Welcome to Our Mess

Welcome to Our Mess

You’re reading a God–Sized Dreams post. Each Tuesday, a team of God-sized dreamers writes on the progress of their dreams, spurred by the wisdom in Holley Gerth’s new book, You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You. This week’s question is: What’s a typical day in your life like right now? How can you see God’s hand in the middle of the “small” and ordinary too?

“Mom, what do you think is gonna come squishing out of this napkin?”

“Mom, I have to go potty.”

“Mom, the toilet is clogged.”

“Mom, I can’t find anything to eat.”

“Mom, wanna see how wiggly my tooth is?”

“Mom, none of my clothes feel good on me.”

“Mom, can we go to Timporton’s (Tim Horton’s)?”

“Mom, Anthony got over the gate again…and he spilled water on my school books.”

“Mom, I can’t find my math book.”

“Mom, can I make you a surprise in the kitchen?”

“Mom, tell her to stop!”

“Mom, I hate school!”

“Mom, I love you with all my heart.”

They are 11, 9, 6, and 2.

And I do not pretend that I have a clue what I’m doing.

We do school at home, and whatever you imagine that to look like, I assure you…it doesn’t.

Most days, we look and feel like a mess.

But, it’s our mess, and the days on which we embrace that are good days.

Between the spills, complaints, and redressing my toddler-with-nudist-tendencies, we try to sneak in some snuggles, giggles, and learning.

And that is purely by the grace of God. A grace that spreads throughout the day, reminding us that Jesus is right there with us, in us, working through us.

I know the prevailing wisdom is to get up before all the kids and get geared up for the day.

But, early morning and I broke up a long time ago.

And truly, no one wants to see the me that awakens for the day at 5:30ish.

I’m convinced my lovies would rather have a functional, pleasant me.

And so, I’m going with the stay-in-communion-with-God-throughout-the-day-plan, snagging those quiet 15 and 20 minute focused times of prayers as they become available.

It’s an imperfect plan, and one that I don’t want long term.

But, for now, it’s the seeing God revealing Himself in the small delights of life…in the times of enough energy and clarity to write and create…in the text or Facebook message of a dear friend…in the warm, slobbery embrace of a 2 year old…

And being grateful.

It’s the still, small voice and the sweet spot of the peace that surpasses all understanding when my heart just knows that I am where I am meant to be.

(And that, someday, I will get to sit down for two minutes in a row.)


  1. Mandy, I smiled all the way through reading your lovely blog. I have been where you are, but now I am a grandma. And my daughter that has 7 children is homeschooling 4 of them right now. Two are not old enough and one has a severe disability–probably beyond most people’s imaginations. My 5 year old granddaughter’s homeschooling will probably never be more than physical therapy and speech therapy. Yes, the disability is that bad, but she is a little miracle.

    Sorry I talked so much, but I wanted to share that I think you are doing a wonderful thing. And I love your pictures! God bless you: I will say a prayer for you tonight.
    Deborah Bolton recently posted..Seeing God in the Routine of My LifeMy Profile

    • I love that you shared your story here! Thank you, Deborah. That gives me hope and motivation. Some days feel quite overwhelming, but we have been blessed with very good health, and that is no small thing. I appreciate your kind words, and I am so grateful for your prayer. I will be praying for you and your sweet children and grandchildren!
      Mandy recently posted..Welcome to Our MessMy Profile

  2. I haven’t bumped into you for a while! I love the new site–and the marker on the back–Classic! So nice to see it isn’t just my crazy bunch living on the edge.

    Be Blessed.
    renee@joyfulmom recently posted..God and the Super Sized DreamMy Profile

  3. Amen! Thankful for sharing reality!
    Carey Bailey recently posted..April Printables are Ready!My Profile

  4. love it…my days look alot like yours!!!
    Lani recently posted..Living a God-sized LifeMy Profile

  5. Oh Mandy, it’s like you can read my mind… I embrace the fact that our lives are ours, and that no matter what the prevailing wisdom is, if all I can make the baby is hummus then she shall have hummus! It makes our days so much smoother.
    Carlie V. recently posted..A Day with the Management – The Toddling EditionMy Profile

  6. Mandy,
    “And so, I’m going with the stay-in-communion-with-God-throughout-the-day-plan, snagging those quiet 15 and 20 minute focused times of prayers as they become available.” This reminded me of the craziness that was my life when ours were little. Now they make coffee and breakfast (and trouble) for me. God is always so good. I also try to remember to snatch prayer and time for meditation as it comes.
    Readding this was a blessing, complete with laughter.
    Thanks, sweet sister.
    Peace and good to you.
    Chelle recently posted..typical and ordinary…My Profile

    • Ah, so it gets better, Chelle? Hehe. I know it does, and I am grateful for my now, but I also look forward to my darlings being a bit more independent. I’m glad this blessed you, and your words here blessed me too. Love ya, girl!
      Mandy recently posted..Welcome to Our MessMy Profile

  7. I love your post. It brings back sweet memories. i remember a day my kids made me breakfast–sweet and a funny story. But best of all is that God was with us from the beginning.
    Deborah Bolton recently posted..Seeing God in the Routine of My LifeMy Profile

  8. Mandy, your mess is a beautiful one…I just love it. And I think it’s such a good thing to focus on the little (or big!) blessings God gives us throughout the day…He’s so good like that. :) Reading this made me want to bring my girlie over for a play date so the mamas can chat! Wouldn’t that be fun?! Blessings, dear friend!
    Mel recently posted..My God-Sized Dream: How I LiveMy Profile

  9. Mandy – I loved this post. Since my kids are now grown and more or less on their own I love hear others stories that reminds me of my own stories of days gone by.
    Amy P Boyd recently posted..Times Change {God-Sized Dream}My Profile

  10. Oh Mandy – I love your post! Sounds like our mess around here. As crazy as it gets, I try to remember that they won’t be little forever and then I will miss them bunches! Thanks for sharing.
    Melissa recently posted..Remember {Five Minute Friday Post}My Profile

  11. Thanks for sharing at (in)couraging homeschoolers. I hears those same phrases in our home from my 11, 7, and 3 year old children. I know the mess. And here I am trying to find the grace in the mess that will prevent me from throwing in the towel. Also, getting up earlier has finally become a reality in my life and it truely is as good as I dreamed it would be.
    Rebekah Hughes recently posted..Rest for our SoulsMy Profile

  12. What a lovely home you have! I SO relate to the “mess.” Only, it’s not a bad mess, is it. It’s beautiful! I hear you on the early mornings. I can’t get up before all the kids either! Right now, with 5 small kids and a baby on the way, my nighttime sleep is always interrupted! Every morning, I sleep until the baby wakes me up. Maybe one day I’ll get up earlier… But I also believe that people really are wired to function differently at different times of day! I am a complete night owl. I read my Bible then, and try to pray all day long. (You know what I mean — not constantly, just snatches here and there…) Having lots of scripture memorized helps too, because I can also meditate on the Word all day long!

    • Thank you, Ruth! Prayers for you as you await the arrival of your precious little one–and care for your other 5 sweets! They are blessings, but their care can exhaust a mama. I love hearing about what works for different people. thanks for sharing with me.
      Mandy recently posted..Welcome to Our MessMy Profile

  13. I also don’t get up before my kids. And if I do, it’s so I can have enough time to shower and still get everyone else ready too. God’s grace is big enough for you to do what works for you. Rest in that, friend. Thanks for opening this door to your life for us.
    Kristin Taylor recently posted..{#TellHisStory} Jesus’ Dirty ShirtMy Profile

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