Gratefulness: April Link Up

Today, I'm linking up with Renee over at Mulling Over My Morning Coffee, and this month's word is GRATEFULNESS. Check out her blog and join in on her monthly link up. :-)

Mulling Over My Morning Coffee

For the last couple of weeks, things have just seemed overwhelming. I've recently entered my third trimester of pregnancy and I just can't seem to keep up the energy to keep my stuff together. Like cleaning. I like a clean home...who doesn't? But lately, it has seemed as though as soon as one room was cleaned, another one somehow turned into a wreck. Perfect example-- a couple of weeks ago, my husband and I started our spring cleaning purge. We cleaned out our room and closet which has been wonderful to minimize our things. However, our living room turned into a "Goodwill or Trash" sorting zone. As soon as we got our living room in order, it seemed as though the kitchen started over-piling with dishes since we were so busy purging. We finally got things under control, but we still have a couple of rooms to purge through. It seems to be a never-ending cycle that becomes more and more frustrating as we continue to cycle through the rooms.

Not to mention, we have a curious toddler who likes to take items out of bins and shelves just after we've cleaned up. She's at the age where she is curious about everything and wants to touch all her toys and take them all out. She's still learning the whole "put this back" and yes, she's kind of getting the hang of it. However, there are some days where it's just not sticking. Some nights we'll try to "teach" her to put her toys back, but she either wants nothing to do with it or she'll just take out what she's put back in the bin. Again, since she's not yet two, we are constantly cleaning up after her, and to be honest, some days, the constant cleaning up after is just overwhelming and frustrating.

Then, there are days like today where my afternoon consisted of wrangling a toddler who didn't want to listen and trying to handle two obnoxious and barking dogs who were also begging for my attention. Not to mention, my husband came down with a terribly nasty cold and was trying to rest to get better, and he is our family dog whisperer. With all the noise and mess everyone was making, I was the world's most okayest mom, wife, and dog-mom this afternoon. While patience is a virtue, I struggled hard this afternoon.

Anyone else ever days or moments like these?

The dogs eventually stopped their shenanigans and went to their beds to sleep. My daughter stopped fighting me and let me feed her dinner. (PS: who knew that trying to get a toddler to sit down is like wrestling with a baby crocodile?!) Everyone finally settled down and my home was once again peaceful. But again, my once clean living room had again turned into a toddler/puppy tornado disaster zone. Ironically enough, a friend who is expecting her first baby texted me asking about life as a new momma and the changes that may occur. After I texted her back, I looked up to see the mess my toddler made in the living room. And it hit me. 

I am grateful for the mess in my living room. 

Grateful for the Raggedy Ann doll laying on the floor.

...For the books strewn all about. 

...For the random Cheerios on the carpet.

...For the piano bench pulled out and for the sippy cup just sitting there.

...For the multitude of stuffed animals haphazardly placed. 

...For the tiny pink clothes tossed all over the couch.

Why? 

Because it all means one thing. My little tornado of a toddler made the mess. My little girl is happy. She's healthy. She's growing. She's learning. She's loving. She's a beautiful little growing toddler who is the ray or sunshine and is such a blessing in my life.

This mess in the living room is nothing to be frustrated over. It's nothing to be ashamed over. It just means that there is SO much love and joy that goes on in that little area. It means that there are memories being made. It means that a little life is growing up and soon that mess may be no more. Because bigger "messes" of life will start to flood our way.

Bigger messes like handling conflict with friends, losing a game or losing at sports, heartbreak by a friend or boyfriend, conflict with authority, struggles with homework, challenges with loneliness or bullying, struggles with change, handling loss and much more that life will throw our way as the years go by.

All of a sudden, our messy living room didn't seem like such a big deal anymore. To be honest, I decided not to clean up the living room, at least not at that moment, because I needed the reminder to be grateful for the mess.