At any point in time throughout the year my house is overrun with some form of gear. Football gear. Baseball gear. Wake-board gear. Fishing gear. You name it. I am sure you have some at your house, too.
Currently at our house hunting gear abounds.
Actually, there is so much at times, it is hard to see my kitchen because it is hidden underneath a mound of all things camouflage. No pun intended.
Over the past few weeks I have come to realize that all the gear means so much more than a dirty house or a messy kitchen. It means much more than boots by the back door or fishing poles lining the hallway.
Yes, there really is more than one way to look at what it means, and I confess, I don’t always look at it as I should.
Often, instead of seeing the blessing in the mess, I only see the mess.
Sometimes, I even feel left out and left behind.
Not because of anything they intentionally do, but rather because they are boys and I am not.
It’s almost as if boys reach a certain age and they begin forming this ‘club’ of sorts with their dad. Then the male bonding ensues. All the while mom is often left doing the laundry, sorting the piles and sweeping the aftermath of the full court press to manhood. A great time and season of course, yet a little part of me longs for the little boy days of old.
All of this also reminds me that I am no longer the one they really need at times.
When they were small, I was who they most often wanted or needed. Now that they are older, dad is often the one to get the first text or call unless it’s related to homework or laundry. And, really, sometimes it gets old being the one who is responsible primarily for the laundry, dinner and school grades patrol.
I know this isn’t a completely accurate assessment, but the enemy has a way of causing me to focus on all of the ‘not always fun’ responsibilities so I will miss what God longs to reveal to me in this precious time of life.
I pray God will continue to open my eyes.
I pray that He will continue to reveal to me all the beautiful little blessings in the mess.
I pray that He will remind me of the closeness I experienced with each of the boys when they were little.
I pray that He will help me handle all the piles and gear and mess with grace and love and gratitude.
Maybe instead of seeing the piles of clothes and gear, my eyes will see evidence of happy, healthy boys. Grateful that they can make piles and pursue their love for life.
Maybe instead of feeling like a second wheel, I can look for ways to join them on their adventures. Grateful that I have the opportunity to do just that, rather than feeling fearful of joining them on the next best quest for manhood because I’m not equipped. I admire so many single moms who do just this for their boys with the most beautiful spirit of adventure, grace and love.
Maybe instead of seeing a house that’s most often messy, I can see a house full of growing boys who won’t be here much longer. All the while learning to cherish each pile they leave behind. Knowing I am loving them well just by serving them in these busy seasons.
Maybe instead of feeling a little ‘less than’ in this season, I can recognize their growth and maturity. Realizing the innate need for boys to be with their dad and other male role models. To learn what it means to really be a man. Especially a man of God.
Maybe the mud and grass and all that comes with the activities and makes its way onto my floors are really signs of a life well-lived; one full of adventure, growth and ambition. Learning to cherish even the pile of mud or the stinky socks left behind as they move on to the next project or plan.
Yes, I confess, I never dreamed God would choose to make me a boy mom, but I am so glad He did!
Through each changing season and each fear of inadequacy He has been faithful.
Today, I am simply grateful.
Grateful for a heavenly Father who knows and loves me enough to whisper sweet encouragement to me during what can become a lonely season as your boys become men.
Grateful for boys who love me and invite me on their adventures with a welcoming spirit and a patient heart. Protecting me and encouraging me every step of the way.
And, yes, I am grateful for the man God chose for them to look up to, explore with and learn from. Realizing too many children never have the opportunity to see the true, unconditional love of a father, so they never can fully embrace the love of their heavenly Father.
So, yes, the piles and mess mean I am blessed.
Trust me, if your kitchen is piled high with camouflage or your back door looks as if a sporting event has exploded there, you are blessed, too!
Embrace it! Cherish it! Dance around it!
But, don’t you dare miss it or those stinky boys that are leaving it behind.
They will be gone way too soon and you and I will be wishing for a mess to mop up or a pile to wash just to be with them.
Holy Father, Thank you for the messiness of life. Thank you that because we have piles of clothes we have clothes to wear. Thank you that because we have active boys we have boys healthy enough to play. Thank you that even through the mess You are writing a beautiful message to each of us. May each of us bring you much glory as we clean the mess and love the ones who made it. Help us as mothers to embrace every moment and season of life with our boys. Grant us wisdom to lead them closer to you. Give us a heart to serve them well, extending grace and love to them in all things as we emulate You. Thank you for the redemption of our mistakes and the forgiveness of our sin in not seeing them as You see them. Draw us near to You, precious Father. Renew our Spirit and purify our mommy hearts so we can be Your hands and feet to those in our own home. In the sweet name of Jesus we pray. Amen.