Proverbs 14:4 says, “Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox.” This verse is very plain and we can miss the blessing in it for us if we are not careful, just like we can miss the blessing of our messes. As we travel to see family we spend much time packing and making sure everything is nice and tidy. We clean the car before we put everything in and I have the car ever so neat before we pull out of the driveway. However, something happens about 200 miles down the road. Someone lets off a bomb in our car and all the stuff is everywhere! If I’m not careful I can let these little messes get to me and I can miss the blessing in the mess. What is the blessing? The blessing is the four children that God has given to my wife and I. Sure, if we didn’t have our children then there would be no mess in the back seats. Let each of us remember this simple thought as we look around our homes and see the little messes. As we see the toys not always put away, the dishes left on the table, the milk left out, the towels left on the bathroom floor (you know I could go on!). It is a constant battle teaching those little ones to pick up but oh what a blessing they are. So, before you get too aggravated at the little messes and before you lose your wits…look beyond the mess and see the blessing. Just smile, and remember to thank the Lord for your dirty manger because it means you have been blessed with oxen.