The sacred messiness

As you start this new week, may you choose to see that the little interruptions in your life that need nose wipes, diaper changes, homework help, or one-on-one time on the couch are not, in fact, interruptions. They are the sum of your days. These beings called to your care are your current calling, and while they’re not the only part of your calling, they’re enough to not wish away the little inconvenient tasks inherent with parenting.

May we be mindful of the sacred task of parenting this week. May we hold it lightly in our hands so as to not wrap our identities around the job, but may we continually keep it within our eyes’ focus so that we remember its priority in our lives.

And may we be so reminded of its sacredness that we remember to take care of ourselves so as to not burn out. May we not feel guilty about popping up our feet with a good book, about watching a movie with our sweetie, or about grabbing coffee with a friend. May we remember our many dimensions, and that they deserve attending.

And may we remember to count the sacredness of the many mouths around our tables, no matter how many times they ask you to wipe something disgusting off their bodies.

May your week be a good one amidst the sacred messiness.

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

Encouragement for living simpler, right in your inbox.

We share our stories as we simplify our lives - no guilt-trips, just love.

(no spam, promise. we hate it, too.)


  1. Love this. Hard to do but it’s a MUST. Parenting is such a special journey and NOT to be taken for granted. Remembering those mouths at the table… it now because in the blink of an I they’ll have their own tables to eat at.

  2. This is exactly what I need to read… Some days it seems the tasks, the small things, are endless with little ones. And trying to get other work done can be so overwhelming. Thankyou for this encouraging post xx

  3. I often think about this when my dad takes the kids for a couple days. Sure everything we put away stays there and there are no Lego underfoot, but the house is too quiet. There’s a stillness I appreciate at first, and then a silence that reaches too far. There’s not enough laughter or wonder at things that are ordinary to me. Soon enough this will be my life, when the children have grown. I try so hard not to rush these busy messy days away, because I have a hunch that I will miss them intensely. Thanks for the reflection, Tsh!

    • Jennifer says:

      I am currently experiencing exactly what you describe in your comment , Robin. My in-laws have my 2 oldest children this week while they are on spring break. My husband and I are trying to catch up on work, household duties, etc. while they are away. It will be quite helpful to be efficient during this time, and I am so thankful that my in-laws are so gracious and generous with their time; but it is so challenging not having all of our children around! Thanks for these words, Tsh.

    • Too quiet: Yes, I know what you mean. Doesn’t happen often for me, but when it does, it’s amazing how quickly I start missing my little guys…

  4. Great thoughts on this Monday morning! I have been concentrating on these thoughts exactly over the past several months. I don’t want to be so busy trying to make everything perfect, that I miss the journey. I am lucky to have my two babes in my care all day long, and I need to make the most of it, even the messes 🙂

  5. LOVE it! So true. Memories are made in the every day moments. My children are beyond the years of having me wipe things, but it sure does feel like somedays all I do is pick up their things! or call them over to point out their misplaced things and have them put them away. Yet somedays when I am picking Lego off the floor I can’t help but think “there will soon be a day where no more Lego will be present…..and oh all the no mores that will go with it…the hugs..the laughs…the cuddles..the fun times” .

  6. I just love that sacred messiness…

  7. Hope you don’t mind, but I put something you wrote on my blog. I just had to do it when you wrote about “the days are long but the years are short”. I loved the letter you wrote to yourself!!!

  8. A beautiful and perfect read this Monday morning.

  9. Good word. I especially liked: “May we remember our many dimensions, and that they deserve attending.” Such a good way of describing the need to take care of ourselves without feeling self-indulgent.

  10. This is beautiful, Tsh! I was helping my little guy with some make-up work (he was out sick all of last week) last night, and watching him work so hard to make letter “i” and numbers 4, 5 and 6…and thinking how fortunate I am to be able to help him by teaching him little tricks that make it easier, and by being generous with my praise and encouragement. Thank you for this reminder today…I’m so blessed to have three wonderful children. 🙂

  11. I love it!

  12. Amen!

  13. Michelle says:


  14. I needed this today. When I am about to lose it dealing with a child who seems like he has to disagree with everything I say (“I don’t want my medicine! i want to stay sick!) I need to remember he won’t be a little child forever, someday he will be an adult and I won’t have the simple battles of childhood to fill my days.
    Thank you for your lovely reflection and reminders for us to appreciate whatever stage we are in.


