Recently, I was on the phone making plans to go visit a friend, and she said something along the lines of “just overlook the chaos and the mess”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or said a statement such as that.
All too often feelings of guilt well up inside, if our house is not “picture perfect” and we make apologetic comments for our well-loved homes that house a busy and engaged family.
This started me thinking.
What do people see when they come to my house?
Do they really see the dirt and chaos that stands out so blatantly to me?
What do I want them to see?
Here are my thoughts!
When you come to my house…
*You’ll notice a myriad of vehicles, which are in various states of use and usefulness. It may seem like a lot of vehicles, trailers, and equipment to have around the yard, but each one has its place and serves a purpose. Many are integral in making our agricultural lifestyle work.
*You’ll see a flower bed and garden both of which probably contain more weeds then flowers or veggies depending on the time of year. The veggies and flowers fill our freezer and brighten our day, but the struggle to balance all the items on the to-do list often means leaving some things undone.
*You’ll be met by an overly-friendly, jumping with excitement, yellow lab that always shares her unconditional love with those she meets. She’s never met an enemy unless it’s a wild animal that gets too close to the house. If you consider yourself one of these creatures you’re in trouble! If not, and you are in need of extra joy and kisses, consider yourself in the right place!
*You’ll notice, after being welcomed into our entryway, boots covered in mud and other organic matter. They should be on the rack behind the door, but I can’t promise anything. Because most often they are thrown off in haste by their wearers as they come into the house with the anticipation of being greeted with love and admiration, a warm and inviting meal, and comfortable chairs to sink into and enjoying some family time.
*You’ll notice on our entry coat rack, that was crafted with love and care, there are a multitude of ball caps from various farming entities that have been worn, sweated in, and worn out by a hard-working, family loving, usually exhausted, traditional, loyal and faithful husband and father. You’ll also find different bags for different occasions. A bag for a job in town that makes a bit of extra money, so that money isn’t as tight and insurance can be paid for. A couple of different bags filled with a variety of toys, with an extra pair of underwear and pants, and wipes for that urgent should have been a “quick trip”. These different bags are a necessity when our girls need to entertain themselves in the back seat of a pick up or in the sleeper of the semi, while mom and dad work cows, run the combine, empty trucks, haul hay, or whatever other farm task needs to be done.
*You will notice that there are stains on our kitchen carpet. Some of those stains were made by our budding artists whose canvas cannot always contain their creativity. Some stains have been created by eggs and other food that have been dropped by little hands in their attempt to help cook meals. The other stains, I don’t have a clue where they came from, but they’ve earned their place too.
*You’ll probably have to step over toys. A favorite animal, the latest beaded necklace project, dress-up outfits, and puzzle pieces. These tell a story too. The story of development, joy, and the growing pains of learning to share and play nicely with a sibling.
*You’ll probably see several well-intentioned, half-started projects. It isn’t from lack of trying or laziness, but of the overwhelming and unplanned for things that pop up and need to be completed right then and there. “Someday” is a word used frequently and this family has decided that the most important priorities are faith, family and farming. The perfect garden/playhouse shed, renovated room, and/or deck will wait!
When you come to my house you’ll see my family’s story.What do people see when they come to my house? Do they really see the dirt and chaos that stands out so blatantly to me? What do I want them to see?
A story full of hard work, determination, love and faith. I hope you’ll feel welcomed as a friend, part of the family, a sense of higher purpose, and an understanding of what really matters. So I hope you won’t mind the overly energetic, welcoming dog, the stains in the carpet, and the toys you have to step over. Because someday those things will fade, but what will last, will be the memories that we made and the friendship we shared!