When You’re Tired of Cleaning Up the Mess

Motherhood has surprised me.

I never imagined how much I would love to feel a tiny hand in mine, or how I would thrill when they want me—and only me.

I never realized how each child would bring a whole array of new experiences—new favorites, new skills, new firsts.

I never knew this level of dependence. How much their tiny selves require of me and how I can’t fathom my own life without them.

Of course, I also never knew how many outfits a baby could go through in a day. I never realized how many times a child can watch the same episode of Mickey Mouse without losing interest. I had no idea that my culinary skills would get such a regular workout—dicing hot dogs.

And I never anticipated that playing house would be so—repetitive.


I used to love to play house. I was the bossy mommy telling everyone what to do. (I was good at it!) But in real life, playing house gets old.

Didn’t I just wash this shirt?

Didn’t I just fold these towels?

Didn’t I just sweep this floor?

Didn’t I just unload/load this dishwasher?

Didn’t I just. . .

Some days, I don’t want to do it anymore. I want to put my feet up and pretend that someone else will take care of the mess. Because honestly, I’m tired of it. It’s not like it really matters. They’re just going to trash the place again. What’s the point?

My thoughts were running along those lines a few weeks ago as I ran the sweeper vac over the kitchen floor—again. But then my thoughts jumped to what I had read earlier that day.

I’d been hanging out with the prophets…Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea…and while there are some encouraging nuggets (Lamentations 3 anyone!) there is an awful lot of the same, repetitive story…

My people refuse to obey. They have chased after idols and made a mess of everything. I’m about to come up in here and clean house.


(Lynn’s paraphrase)

In that moment, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that God never gets tired of my mess! I run away. I worship idols of my own making as I search for my significance in the approval of others. I expect the people around me to meet my every need and then lose my temper when they don’t.

I blow it.

Again and again and again.

But when I stand before Him, dripping in failure, He never says, “Why should I forgive you when you’re just going to mess it up again. Probably within the hour.”

Instead, nail-scarred hands reach for me and my Savior says, “I’ve got this. I cleaned up this mess a long time ago.”

And I return to my day, dripping in grace.



Precious Savior, Thank you for your never failing supply of mercy and grace. 

Lynn Huggins Blackburn

Lynn Huggins Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children. Her first book, Covert Justice , releases June 2015. You can follow her real life happily ever after at Out of the Boat.

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