Messes

Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)

The Campbell Kiddos

It’s funny…

I’m really not OK with messes. But, I have kids. Several.

(And they are all really good at making messes!)

Sometimes—after I am able to calm myself down a bit—it makes me smile just to think what a sense of humor God has. He, being all-knowing, must know that I am fairly particular about the environment around me (clutter, noise, odors, textures… you name it!) and yet, I am father to six (beautifully messy) children.

The eight of us reside together in a relatively small home: three bedrooms and one bathroom. (Yes, we have just one bathroom.) Two oldest boys in one bedroom (with lots of other “stuff”), four youngest kids in the other room (with even more “stuff”) and Mom & Dad in the last room, with the rest of the “stuff”.

My wife is an amazing organizer. She loves to do it, too. People seek her advice and assistance when they want to organize things in their lives. And still, we never can seem to keep up. Piles dominate our living space (if we’re lucky enough to have things stacked neatly) and the moments when our floors, counters, tables, and even chairs and couches are not cluttered with various elements of material life are so rare that they are hardly worth mentioning!

Even more humorous, if you go back a generation, my mother-in-law is just amazingly disorganized in her spacial environments. I can’t even describe to you here how impossible it is to navigate her various domains. So, as my father-in-law says, Jen “comes by it honestly”. 🙂

So I have a wife who has a heritage of spacial disorder, and six children who don’t know how to put clothes or toys or books or anything back where it belongs…

This doesn’t seem quite right, does it?

But it is. I am in the right place. God knows me, and he wanted me—particular, obsessive, over-sensitive ME—to be husband and father to these people named Campbell.

I can’t help but laugh as I ponder these things!

So I can walk into the bathroom and find the towels strewn across the floor, bath toys damp from the previous night’s baths and showers, toothpaste over most parts of our small sink, and—more often than not—the toilet holding something that someone forgot to flush. Many times my natural, involuntary reaction is to clench up—OK, probably every time!—but usually I am able to calmly put things back the way I want them to be.

And sometimes, I’m even able to be thankful.

Recently, as I pushed aside soggy toys to get to my toothbrush, I thought, I’m glad for all these teeth to brush. I’m glad for a sink with cold, running water. I’m glad. I took effort, but the corners of my mouth lifted with a smile from deep within me.

Thankfully I do have one space that is somewhat spatially serene. My office is my “sanctuary” because, for the most part, I can keep that relatively organized and clutter-free. It’s a sure sign that I’m overly busy when you see piles or “mess” in my office space.

I really, really, really don’t like messes. Really. I almost can’t handle them.

But I am a blessed man. Surrounded by six children, and a wife who loves me.

Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!

Psalm 127:3-5

Someday I may have a living space free of clutter. (Though, with Jen’s heritage…) 🙂

But now, even in the midst of the piles of clothes and toys, the sticky surfaces, the dirty dishes and forgotten food behind furniture, the mud, bathroom messes, and everything else—I have an abundant blessing that is worth the messes.

And for me, that’s really saying something!

May your life be full of messes, too.

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