Some days I fantasize that my home looks like something off of one of my Pinterest boards.
Well-styled, clean, and impeccably organized.
Simple, beautiful, artistic and inspiring.
With not a (dog) hair out of place. (So to speak.)
But then I open my eyes and look around. And I wince a little.
Because as it turns out I’m not living in that world at all.
Between meals my dining room table hosts a rotating assortment of art supplies, canning jars, science experiments, homeschooling projects, and clean laundry.
There is a mountain of library books set aside to return and someone is drying a salt map on the sideboard.
Our coffee table is home to a puzzle-in-process, we’re dissolving an egg shell in a jar on the counter, and there is a microscope set up in the corner.
While sometimes our house is clean for days on end, that’s not our norm.
Our life is messy.
I don’t want to paint a picture of mad clutter and dirt. In truth, our family is on a path towards mindful simplicity.
Less buying. Less clutter. Less stuff.
When things feel out of balance we simplify and organize.
We work together and let go of some of what’s holding us back. When we’re done we feel more free.
I find myself again.
We also set aside one day a week for housekeeping. As a family we tame the clutter and clean each room.
When we are done it is comfortable, tidy, and clean.
But despite our simple intentions, we’ve still chosen to cook all of our meals from scratch.
We’ve chosen to put food by for winter, to garden, and to homeschool.
We’ve chosen to keep a flock of chickens in the backyard and two dogs in the house.
We’ve chosen to knit and sew and sculpt and have free-flowing glitter in the craft cabinet.
Indeed, this is the life we’ve mindfully created.
In all of its messy details.
So week after week, the chaos returns.
Store bought tomatoes may seem less complicated than the September Canning Marathon, but I’ll keep gardening and canning just the same.
Because I delight in those colorful jars that feed us all winter, manic though it is in the summer.
The same goes for homeschooling. I’d rather have my kids by my side as we live and learn together – even with the chaos it sometimes brings.
Because our joy is found in these (often messy) details.
So I choose to make peace with the clutter.
Because a little chaos means that we’re making.
We’re doing. We’re creating.
We are learning and living side-by-side in this house of ours.
The messes are simply a testament to how we spend our days – together.
And sometimes all that juicy living is downright messy.
This life we’ve built may not be picture-perfect, but it’s all our own.
And it’s brimming with laughter, learning, and love.
I think I’ll keep it. Chaos and all.