Sweetness and Chaos

Is it just me or did July 4th wear you out?!?! I’m all about patriotism and family and fireworks and flags, but I’m flat whooped! If I didn’t have a whole house to clean in between the departure of my sister’s family of five and the arrival of a family of six who’s on the way, I’d crawl under the chair and nap with Aslan!


As I move from room to room, making beds, cleaning bathrooms, wiping away handprints, I’m taking in the sweetness and the chaos of the last week. On thing’s for sure: there’s nothing like three toddler boys to show you how far you’ve come as a recovering perfectionist…and how far you still have to go! {And here I was thinking that perpetually dirty floors, smelly farm animals, a puppy in the house and chicken poop on the porches was enough to transform me!}

I could pretty much rewrite last year’s “I Choose Family” post….minus the poop on the curtains. This time it was chocolate smears on the white linen slipcovers, which I mindlessly washed a week before three toddler boys arrived. {Just for the record: I don’t recommend white linen slips until your children are older. Yes, they’re washable, but it takes all day, and getting them back on is about as exhausting as a wrestling match. All of my furniture is slipcovered, and I’m a huge fan. But white looks best when it’s clean, and with little ones, it doesn’t stand a chance!}


I love my family, crazy as all of us can be when we get together, and I’m beyond grateful that they’d drive 13 long hours with three little boys in tow just to visit us. But staying under one roof for too many days in a row reveals my weaknesses and limitations. I’m never as free as I want to be, and it’s always crazier than I think it’s going to be. I pray for an overflow of grace and patience, and I always run dry. Why is it so hard to be the laid back auntie I want to be? Is it just the age? Is it boys? Differences in discipline and boundaries? Or is it that I still love a clean and peaceful home too much? I don’t know. All I do know is that God’s mercies are knew every morning! That and a good night of sleep go a long way!


I’m pretty sure my sister has an invisible superhero cape on her back at all times. She handles toddlers {or any kind of crazy} with so much acceptance. She’s always had an unbelievably high tolerance for chaos…something I do not have, even all these years later. When we were teens, there were certain kids I just couldn’t babysit, but she found ways to bring out the best in every child. I’ve always admired that about her. And on top of wrangling three toddler boys {with the help of a very patient, helpful husband}, she also managed to tackle a huge project with me. We bleached and lime waxed my front doors. They look amazing thanks to her artistic abilities!


And now that the house is quiet and I can hear the animal noises while swaying on the porch swing in peace, I’m able to extract the sweetness from the chaos. The wholehearted, abundant life is full of tension and opposing emotions. I’m thankful for yet another chance to practice holding two very different things in my heart at once.

Here’s some of the sweetness:









And now it’s off to visit family in Maine and Vermont. Leaving the farm isn’t easy {so many animals and responsibilities}, but thankfully, there’s a family on the way who will stay here and care for all our animals while we’re away. We became friends when we were all newly married. Haven’t seen them in almost 10 years…long before they had 4 children. My hope and prayer is that in exchange for their care taking, they’ll experience the presence of God and life to the full here on Ten 10 Farm. The guest rooms are ready for them!



{Cleaning was therapy for me. Time to process the sweetness and the chaos.}

Hope you’re having a great summer, my friends.

Blessings and love,

Linsey signature 100pix

P.S. Right after I finished writing, I heard a soft cracking sound just off the front porch. New baby ducklings! More LIFE on Ten 10 Farm!!! Only had my phone and the light is low, but have to share the sweetness.

photo 1PINIT

photo 2PINIT

Cheers to the things you notice when you’re still and quiet!


{I’m getting pretty good at mixing herbal cocktails. Who knew it was so much fun?}

Okay. This post is over. Back to cleaning!

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  • Samantha - Please share some herbal cocktail recipes!ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - That would be a fun post for sure! My mixes are very impromptu using what I have and no measurements. Tonight’s cocktail:

      Tito’s vodka
      organic lemonade
      thyme simple syrup
      squeeze of lemon
      muddled mint
      {garnished with fresh mint and thyme}ReplyCancel

  • Linda - You survived, and everyone is better for the experience. The boys are a handful, but each one is so special in his own way. As for the chaos, who knows when it will end, but your sister deals with it on a daily basis and does it without going totally crazy. Yes, you girls are different and that’s why you love each other so much.ReplyCancel

  • katie clooney - Great post. I, too, wish I was more laid back but when I am out of my routine I am at a loss and become a B@#**. My sister is laid back with 2 boys. I wonder if boys help to make Moms to become calmer… Anyway, have a wonderful vaca.ReplyCancel

  • shannon kinna - beautiful pictures as always…would love to know how one bleaches and limes a front door..please share 🙂