Signs of Life

Design by Jeslyn Lanier

Design by Jeslyn Lanier

On a walk through our home you’ll see shoes by the doors, dishes in the sink, laundry on the kitchen table, guitars leaning against the wall, and legos, toys, and blankets on the floor. Keep looking around and you’ll also find crumbs on the floor and toothpaste on the counters. If you open a door, there is a good chance you’ll pull back a sticky hand. There are probably school books stacked and receipts in piles. There may be a Wii remote hiding on the back of the couch. 

These things bother me sometimes. I don’t like clutter. “Everything has a place,” is a phrase that I like. Make messes, please make messes, but when you’re done, clean up the mess that you made.

As much as I don’t like clutter I’m learning that all of this stuff, all of this clutter, points to signs of life. Signs that six people live here with me. Six humans who are my favorite in all the earth. Six people who don’t just sleep and eat here, they live here. They play here and make messes here. They laugh and cry and fight and love here. They learn and grow here. They are the lives, the souls, the bodies, who wear the clothes and spill the milk. The ones who leave the peanut butter open on the counter. They are the gifts that color on walls and sometimes on paper. They are the proof of life in these rooms. 

Why do I let temporary, trivial clutter bother me so badly?

Didn’t I pray for these signs of life? For the finger prints on my walls and shoes by my doors? Didn’t I beg the Lord for this husband of mine and these children of ours? And hasn't He been so faithful to give me the desire of my heart? And now I’m frustrated because there are evidences of lives created and living. Proof of life from the only Life Giver. 

Instead of complaining about crumbs and dirt and legos on the floor. Instead of complaining about laundry that is constant. Instead of complaining about drawings on my walls and my couch. I’m trying to pray and thank and smile in the midst of the cleaning and vacuuming. I’m trying to learn and grow and allow the Lord to sanctify me in the daily whirlwind of motherhood. Because one day, sooner than I can imagine, these life signs will not live between these walls or in these rooms. One day these lives will live somewhere else and their messes won’t be mine to clean up. One day I’ll long for shoes by my doors and fingerprints on my windows. So today I don’t want to forget every moment and every precious piece of the signs of life all around me.

For in Him we live and move and exist.
— Acts 17:28
“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
— Job 33:4