By Mindy Thomas
Mother of 9(!) in Texas

I love when things are neat and tidy. I enjoy a scrubbed kitchen, a freshly made bed, a pressed shirt, a new car that smells like leather, clean windows and door pulls, sparkling refrigerator shelves and clothes organized by color and style. These sights put a smile on my face and comfort in my heart.

You wouldn’t know this about me, however, if you walked into my house right now.

Nearly every room is filled with toys, clothes, books, papers, and pillows. Some of the beds are made; some are not. The clothes are out of order and piled high on shelves. The windows are full of fingerprints, the doors are covered in smudges and the walls have sticky handprints. The refrigerator has seen better days, and let’s just say I hope no one I know sees the inside of my big blue van right now. You see, the Lord had bigger plans for me than a neat, tidy life that would allow me to be comfortable in my own efforts. He knew I needed to be stretched, molded and shaped by more than a husband and a couple of kids. So He gave us nine of them. I now know that it’s almost impossible to keep life neat and tidy while raising and homeschooling nine children. I know because I’ve tried!

Mindy is a mom of nine kids!

With this many, it’s no wonder the house is a mess!

I’ve learned that God wants me to look to Him for comfort, to rest in Him when I’m weary, and to find peace in His work, promises and faithfulness. When the days end with clutter on the floor, dishes in the sink, and a mess in my heart, I know that it’s only in Him and through Him that I can accomplish His Kingdom purposes. He is faithful to answer my prayers for wisdom and strength when I am sure I have nothing left.

His promises are true. He is there when I have trouble with my teens or tiring toddlers. He is there when I struggle with patience, struggle to let go of the little things and struggle to let go of the mess, because that’s where He wants me… close to Him, loving and abiding in Him.

The mess is fleeting. The dirty refrigerator won’t make it to heaven, the messy walls will crumble and fall. But the time I have to teach my children God’s word and love them like the Lord loves them is far more precious than a neat and tidy life. And I know one day, when the mess is gone because my children are gone, I will actually miss the mess!

Is there something the Lord is asking you to let go and replace with Him?

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 NIV