welcome to my called-to mess

In a single morning {just four hours!}, my house can go from completely clean to surprisingly messy.

Maybe it's the six kids thing, or maybe it's just having a 2-year-old, a 6-year-old, and an 8-year-old. I don't know. But maybe no matter how many kids, it's that way at your house too? I pick up my house constantly, but if you were to drop by you probably wouldn't believe me. :)

But today, even though you didn't drop by, I feel compelled to present to you photographic evidence that the struggle is real. All these photos were taken at lunch time, and the kitchen and most of the downstairs was clean last night when we went to bed. 

Here's {some of} our mess:
All Zane right there- it's a double whammy. Snacks on TOP of Legos.  
Girls playing on the island. Small toys: little girls love them but they make me twitch. :)
Note the three different kinds of nut butters, AND the peanut butter knife directly on the table. 
ANNNNNNND of course the pb spoon right on the floor there. With crumbs in case someone is hungry after lunch. 
Legos have become part of my decor now. ;)
Oh random toys, they are always everywhere. 
Cups and cleaning spray bottles always everywhere too.
Poor Elsa. And poor Mandy. ;)
Some days I really want to {and do} feel sorry for myself because it feels like this is ALL I do all day long. Go behind someone and clean up their mess. Make food and then make more mess. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Even if I had a full-time maid, she would need to get paid overtime. In fact, I'm pretty sure she'd give up and find somewhere else to work. I certainly would. :/

Maybe these things I'm telling myself are true, but in order to fight the self-pity and grumbling I have to tell myself three things pretty constantly:

1. This is my job, and I want it.
It's literally my job to do this. About 14 years ago, I had this idea to get married, have children, and buy a house. This idea was mine. By the grace of God, no one took me captive, arranged my marriage, and forced themselves on me to make me bear six children. And if they did, I would be called by God to love them and do a good job with that too. But even better, this was my choice. I wanted this, and by no means would I rather leave it to do something else. Even if it's hard, and it's more than a full-time job, I love it and thanks be to God I have it at all.

2. This is what God has given me to do.
Not only has He granted me a job to fulfill, He has called me to be a worker/keeper of my home. This home keeping thing is not just any job you'd take to make money, this is a CALLING from the Almighty God Himself. It was divinely appointed by God that I should be a wife to this man, and a mother to these exact children. And that I should take care of them as my primary and highest ministry and calling. God gave Adam just the right helper named Eve, and God gave Rob just the right helper named Mandy. And in God's sovereignty, you are just the right helper for your husband, and mother to your children. You are the only one who has been given that job.

3. This amount of work is normal, and a good thing.
That's why I took the pictures today. I'd honestly be rather mortified if you came by my house and it was this messy, but I need to get over it. This is NORMAL, friends. At least for me anyway, and maybe it is for you too.

Let's realize this together: this everyday mess is NOT bad. It's normal, and good. But Satan uses it in your weakness and pride against you as motivation for all sorts of evil. He tells you it shouldn't be this way, that you should be better than this, that you shouldn't have more kids because you can't keep up, that you deserve to do more than just cleaning all day, or why can't you be more like her because she can do it all, and on and on and on.

If one thing is for sure in every situation, it's this: Satan does not want what God wants for you.

Satan does not want you to be a worker at home like God commanded.  

Satan does not want you to bring the blessing of life into this world by bearing more children.

Satan does not want you to be content in the role God has given you.

Satan does not want you to serve others like Christ.

Satan does not want you to be happy and willing to love your husband.

Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy and he does it in the most subtle of ways to we who are workers at home. With the most sly sort of heresy- the believable kind. 

"Did God really say you were to be a keeper at home? Surely He didn't mean for you to have this much work to do so that you can't even spend time with Him..."

"Did God really say children are a blessing and a reward? Surely He wants you to be a good steward of your energy and money so you can do bigger things for Him like write and go on mission trips..."

"Did God really say you should serve this much all day? Surely you should think of yourself and find ways to get away more every week so that you can be happier... for your family, of course."

"Did God really say you shouldn't deprive your husband of your body? Surely He didn't mean you have to give him everything if he treated you so unlovingly at dinner like that..."

Oh friends, if there's one thing you need to know, it's that God's way is SO much better for us, even if we can't understand it or see the fruit of it right now.

The work God has called us to do is HARD work. And that is okay, because He gives us supernatural strength to keep going when we put our faith in Him. The world and our own natural mind refuses to believe these things are good, but God knows they are, and has told us they are, and we must put our faith in Him and His Word, and especially all the more when we cannot see what the outcome will be.

If you're weary, and tired of doing this home keeping thing, that's okay. It's normal. It's normal because it IS hard. Don't listen to the lies of Satan- run to Jesus and replace them with the truth that He has given you. Speak His Word- write it on your hand, your forehead, your refrigerator- in every room, if it takes that. Lean on Him for strength to do what He has called you to do, and refuse to listen to the lies. And if anything else is causing you to stumble, like a friend, or a blog, or an Instagram account, or any other voice or image that makes you NOT want what God has called you to- CUT it OFF. It needs to go.

Focus, focus, focus on what God has ordained and commanded specifically for you before time began. Your husband, your kids, and your home is your very own ministry of showing God's love and it's a beautiful thing when you believe what He said.

You are called.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,  and so train the young women 
to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Titus 2:3-5