Saturday, October 23, 2010
Oh baby, baby, baby, baby Oh....
Mama Henley's house is many things, but it is not boring! Sadly I spent the triplets' first years beating myself up because I could not keep a perfect house. My friends were able to, but it just did not happen at my house. I put so much time and energy into trying to keep the house perfect until I realized that my house was not meant to be perfect. Its imperfections bring many blessings. For example, a friend recently said, "I hope you'll take this as a compliment, but I study beauty, and I think your house is really beautiful. But what I really like is that everything is not perfect. You can see your family's priorities." Through my years as a mother, I have evaluated my priorities many times. One summer I realized that keeping the children at home while I tried to clean the house was fruitless. Of course I can empty the dishwasher or run a load of laundry or even vacuum a room, but doing this for hours on end is not fair to the children. That summer I created Camp Mama Henley and we had great outings instead of being penned inside so that I could make everything perfect.
The above picture personifies life at Mama Henley's house. Our children are so creative. I love that about them. However, every where I turn are little "projects". Sometimes I lose my patience. Other times, I pray for God's grace to APPRECIATE the way their little minds are working. Recently I walked in our family room and saw paper spread out everywhere. "What in the world?", I asked. As I examined the room more closely, I realized that our Bug had made 20 pumpkins on paper and found 20 orange markers and 20 black crayons to go with the pumpkins. She had made a class craft for her invisible pupils. I let her leave it out overnight so that she could play again the next day. I had to let go of my need to have the room be aesthetically perfect and let her enjoy what she had created.
Our pastor has been so inspired by the Holy Spirit lately! His sermons have really pricked my heart. We've learned a lot about discontent, which is a sin I certainly have struggled with through the years. In fact, it was discontent that led me to clean house instead of enjoying my children on those summer days. Anyway, he pointed out that the reason we love magazines so much is because the images are PERFECT. Stylists take days or even weeks to assemble the rooms perfectly. There are no children or dogs to make a mess. There is not even a piece of paper out of place. The images are wonderful, but so often, we close that magazine and then sin against our family members by screaming at them for leaving a mess here or there. That really struck me. It is SO TRUE. I do it all of the time. Do you struggle with this?