I recently read a quote from Nancy Wilson: "Every woman has seasons when she's constantly behind. That's part of life, but focus on the importance of relationships in the home rather than the dirty dishes in the sink." I really wish I had read that in my 20s. It was so important to me as a young wife and mother that everything be in place in our home. Most days, that was never going to happen. 

I remember feeling such disappointment in myself for not being able to accomplish all the things. At that time, all I could think about was all the laundry that needed to be done, the dishes that needed to be washed, and all the other household chores that needed to be completed. Now, I wish I could go back and leave all of those things for later and jump in the mud puddles with my two toddlers, who were ever so eager to enjoy life.

I am sure that all of us go through this as we get older and start to understand that everything that our mothers told us really happens. There are regrets and moments in which you wish you could go back in time and have a do-over. Seeing as that isn't possible, we must press on and enjoy the present. 

I honestly believe that it's only through learning lessons that we change our behavior. God has definitely taught me a few lessons along the way. Learning to see the little things and love the beauty in all things is one of them. Even the imperfect things bring me joy now. Of course, dirty dishes still bring on a sense of urgency, but not in the way they used to. 

Our homes are meant to be homes that are lived in, filled with joy and thanksgiving. They are meant to be a place of comfort and rest — a place where our husbands and children and even grandchildren come to feel safe and secure. Sure there may be toys lying around or maybe even that one sock that you just can't find the match for, but at the end of the day, did those things really matter? 

I am learning that the things that we see as imperfections are not that at all. They are stories. They are real lives lived and moments that only happen once. Yes, the moment you're wearing your white shirt and that huge blob of ketchup lands right in the middle may seem like an imperfection, but maybe it was just a moment to allow you to laugh. I don't know about you, but laughter is needed more and more these days.

Take time to enjoy the opportunities to see the joy in the little imperfections that we call life. Love your family, read one more bedtime story, and laugh over the sink full of dishes that held the meal that fed your family. Maybe even let the littles wash them and enjoy the fun of cleaning up afterward. Life isn't meant to be perfect. It is meant to be lived. 

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email ashley.carter@1819news.com.

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