Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Please Tell Me That Cleanliness Is NOT Next To Godliness

I looked, and the phrase "cleanliness is next to godliness" is not in the Bible.  And thank goodness it's not, because we would all be failing around here.  I don't know if it's because I have 2 very busy toddler boys right now, or because just about everyone is home for summer and seeming to be home more than usual, or because I've been busy caring for my mom, but my house has been quite the "mess pit" lately.  Now don't get me wrong, it's basically clean.  We still do our deep cleaning on Saturday, but it's just been "messy."  Here are some examples.......

An all too common sight in my pantry.  Patrick and Matthew have learned how to open the pantry door, and because they both seem to be hungry all the time, they are forever getting into the pantry making a mess. And then tracking food all over the house. I may have to get some sort of padlock!

So this is the usual mess in my living room, particularly if I've been gone for any length of time.  Now I must admit, that I've been pretty chill about it lately, but my 14 year old has turned into the "clean dictator."  He doesn't like messes and if he comes home and the living room or his room looks like this, then look out!  He has even openly rebuked the babysitter : )

For the summer, my 19 year old has moved back home and is staying in the guest room/school room.  Well, it's a good thing we are not doing school right now.  His room is pretty bad.  Not to discourage anyone who is a mom of boys, but the messiness factor doesn't seem to improve with least not mine anyway.  Hopefully it will when they get married.  Please share any tips!
My number one mess maker, Matthew, left me a hint the other day.  I went in my bathroom and found my husband's drawer completely emptied out into the sink.  Then I looked at my sink and my drawer had been completely emptied as well.  Nothing on the floor, all of the stuff in the sinks.  I guess he had fun doing it, but it was a hint to me to clean out our bathroom drawers.  And that's just what I did.  They needed a good wiping out and purging......thanks Matt : )

I like the verse that goes, "Where no oxen are the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox." Proverbs 14:4 
My husband did a post on mess and I'll quote him, because I think it's really good............
"People make a mess. Children make a mess. Houses with
 people and a lot of children make big messes. You can't have children around and have things clean, in order and in good repair for very long. While the words "disorder" or "mess" seem undesireable, within anything of beauty there remains an element of chaos (think nature). I'm learning (with difficulty) that when I look at a dirty kitchen or a messy garage, I'm looking at lives being lived, in all it's chaos with people I love."


  1. Oh I loved this post!! So true! Why do we feel so inferior to others with 2 or 3 kids when our houses are lived in and theirs always look spotless. This is a big deal to me, I find myself not very hospitable when things are not just so. Please call me first, but you are welcome anytime. I just need 10 minutes to hide the fact that I have 10 people living in this house:)
    My teenage boys room looks just like yours. When they run out of clothes they bring me the piles from their floor. I often wonder why I bother folding their clothes, as they rarely make it back into drawers and cupboards. I too have two little ones right now. An extra little foster girl who is almost 3 and our little Andrew who is 15 months. They are getting into everything, but they are content and happy:)
    Take care
    Thanks for posting real life!!

  2. Ha-ha...It does improve when they get married, because their virtuous wife keeps things tidy! I love the way your husband put it. We've said that around here many times over the years. Not that I never broke down and cried over continual the messes.

  3. Oh how I can relate. My mom is here right now and is cleaning for me - such a lovely thing. I now have time to play that game and get school work organized. Enjoy all those blessings!!


  4. Love this post! and that quote from your husband is just perfect, he says it just right. We have 3 kids now (one pre-teen) and the next time I'm about to flip my lid over a messy kitchen and random things through out the house, I am going to think about how they are living their lives and that this is chaos of love.:) Thank you for this post.

  5. Take heart! I am married to one of those "messy boys" that never seemed to learn... his room looked just like your picture when he lived at home. It really isn't that bad once they get married. We have worked at it together -gentle encouragement and grace on my part and increased responsibility and more observance on his. He is not as neat and orderly as I am but he has really learned to keep things mucht neater than his single days... especially since we have had kids. As long as I have a system for laundry and explain it to him he does pretty good at using it -the things a man'll do for love! :-) We just moved into a house with a laundry shoot and boy does he LOVE that! He says "it's like magic! I put my dirty clothes in that hole in the wall and they re-appear in my closet clean!" hehe! He also has grown into his manhood, realizing I am his wife not his mom and he can take care of his own dirty dishes, paper piles, etc. I think it's just easier for them to not worry about it before they marry, but like I said before... the things a man will do for love! :-)

  6. I was wondering (since you have a lot of experience) how you get your babies to sleep through the night. I think I read that you are not one to let them cry it out. I do not want to do that. Any tips? thanks!

    1. Yeah, I don't believe in letting babies "cry it out", at least not little ones. By the time they are about 9 months old and if I know they are tired, full and not sick, then I will let them cry for 15 min or so and they usually fall asleep. I don't really push my kids to sleep through the night until they are weaned (around 15-18 months) and then it just seems to happen naturally. Maybe they cry one night for a bit, but usually that's all. I don't mind getting up once in the night to nurse them before that. Maybe I'm strange that way, but I love the quiet time with them and the preciousness of it. Most people are up once at night going to the bathroom anyway : ) I just nurse them for about 10 minutes, keeping everything dark and quiet, put them back in their bed and we all go back to sleep. If they are waking-up more then once a night by the time they are 4-5 months old, then I would make sure nothing is bothering them and that they are getting enough calories during the day. Hope this helps.......blessings!

  7. Ha ha, your husband is right.
    So I wish you good luck, keeping your head up in this 'mess'. You'll survive.

    I do too, every school holiday, year in and year out.
    I think the kids and my husband like the mess.
    It seems not to bother them, it probably makes them feel more at home.

    So good luck.

  8. I have a black or white personality so learning to find peace in the mess of kids has been a challenge, but I'm learning. When I was first married and had a couple kids, I was able to have everything in it's place and my perfect little living space was wonderful. Then we had more kids, and more kids, and more kids...haha With each child came more mess and I was not able to keep up on house work, schooling them, and keeping myself sane. I often find myself scanning a room, taking a deep breath and reminding myself it doesn't have to get pick up this very moment. I know if there wasn't a mess around I would be sad as that would mean my kids are not living and enjoying life. I'll take the mess over unhappy kids or no kids at all. We are very blessed! Wonderful post!

  9. I can SO relate to this post. It is SO true that the more kids you have, the more messes there are around the house. But the more blessings as well. And I also am beginning to look at these messes and cherish them because I can see the the beauty of life in them.

    One thing that helps our family when we are on a regular schedule is having a time everyday for picking up. It gives me more peace too. I have every child clean their room at this time with each other, and then I assign them each an area of the house that they are in charge of picking up and putting back into order. I usually pair a little one with an older child to do this together. And then once a week, we do the really deep cleaning and try to touch it up during the week at this chore time. When this gets done daily, and I remain on a good schedule with this, it is really helpful!! And each area of the house remains in order. I also like to put this time in the later afternoon instead of the morning so that I do not have to worry about the kids making new messes during the day.

    I agree with Elizabeth, "I'll take the mess over unhappy kids or no kids at all." Kids are certainly a blessing.


Thanks so much for your comments! I love them and they keep me writing. I really do read each one.