Rediscovered Families

A Powerful Reminder To Help You See the Mess Differently

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Sometimes when you are in the midst of raising children it can feel like hard work and drudgery.

  • The noise
  • The mess
  • The dirt…how can there be so much dirt?

When my boys were little I remember longing for a break. Wondering what it would be like to clean the bathroom and have it STAY clean. Wondering what it would be like to only have a few loads of laundry each week. Wondering what it would be like to have a clear house. It sounded pretty good to me.

I recently discovered this poignant video that really hit my heart. Jason van Gendaren is a single father who only sees his children for one weekend (52 hours) every two weeks.

To help deal with his loneliness; Jason decided to document the moments just after his children leave. It is a beautiful video and captures the love and longing this father has for his children.

It’s not very long, so take a few minutes to watch. If you can’t see the video you can find it here.

Did the words of this lonely dad make you view the mess and clutter a little differently?

Perhaps this video encourages us to look at the evidence of our children’s presence as a gift instead of yet another mess. Maybe things like

  • dirty hand prints
  • scattered toys
  • forgotten dinner plates left on the table
  • unfinished craft projects left in a jumble
  • shoes abandoned in the corner
  • dried up beetles
  • dropped towels
  • a puddle of a pajamas forgotten behind the door

Are so much more than just messes. Perhaps they are sacred reminders that your children are still with you; that you still have time to reach out, to build relationship and make lasting connections.

I know how easy it is to get fed up with the constant mess and dirty fingerprints.

But when it is gone you will miss it.

So when you are faced with dropped towels, scattered toys, and dirty dishes pause for an instant to give thanks for the precious gift of your children’s presence.

Then before reminding them for the millionth time to pick up their stuff, take a moment to give them a hug and tell them how glad you are that they were born.

26 thoughts on “A Powerful Reminder To Help You See the Mess Differently”

  1. I find it much easier now my boys are 8 and 10. They still make loads of mess, but they also help a little to clean up.
    But, mostly, as the years have gone on I constantly remind myself they are still here. I have the to cherish at home still.
    I have a few older friends, who are happy Christians that do lots of fun things and have grandkids etc, but they say the best times of their lives was when their kids were still at home.
    I helped raise my nephew who was killed 2 years ago at 22. It is even easier now to appreciate my own children and the time I get with them – besides, kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to make mess. Well, mine anyway!

    1. Sharon Harding

      Oh I’m so sorry for the loss of your nephew. How tragic. It does make you stop and treasure the time you do have with your children….. yes children have an uncanny knack for making mess. I swear all they have to do sometimes is walk in the room 🙂

  2. What a great post to read! My girls are forever making a mess but wouldn’t have it any other way x #LetKidsBeKids

  3. Yes, it has made me think differently about the mess. It should remind me of all the fun we have had, rather than an irritation.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

  4. That video is so powerful, it brought me to tears! He is right, and so are you, we do often forget to pause and let it actually sink in. All the time we spend cleaning up after them becomes an annoyance and we forget to be thankful. Thankful that we get to see our children every day. This has certainly made me think. #MiniCreations

    1. It brought me to tears as well. I think if we can just get into the habit of treasuring the time we do have it makes a huge difference.

  5. What a powerful reminder of taking in what’s around us and to be thankful for the gift of our children. I was welling up at my desk #letkidsbekids

  6. Sacred reminders are something we can use in appreciating so many areas of our lives. Thank you for sharing the touching video, Sharon. The dried beetle, hand print on the wall, puddle of pajamas, even the little Winnie the Pooh – he captured reflections of his children’s essences in images and words.

    ~ Dena

    1. Sharon Harding

      He really did an amazing job. I think that one of the reasons it’s such a touching video. I like the thought that such ordinary things can be sacred reminders.

  7. Sharon,
    This is a beautiful post! I don’t have kids, but I am still holding back the urge to cry just from watching the video. This is a great reminder of how important our loved ones are and how we should not take them for granted. Thank you!

    1. Sharon Harding

      Thank you Joanna. I must admit I reached for the kleenex! You are so right this is an important reminder not to take any of our loved ones for granted.

  8. Eva @ The Multitasking Mummy

    Oh wow, what a video and what a strong message. I am never going to look at the mess in my house the same again. Thank you so much for sharing this Sharon. x

  9. The Mother’s say – What a beautiful post and definitely a reminder that we should treasure the moments that we normally find so frustrating – awesome xxx

    Thanks for linking to #minicreations

  10. This was such a beautiful and moving post! I had to fight back tears while watching the video! Thank you for this reminder on what a blessing our little ones are! And thank you for sharing on Makeovers & Motherhood’s Welcome Party Wednesday Link-Up! It is one of my featured posts this week!

  11. Great post, Sharon, and a beautiful video. It is so true, the childhood years are messy, but so precious. In the past, I’ve actually scrapbooked the state of our home after a particularly busy (and fun-filled) week. There will be plenty of time for cleaning when they are in high school… 😉

    1. Ummm you might want to make that university 😉 I do like the sound of fun filled weeks and let’s face it the cleaning will always wait. My sister in law gave me a fridge magnet that read, “Cleaning the house while the kids are growing is like shoveling snow while it is still snowing!” In my mind the fun filled week will win over house cleaning every time!

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