Friday, August 26, 2011
Great School Days and Messes
Have you ever just stood in the middle of your home and wondered how in the world did this place get so messy?
I have...and all too often. I like neat and tidy. I like clean and organized. But, we do happen to have people, little people in particular, living here! And with little people, come big messes.
The other day, I walked into our front room, which is our primary schooling area, and where we had been all morning. As if completely surprised by how it happened, I thought to myself, "This place is a WRECK!" I glanced around and took inventory of the things strewn about. There were school books, binders, papers, and crayons covering the table. Some of the crayons had fallen off the table onto the floor. There were Tinker Toys, Wood Blocks, fun books, and other toys everywhere. There were several baby blankets, floor mats, and baby "things" thrown in there for good measure. And in the neighboring kitchen, flour covered the counter tops, with a light dusting on the floor. In the middle of all this mess, were my children.
After processing the disaster area before me, suddenly, this thought plagued me. What if someone were to show up unexpectedly.....RIGHT NOW? What would they think?
It occurred to me that this mess.....the books, the crayons, the blocks, the toys, the baby things, the flour in the kitchen....meant life. Our life! This "mess" was the symbol of a great school day in our home. A day where learning and fun took priority over tidiness and pride. What was there to be ashamed of? That we actually use our materials? That our children actually play with their toys...and read their books?
So once I came to my senses, I knew exactly what I'd say to the one who just might show up on our doorstep and see our mess....
I'd say that real life was happening in our home..and that the things God has provided were being used.
I'd say that relationships were being strengthened because the younger boys worked together to build the highest. tower. ever. with those wood blocks.
I'd say learning flourished and brains were stimulated because all those books were being consumed, and those math cubes were being counted.
I'd say that creativity was encouraged by the use of all those crayons.
I'd say that toys cluttered the floors because they were being enjoyed by the little ones who were happily entertained while mom taught the older ones.
I'd say imagination was inspired as the Tinker toys found their way into the shapes of space ships, vehicles, and grocery carts.
I'd say that all that flour in the kitchen revealed skill being sharpened as my older daughter baked her homemade pie.
I'd say that servanthood was exemplified as my younger daughter played with the baby on those blankets and baby things which littered the floor.
Yes...a mess, indeed.
A wonderful mess that proved life was happening in our home, where life should be happening. Joyfully.
Like any other mom, I appreciate and enjoy a clean home. Just as there is a time for learning and play, there is a time to clean up. And when the time came, and the schooling was done, team work prevailed as we all pitched in to put things back together.
Moms, whether you home school or not, have one little one or five, don't be discouraged over the wonderful proclamations of life being actively lived out in your home. There will be a time for cleaning up, but until then....relax....press on with the task to which God has called you....and smile....knowing that good things are happening in the midst of the chaos. Things much more important than a perfectly tidy home at every waking moment.
Yes...this is my idea of a GREAT school day.