My poor house.

I pull out my vacuum cleaner, and it’s covered with stickers. Still don’t know which child did that. But those are sparkly stickers, different from the foam ladybug sticker on the outside of my minivan. (My husband asks me what happens after he vacuums the van—it’s only been two days, after all, and look! How do they accomplish this amount of mess in this amount of time? I don’t know, Honey. I don’t know.)

I keep looking for ways to get the red dry-erase marker off the wall. It’s a lot harder than getting out the pencil that was carefully scribbled into the wainscoting, to those intricate little dips in the panels on the door, to the washer, and finally stopped at the dryer. My 3-year-old got to clean most of that off, but here’s to hoping cleanliness does not equal godliness.

My carpet will breathe a sigh of relief if we ever move. I think I’m contributing to part of the problem, wearing a trail from our bed to the crib. And there really is no such thing as a leakproof sippy cup. Or a leakproof child or black lab.

The railing of the brand-new wooden bunkbed was christened with my oldest’s teeth; he just gnawed the finish off in one spot because he was bored one night.

Our valuable knicknacks have grown fewer since we started out with them low to the ground, then moved the remaining ones waist-high, then whichever ones made it through that mistake were moved above the kids’ reach plus a stool plus a pillow.

Mentally, I’ve somewhat come to grips with God’s words, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust” [and children] “destroy” (Matthew 6:19). I’m definitely hoping my woodwork in heaven is a little longer lasting.

I diligently, often daily, work against my children being destructive. But I’m reminded that my kids aren’t born disciplined or extremely neat, so it’s you-know-who’s job to reprogram them … daily.

And I plan to. As soon as I get done wiping the sidewalk chalk off the hutch.