Currently on my coffee table are the following items: a miniature tea party set, a toy gun, mail, a rented DVD, an empty glass, a pad of paper, a doll's hair curler, a photo card reader, a Chess piece, a pen, a guitar pick, a Disney princess storybook, a coffee mug, a ponytail holder, a couple of safety pins, a stack of birthday notes from my husband to me, a candle (the only thing that's actually supposed to be on the table), a cell phone, a guitar capo, a laptop and reading glasses (until a few minutes ago), a set of horse stamps and a stamp pad, change, a remote control, a tube of pretend lipstick, and Abe Lincoln's log cabin made out of a milk carton. Yes, we have a fairly large coffee table.
As my gaze and thoughts were drawn to this scene, I suppressed the initial thought (not difficult to do) of how much I need to clean my house and instead thought about how these various items represent the bits and pieces of our family's life. The items are colorful and interesting. And a bit random. They have been used and reused. Some handled with care; others not so much. They represent our work, our play, and our hobbies--things we love.
I've been told that 20 years from now, I can have a clean house if I want to. But for now, with three young children, that's just not a likely reality. We don't live like pigs, but our house is generally messy most of the time. But it's because we live in our house. We enjoy ourselves and our time together. Plus, my husband made me promise him when we first got married that our house would look and feel lived-in and not like a museum.