I walked into the foyer of the church the other day, and saw handprints all over the glass doors. It looked like hundreds of handprints- smudged all over.
Instead of being annoyed, I smiled. Even though I knew we needed to wash them off, those handprint smudges represented so much.
When we started the church almost ten years ago, we started it with just our family. We had five children at the time, and five children can do a lot of damage, but there wasn't near the amount of handprint smudges that we have now.
It took almost ten years to get hundreds of handprint smudges on the glass doors.
Handprint smudges represent a growing, thriving church, with lots of littles running around. They represent eagerness, and joy, and laughter. They represent children- the life force of a church. They represent a full building, and people present every week. They represent play, and fun, and young energy.
We had an older couple visit a few weeks ago, and they kept going on and on about all the babies and children running around. They loved it! The wife told me that most churches are dying out, and that it's rare to have so many little ones underfoot.
I also love it.
My house, too, is full of smudges. It's full of dust bunnies and marks on the wall and smudges on the glass.
But those marks represent something to me. Anytime I have one of the kids wash the wall, or clean the glass, I get a little wistful feeling deep inside. Those marks won't always be there.
Someday, there won't be little noses smooshed up on the windows, peering outside to watch for Daddy coming home. Someday, there won't be fingerprint smudges from the teenage girl grabbing the mirror to take it into her bedroom to fix her hair. Someday, there won't be handprints on the glass doors leading into the kitchen.
Those marks represent life, laughter, and love. They represent a full house, and an even fuller heart. They represent each of my eight children.
I am so blessed to have been able to conceive and nurture and birth eight babies. I don't take that lightly. While some sit in pristine castles and have white, immaculate walls, I sit in my tiny home surrounded by my children and their fingerprint smudges, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
They can have their fancy furniture and expensive paintings. I'll take the finger print smudges.
Cherish these days, Mamas. Soak it up. Try not to get too overwhelmed with the constant dirt, and dust, and cleaning, and smudges, and just enjoy it while it lasts.
I truly feel like I am in the best part of my life right now, and I want to breathe it all in and enjoy every second of it- smudges and all.