    • “I want to stay sick!” Oh gracious… this makes me smile. Mostly because this is something my youngest would say, too. 🙂

  15. You seem to share posts just when I need them most. After a stressful Easter (family stuff…you know…!) I walked into a messy house, laundry on my bed, no food in the frig, bills to be paid and 74 emails in 12 hours from work (no foolin’ who knew working in law enforcement was so insane right?!) I was starting to reach the “crazy mommy” place. And then I sat down with a cup of joe and your email. I took a deep breathe and gave the one thing that matters a hug. Thank you! Don’t stop writing to us. You probably don’t know how often your words touch people or how often we go back and read the posts that speak the loudest to us.

    • Well said Cara! We hosted a very fun and very large Easter here yesterday and I stood around at 11pm last night not knowing where to start. Reading this post today is absolutely what I needed. And Tsh, she’s totally right! I have my favorites bookmarked and go back and read them when I need a boost 🙂

  16. Wow. I was JUST talking about something similar with my husband last night. I feel like Easter is a great time of year to really think about our lives and how we want to better them. And also about what the Lord teaches are the most important things in this life. Thank you for this post.

  17. This is beautiful. And needed. Thanks for making Monday morning a little easier going.
    And I love the juxtaposition of the picture.

  18. I took my daughter to lunch today just the two of us, while my son was with Grandma and Grandpa. It was just the “girl” time we both needed. Love this post!

  19. I liked this. Thanks!

  20. Goodness, I’m feeling this today. Thanks for your words!

  21. Tsh, This is a beautiful reminder today. Thanks so much for this. You make me feel like we are all in this together, and I guess we are.

  22. What a great post! Often I feel like my house is so messy and the laundry just piles and piles up but then I remember all the joy and fun I have with my kids.

  23. Thanks for the beautiful reminder. After a fun, family filled (really really filled) Easter celebration at our house yesterday and heading into a full week with all the kids home from school, this a just what I needed to read. Thank you!

  24. This was timely for me, as I have two girls with some stomach bug demanding my day that was supposed to be free. Thanks for the attitude check. I needed it.

  25. great reminder! no matter how much i know this, i need the reminder often.

  26. Thanks for the reminder. I needed it!!

  27. Thank you. Wonderful to read this morning… just read again for another reminder!

  28. Thank you. This post has given me peace, my girls and husband have Ben poorly for over a week now. My big girl has been coughing coughing coughing all night, making her sick. I am exhausted but somehow it is good to be stranded at home with them. Bearing in mind home right now is an old library van. Thank you for reminding me how special it is to have them and praise God for this time. We would have probably been so busy with others but we are instead still just with us.

  29. So needed this as our household (somewhat) emerges from adventures in potty training…I find myself repeating “it’s a phase…it’s a season…it’s a phase…it’s a season…” all day long. Thanks for the beautiful reminder to carry on 🙂

  30. Tsh….thank you for this wonderful reminder. I can remember calling a friend and crying when my son was 1 month old…..because he “would be leaving for college soon”! He is now 8 and time has just flown by. Each moment we have should be cherished…..

  31. Tsh–these words are sacred to me and timely and just now reading them. Ugh!! But, we can start midweek right? Midweek to remember this task, this job that I’ve already missed the mark multiple times a day.

  32. This made me laugh out loud. Truly a great reminder, and, in true Simple Mom fashion, balanced to gently remind us that mama needs some TLC, too. Love it.

  33. On hard days I try to remind myself of something my own mother told me a few years back: “Motherhood isn’t just about wiping noses, it’s about nurturing eternal souls.” Puts things into perspective…

  34. Michelle says:

    Great post!!! Thank-you so much for writing how I so often feel and struggle to keep in prospective and balance. Do you mind if I use this as my daily mantra? Beautiful

  35. Thank you for putting such an important reminder into such succinct and powerful words! Definitely needed this reminder this morning!

  36. amy cormode says:

    Is that the Penderwicks I see in your photo? Don’t you all love those girls? We happened upon those books last summer, and they quickly became a part of our family, our very favorite read aloud books, and I have three boys! We are eagerly awaiting the fourth book in the series.

Add Your Thoughts