I got a little distracted that morning.

My pre-homeschool routine includes a workout, shower, “quiet” time, some social media posting + scheduling, and getting breakfast ready for everyone.

The days have been chilly, so oatmeal sounds good every morning. On that particular day, I was boiling some milk to get my Nutella oatmeal started. And I got a little distracted.

If you’ve ever boiled milk in a saucepan on the stove, you probably know what happened next…

Milk bubbling to the top, spilling over the sides, on to the burner and creating quite the mess. And the smell.

I moved the pan swiftly over to the sink and cleaned it up, all while the older two boys were fascinated with the hoopla and the little one was saying, “More drink! More drink!”

“What are you going to have for breakfast now, Mommy?” Big J asked.

I really wanted some Nutella oatmeal, so I answered him hastily, “I’m going to try the oatmeal again.”

“What if it boils over again?”

“I’ll probably just have cereal.”

Within a few seconds, I knew, in the middle of that big mess, I had just missed a great moment to teach my son a valuable lesson.

The answer I flippantly gave out of frustration told him that when things get messy and hard, I will just give up. Oh, maybe I’ll give it one more shot, but that’s all.

Sure, it was just oatmeal, but like I said, I wanted oatmeal – NUTELLA oatmeal – not cereal, that morning. And had the pot boiled over a second time, I may have tried again, but I didn’t communicate that to Big J. I let the mess affect my answer and my example to my son.

And this seems to be a pattern lately. When things get messy, I miss the moments where life lessons could be taught and memories could be made.

Making Messy Moments Count

Those messy moments often provide the best opportunities for learning if we are able to keep things in perspective. None of us enjoy when things don’t go the way we’ve planned, but our character comes through in the unexpected, trying moments of life. And our children are learning from our actions in those times.

Life with kids is never going to be neat and tidy. In the middle of the chaos, my goal is to look past the Legos and dishes and spills to see Him and His purpose for my life as a mom. I’m trying to not let pot-boiling-over moments ruin my day or steal the opportunity to teach my kids how to handle the messes of life.


This morning, I have my very first speaking gig, talking with a local MOPS group about “Making Your Mess Beautiful.” No, it’s not about decorating or housekeeping. It’s all about perspective and relationship and purpose. How do you find the beautiful in the messiness of your everyday life?