The joke about my blog’s name is that it fits my personality (and my house) perfectly. I chose the name because I felt like I was “so smart” that I couldn’t keep things organized. Hence, the cluttered genius. My kitchen counters reflect this name. My bedroom closet reflects this name. And now I’m pretty sure that my children have all decided to reflect this name. Sweet molasses, the mess that is this house.

With four kids, it’s inevitable that we’re going to have spills of milk, juice, crumbs, and more. No matter how hard I work at cleaning the house for guests, the mess with return in less than 48 hours (sometimes less than 1 hour). I try to keep ahead of the return-of-the-clutter, but it’s nearly impossible.

All things beautiful and clean

A few weeks ago, our Sunday School class had a fall gathering. Kids were in and out of the house and up and down on the ginormous playground. It was beautiful chaos and yet, the house stayed nice and neat. We’d worked all week leading up to make sure that we had a house worth presenting.

For about two days, I kept up with the appearance of having a nicely organized house. It felt good to go to bed with a clean kitchen and clothes that were in drawers instead of all over the place.

In fact, for about a week after, I maintained the laundry and the dishes and all the rest of the stuff. Pat on my back for that one!

But then, as it always happens, the gates of toy hell opened up and spewed everywhere. Transformers and blocks and Super Mario and Hot Wheels were everywhere. Laundry was strewn upon all the floors. There were even socks stuffed into brand new rolls of toilet paper — I can blame one sweet Diva for that one.

So this morning, after an evening of trick-or-treating and fun, I was spent. I walked into the kitchen hoping that some jack-o-lantern fairy had shown up to clean everything for me. He hadn’t. The kitchen looked awful, and it had to be repaired.

I stepped over toys and crushed cereal bits. I fought with the bowl full of pumpkin guts. I cleaned out the dishwasher and rifled through the laundry to find clean clothes for the kids’ school day.

All the while, I was silently cursing all this stuff. Too much stuff.

So much stuff

How does this happen? How is it that toys reproduce like bunnies? How is it that one day can be so clean and organized and the next so ridiculously and ludicrously messy?

In the midst of wiping down the table and removing the sticky remnants of whomever’s lollypop, I realized this: we are so blessed. What a wonderful problem to have so much stuff that I step on it or am able to be angry. My kids have all they could ever need, and that’s more than some families and kids can say. So this makes me stop and be thankful.

Thankful for four beautiful children who make us smile and laugh. Who are so bright they keep our heads spinning and our brains trying to keep up. So sweet that their hugs can melt the worst attitude off of us.

This month of November, I’m going to push myself to remember how and why I’m blessed. Each day, I hope, I will consider all the beautiful (even if messy) parts of my life that allow me to be thankful. With a heart of gratitude, my goal is to change my outlook from one of frustration to one of happiness in all things.

thankful days

There are several of us participating in Thankful Days. Want to join? Rules are easy: there really aren’t any rules. Post in the month of November and come link up in Blogging Genius on Facebook. Hope to see you there!