"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Monday, November 15, 2010


If you come to my house today-

You will be greeted by a pile of clothes and other household items that are heaping on the living room couch, waiting to be bagged up and taken to Deseret Industries. As tired as I am off seeing this ever growing pile on my couch, it only means that we are fortunate enough to have plenty more than we need, and that we are in a position to give to someone who has less.

You will see a trail of coats and jackets that SHOULD be hanging in the entry coat closet. But our coat closets and coat racks are overflowing and there is no more room for anything else. I should probably add some to the DI pile.

You will find a shoe basket near the top of the stairs. Even though this basket is often times filled to the brim and it gets moved around (even though there is a rule to keep it where it belongs) it means that there are many feet in this family, twleve to be exact. We are blessed with several people in this family who all love each other.

You will find at least ten cups and glasses randomly sitting on benches or chairs or countertops or tables. Yes, they are supposed to make their way back to the sink. But it means we have a seemingly endless supply of crsytal clear drinking water that is consumed in abundance around here, and water is our drink of choice. (With the exception of The Chudda who thinks she can't survive without chocolate milk.)

You will see the sliding back door and notice the handprints and smudges all over it. This is what greets you when you come in through the deck. I try every day to keep it Windexed and clean, but little ones are always pressing their noses and grimy hands against it as they run back and forth from inside to outside. These are healthy children who live here. Healthy enough to run all day and never stop.

Depending on the time of day, you may find Cody's work bag and other work related items on the floor near the front door. I get aggrivated sometimes when I see it laying there, but how fortunate we are that he has a great job and is able to provide for our family. I get to stay home with our children everyday and watch them grow. And it's all because of the hard work and sacrifice that he makes for our family. His job provides us with the ability to take our children to the doctor anytime they need to go. His job puts food on the table and clothes on our backs.

You will notice that our ever shrinking kitchen table is covered in stains and scratches and scrapes. Many family dinners have been eaten around this table. Many art projects, school homework, bill paying, sewing projects, priceless conversations, and sugar cookie decorating have taken place here. I'll admit that I wish I had $1,000 to buy the dining set that I REALLY want. But for now, I wouldn't trade the memories that are represented by every imperfection at that table for all the money in the world.

You will find book after book covering the floor. Not any specific floor, but pretty much any surface that gets walked on in this house. We have an abundance of books and have never lacked for any. Our family cherishes reading and we are blessed to have so many wonderful books right at our fingertips. I can't count how many times a day a child finds me with a book in hand and says "Mommy, will you read this to me?" And then we stop and we curl up on the couch and before long each kid has joined us. And it never ends at just that one book.

You may trip over a laundry basket in your way. Or two, or three, or they may be lining the entire hallway. And they are usually filled to the brim with laundry waiting to be folded and put away. We never want for clothing around here. We always have plenty to wear and we are always more than warm during the winter months. And these clothes get washed in a washing machine and dried in a dryer. I have a set in my own home! Can you believe it? And they function perfectly. And if they ever STOP functiong, all I have to do is make a phone call and someone can come out and fix it (for a pretty penny of course, so good thing they have never broken!). Hot water runs through the washer. No boiling water and filling a wash tub to scrub clothes by hand.

You may look at me when I am not pregnant, or even when I am, and see that I have a lump here and a buldge there. Nothing sits on my body like it used to. But in place of the flawless twenty year old form that I once had, I now have stretch marks and scars and fat supplies that didn't exist before. And it's because my body is amazing and has carried babies and given them life. I have nurtured those babies and been capable of incredible things. And because of that, my body now droops. And I am okay with that. And I'm okay with the new gray hairs I find on a regular basis and the small lines that have started appearing around my eyes and mouth. I am in a phase of life that I simply love and I love every bit of "experience" that shows on my body.

You would see many large Costco quantity toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, wipes, and laundry soap jugs that didn’t quite make it to their destinations yet, and know that we are now in the two cart club when we go to the store.

You will find an upstairs family room that is often times covered in toys and messes and blankets and pillows. We gather there everyday and live our lives. That floor is met by knees when we say family prayers. The couch is crammed full of people as we have Family Home Evening on a Monday night, or watch a movie together on a Friday night. Kicthen chairs get dragged in there when we make forts out of blankets and clothes pins. We live in that room. The carpet may be stained in places and the room is rarely spotless as I would like, but it only means it is full of life.

You will see around every corner, in every room, in every knook and cranny, evidence that a family lives here. Messes and chaos only represent the six people who currently reside in this home, together in love. And a seventh will soon join the family and evidence of that makes my heart leap for joy. As much as I would love order and quiet and cleanliness in our home on a daily basis, I love the fact that my children are loud and playful and make messes because it means that they are healthy and happy and full or imagination and creativity. There is nothing in this world that I would trade that for.

As Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I am reminded of just how blessed we are. I am so thankful for all of the things in our lives, even the things that sometimes feel burdensome. I am thankful for a loving Father in Heaven who knows me and has blessed me with far more than I deserve. My heart is full.


Gina said...

You made me cry! Thanks for all the great reminders to be thankful for all that we have- as I have been tackling laundry all day. :)

Gina said...

You made me cry! Thanks for all the great reminders to be thankful for all that we have- as I have been tackling laundry all day. :)