, especially in the midst of such unprecedented times.
‘Just leave it all, sweetie. Leave the mess. I love having the mess around me because it means you all were around us today. In fact, I may even leave it until tomorrow just so it feels like a piece of each of you is still here.’
Sometimes those messes feel like they will simply break you.
But the real truth?
Those messes are actually what absolutely make you and keep you whole and complete.
Because with the messes come the greatest blessings of all.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Elizabeth Spenner of Gracefully Woven. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories and YouTube for our best videos.
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