The evolution of a living room

Recently, our pastor, Reed, was at our house working on planning church music with Jim and I. On his way out, he said, “I just love the way ya’lls living room has changed. It’s so full of toys and kid things now!” I started thinking about that, what our house was like when we moved in 4 years ago and how it has changed since Abigail moved into it, particularly our living room. When we moved in this was how our living room was set up:

Pretty open, spacious, and tidy, right?
Then came a sweet bundle of joy. Not much changed, we just added a swing(remember how much she loved that swing?):
As she got bigger, and the swing officially retired, we started aquiring more toys, but the ones we used the most were her playmat and her jumperoo.
Then came her 1st birthday, the kitchen came first:
And then, the rest of the toys! Here is what our living room looks like now at the end of the day:
And after Mom has sang the “clean up” song and picked everything up while A mostly watches:
Sometimes she will put her food pieces back into their basket, lol!
We don’t really have room for her toys in her bedroom, otherwise they would definitely live in there. So, for now, majority of her fun things live in our living room.
I know it probably sounds so silly, but I have always dreamed of smudgy handprints, muddy footprints, hidden cheerios, and toys strewn everywhere. I am so thankful and so blessed that they are finally in MY house. I love knowing that someone can walk into our home and know, not only that a little girl lives here, but that she has the freedom to play and enjoy the things she has been provided. I want our house to be that for our children and for others as well.
I need to save this post for posterity for someday when we are over run with kiddos and the messes have multiplied by about a thousand to remind myself how much I prayed for and coveted those messes:)
I read on a blog the other day a great, great quote that I feel instantly transformed how I view my home(especially the living room and the toys that come streaming out of it):
“But the truth is, we need a new perspective. It is moments like this that should give us a lot of job satisfaction. These people are enjoying you. They are enjoying your work. But, like a great dinner all laid out on the table, you don’t enjoy it without touching it. A chef would not look at dishes coming back to the kitchen untouched as a sign of success. It would not mean great things about your work. Yet this is what we want from the work we do in our homes.
I’m sure most of you have noticed the magnetic power of what you clean. Clean the bookshelf up, and everyone wants to read. Organize the little toys, and everyone wants to play with the things they have been callously walking on for days. This is a sign that you are succeeding, that your people love your work. Think of it like food, because that is how it is getting used.”

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