Now, once you read this next line, I am sure you will think I am certifiably insane, but I have a reason, trust me. I am thankful for the laundry in my baskets, the shoes on the floor, and even that glass that is left on my counter when I just finished the dishes for the night.
Yes, that seems crazy, but let me explain.
I was scrolling through Facebook the other day and I read an article. The article was about a woman who hated laundry, and cleaning after her husband and kids. She complained and grumbled at the sight of those items scattered throughout the house. Until one day her husband was killed in an automobile accident. After all the funeral arrangements were all over and she was sitting in her house all alone, she walked into her room and there was his shoes and shirt still lying at the foot of the bed. She had hollered and nagged at him so often about putting his shoes up and putting his clothes in the dirty clothes basket. She wouldn’t be able to do that any more. When she picked up those shoes and that shirt, it would be the last article of clothing that she would ever pick up again. She sat there at the foot of her bed and she bawled like a baby.
She recalled all the times before that she would storm through the house and grumble and holler at everyone that came into view. She would bark orders, “I have told you a million times to stop throwing your shoes on the floor”, “pick your stuff up, I am not your maid”. As she looked back at her behavior she realized that those items lying everywhere were a blessing.
As I read this article I reflected on my own life. I realized that I did the same thing. When I get home from work, my littlest son has thrown his backpack and coat on the floor. My daughter’s shoes are in the middle of the floor as she is kicked back in the recliner. My husband’s lunch box and thermos is all over the kitchen counter, and his coat is hanging on the dining room table chair. Breakfast dishes and my son’s lunch dishes are scattered all over in the sink and counter….not washed, like I have told my son a million times to do when he is home all day. It made me crazy. I would spend 20 minutes every day picking up, and would be grumbling at everyone the whole time.
My son is 18 and in college and my daughter is 17 and a Senior in high school. My son, even though still young, is in a serious relationship and I expect in the next few years will be married and living with his new wife. My daughter, in less than 6 months, will be off to college and only home on the weekends, if I am lucky. I decided, that even though I still believe they should pick up after their self, I would look at things differently from now on. Instead of complaining that shoes are not picked up, I would be thankful that those shoes are still in my house so I can pick them up. It means my daughter is still where I can see her everyday. I will be thankful that the dishes are not done, because that means that my oldest son is still there for me to talk to and hug. I will no longer complain about the clothes not put in the dirty clothes basket. I will no longer complain about doing the laundry because it means I have my family still living in my house and I am able to do their laundry.
I remember last summer when I was doing laundry and I had to wash and fold the last load of laundry of my son’s. He had gone off to Army Basic Training. This boy, who had hardly spent a night a way from home, is now gone for 6 months. I cried when I folded and put away the last of his clothes. I think we look at the task at hand and we forget why we do the things that moms do for our family. I love my family and it is my job to take care of them.
The other day I was reading Proverbs 31 10:31. – A Virtuous Woman. As I read this, I realized I have failed in so many ways.
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates
I find it impossible to achieve every one of these attributes all at the same time, but if I work on them, one at a time, I believe I can be more successful.
So instead of hollering and storming through the house at everyone that steps into view, I will take a deep breath, and be thankful that I am still needed. I will be thankful that I still have my daughter, my two sons, and my husband still with me. I will be thankful that I am healthy and am able to take care of my family. I will be thankful every day, in all that I do. That is the only way I can get through each day. It is not healthy for me or my family to be so grumpy and angry with them every day. I want my children to rise up and call me blessed. I want my husband to praise me. I am sure there are a few of you, that will read this and not agree with what I have said. Everyone has the right to their opinion, and this is mine. I have been much happier and joyful since I have looked at those shoes lying on the floor in a different light. I have a change of heart. I am thankful for those shoes on the floor, and I don’t look forward to the day I come home and they are not there for me to pick up. God Bless and I hope you have a change of heart as well.