SummaryPatricia Purcell is like any other mom; bogged down with chores that impede the more important things. But she’s found 6 chores she’s grateful for.
If you’re like me, in the midst of raising a family, your life must seem sometimes to be one long round of serving others.
In my case, most days I wake up, see my hubby out the door (thankful that he’s already made me coffee), and then the marathon begins.
I rush about like a madwoman, starting loads of laundry, picking up random clutter, plotting the schedule for the day, throwing dinner in the slow cooker, making a grocery list, and more…all the while trying to get my kids to wake up.
The pace doesn’t slacken much as the day progresses.
I move between fixing meals, cleaning up messes, more laundry, teaching, dealing with paperwork, pondering those tough questions that my kids are prone to ask, fielding complaints and requests, and driving my offspring to whatever activity is on our packed agenda.
It’s the full life of a homeschooling mom. It’s wonderful. It’s…sometimes…exhausting.
My own mother used to have a sign hanging in her kitchen that seemed strange to me as a child, but now resonates with me as a mother. It read:
“Thank God for dirty dishes, they have a tale to tell.
While other folks go hungry, we’re eating very well.”
Lately I’ve thought about that poem, and the sentiment behind it. Sometimes the simplest chores can serve as a reminder to be thankful for the life that I have.
They are a reminder that a blessed life is meant to be a full one, made up of times of work and times of joy, which are often one and the same.
It makes me realize that in my daily life I have much to be thankful for.
1. Thank God for Dirty Dishes
So I am thankful for dirty dishes. I don’t mean that I relish cleaning up the kitchen (I love my dishwasher), but I am very grateful that we have plenty of nourishing food to eat.
If cleaning a few dishes is the price, then I’ll gladly pay it.
I am thankful too to be constantly cooking and for the frequent trips to the grocery store.
There has never been a day when I have had to tell my children that I have no food for them. They have never known real hunger.
There are too many people in this world who are not so fortunate.
2. Thank God for Endless Laundry
I’m thankful for the endless piles of laundry; for gym socks, and sweaty giis, and for awful, stubborn stains.
They are all signs that my kids (and husband) are active and physically able.
I know that there are mothers out there who would give anything if only their child could play sports. Of course I’m also grateful for air freshener and modern laundry detergent!
3. Thank God for So Much Schoolwork
I am thankful for the daily lessons that I must teach, and the chance that they offer to inspire greatness in my children.
I am thankful for my kids and the closeness that we share as a result of the hours of time spent together.
I am thankful for the piles of books that never seem to stay in their places, because it means that they’re being read and learned from.
I smile at the reams of paper and pens and pencils that we go through.
I’m grateful for the endless questions (even the ones that stump me) for they mean that these young minds that God has entrusted to me are growing.
I must also add that I am very grateful for the internet, without which some of those tough questions might still be stumping me!
4. Thank God for Constant Clutter
I give thanks for the constant clutter. The sneakers, art projects, science experiments, and piles and piles of books that daily have to be tucked away mean that my kids are learning.
Even the towers of LEGOS and scattered action figures are signs that they are creating and exploring as they are meant to do.
I feel lucky to live at a time when children can be allowed to blossom slowly into adults, rather than being forced out into the world too young.
5. