Raising boys has left me with a multitude of memories needless to say. A lot of those memories involve a mass of messes along the way. Messes are what boys do best, right? Oh dear have my precious three made some messes thru the years…….along with the help of their cousins, Andy and Blake. I was a patient mom…..I think….but there have been a few messes that tempted me to loose my cool.
There was the time I came home from the grocery store and the youngest son was tied to a tree. The video camera was set up on a tripod and the other two were filming him as they threw left overs from the refrigerator at him. Bless his heart, the older two had him convinced that he was adopted until he was a sixteen.
Then there was the time I ordered a set of spring dishes to use for Easter dinner. The two large boxes of bunny dishes were tightly packed in white styrofoam peanuts. I had removed the dishes and sat the boxes on the porch to carry off. It was a windy day and my three yard apes were in the front yard playing along with their cousins, Andy and Blake. My sister arrived and came in all excited because the boxes had been dragged off the porch. I remember her saying, ” You better get those boxes away from those boys or you are going to have a mess on your hands.”
At that point we looked out the front window…..a little too late….. it literally looked like it was snowing. The windy March day was carrying the peanuts as though it was a gift to all our neighbors. We had one hateful neighbor who had the habit of making all dog owners whose pet had fertized his yard (with biodegradeable waste)….. to remove said waste. Even though he truly did not know who’s poo was whose…..he would impolitely insist you remove it…..stating the size of the poo was appropriate for your pet. I started to panic as I looked in the direction of his house sweetly looking like the front of a Christmas card. We had time on our side as he was still at work so we pulled out the rakes and shop vacs and frantically proceeded to retrieve the windy mess before he made it home.
Then there was the Easter at my parent’s house when we hid eggs till exhaustion had overtaken us. Between the five boys there were about 10 dozens eggs that we had colored for the occasion. We came in and settled in the family room to rest. My parents read the newspaper as my sister, brother-in-law, myself and my husband all took light naps. My boys along with the two nephews went upstairs to play. We heard them giggling and having a good time for over an hour. Someone even made the comment….”Those boys are having a good time up there.” After all the joyful giggles, gasps, snickers and flat out belly laughs, my mom’s curiosity got the best of her and she decided to go see what they were doing.
Words cannot describe the shrill scream she made upon the discovery of their chaos. We all jumped to our feet and ran to the scene of crime….which was the foyer. Our precious five had gone up to the second floor balcony and had throw every single egg they had down into the foyer. There were broken eggs everywhere. On the steps…..on the foyer floor….on the walls….they had even scattered into the living room due to the force of the throw. There were oily patches on the walls with specks of crushed eggs….there were broken yellow yokes making a sunny contrast to the blue grey carpet. There was egg on pictures, the double front doors, in the detailed notches of extensive wood work and trim. To say there was egg everywhere is an understatement. That mess took everyone to clean up and to this day we still don’t have a clear understanding as to who started it. The little ones blamed it on the older boys…..while the older ones blamed it on the younger ones.
I could go on and on telling you stories about the messes my boys have made through the years but it would literally take me days to share them. This morning I got to thinking about those messes…and how we big people can make messes in our own lives. Heavens knows I’ve had some messes of my own through the years. Some have been accidental and some have been flat out foolish missteps. Some have been spiritual and some have been with relationships. I know there have been some messes that have not pleased my Lord, for sure.
Some people are like a tazmanian devil……spinning through life leaving a trail of confusion and debris…..along with a pile of consequences that many times affect others. It got me thinking…..what kind of trail do I leave for others to step over or dig through? What about you? Does your trail have several piles of loose words or bitter actions? Or is there a mountain of hurt you left with someone who just doesn’t have the heart to even begin climbing? Is there emotional wreckage that has been splintered beyond repair? Is there a rubble of unforgiveness or fragments of a wounded spirit that avoids you and you know it?
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to look back at my path and see messes everywhere. I don’t want to leave a legacy muddled with debris of hurt or confusion in my relationships. Oh Lord…..I pray that you show me any messes I need to clean up and give me wisdom to keep a clean heart. My how patient my heavenly father is. How full of grace he has been with me….. and all my messes.
What does your path behind you look like?
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10