Why mess is worth it

Ten months ago following the oh-so-sudden and tragic loss of Chris’ dad the year before, his mom moved across the country to live with his sister.  The reasons were many and they were good.  But no amount of good reasons made it easy, for her or us.

That’s the thing about change.  It hurts.  Even when you understand it and know it has to be that way.  Life has kept her there and us here over almost a year now.  And when she’d been a brief drive away for our entire marriage, that feels like an eternity some days.

Add into the mix our five kids, us moving, her getting sick and so on and so on…..it’s been hard to get a moment on the phone to catch up.  Phone time for me is scarce.  The time change is one more dynamic.  I actually set my alarm to get up an hour early today so I could call her and my grandpa back east before the kids were up.  But one quick snooze button later and I was snoring away until a little voice beckoned me for breakfast.

Usually I keep my crew of learners reigned in until they’ve completed at least some of their school work.  But I felt this burning need to have a conversation with the mother of my husband more than my duty as teacher.  So I grabbed my coffee, went somewhere quiet and talked.  To say it was what both our hearts needed is an understatement.

All that transpired elsewhere in the house and yard during that half hour seemed a pitifully small price to pay for time well spent.  Her voice was lighter when we said goodbye.

I tallied up the damage and all told, I still say it was worth it.  Sometimes that’s the nature of life and learning and love and little people…..

A huge bowl of dog food AND dog water all dumped and mixed onto the kitchen floor by a crafty one-year-old.

A little girl outside in footie jammies without boots leaving permanently mud colored feet.

A pile of puppy poo on my favorite rug.

A baby toy gnawed to bits by same puppy.

A bathroom door left open and a little boy who just can’t help but throw toys into the toilet.

The remains of my mug of coffee poured out onto white carpet AND into a box of puzzle pieces.

A box of dumped out and unattended toys.

Jelly remnants on the counter from self-serve breakfast goers.

Yes, all that.  And yes, still so totally worth it.



SO worth the mess!


Jacqueline Strovas

Thank you. The Lord blessed me so much yesterday…sorry you had to pay such a price.


I love this. I came home from our afternoon at your house to a messy house and a list of unfinished things I’d planned to get done today, but a big smile on my face. For me it was like this post – I had things I could-of/should-have done today but setting those things aside to say yes to an invite and spend time with caring people was sooo worth it. Thank you again for having us!! And thank you for sharing your blog – I’m looking forward to looking around and reading more!


We loved, loved having your precious family over. I woke up today to a MESS of a kitchen and such a thankful heart. I’d choose that any day. Relationships are what a life lived for Jesus is all about. Dishes (and to-do lists!) can wait. We look forward to getting to know you guys better!