I walked in the front door and saw my puppy’s dirty footprints on the wood floor. I then glanced to the kitchen table to see my husband’s work gear scattered all over the place. Finally, I looked in the kitchen sink to see a pile of dirty dishes, right next to an empty dishwasher. This was not the welcome home I was hoping for, but it’s the one that God wanted me to have.
Every single day, there are imperfections in my home that add to the daily stress of maintaining it. However, I recently realized that all of those little imperfections are not actually imperfections. They are signs of life. My puppy’s dirty little footprints? They are a sign of a healthy, energetic black lab, who excitedly greets me at the front door every single day (I don’t think anyone is more excited to see me than he is!) My husband’s work gear scattered all over our kitchen at the end of every day? It’s a sign of a career that he is in love with and excited to pursue every single day. Finally, the dishes stacked high in the sink? They are a sign of full tummies, joyful conversations and fellowship. Oh how easy it is to miss these blessings that disguise themselves as messes.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
If I am quick to focus on things that are praiseworthy, excellent, right and lovely, I am choosing to see a precious puppy who loves me dearly, a husband who is living out his calling within his career and the blessing of our yummy food and my sweet family I get to share it with. I have control over what I choose to see, and what I focus on grows. If I choose to see all of these lovely blessings within the mess, I am energized and joyful, living in a real and authentic way that God calls me to live. Because real life means messy floors, counter tops and sinks. If it’s perfect, it’s not real.
I encourage you to start seeing the signs of life within your home, even if it means leaving your dishes in the sink a little longer.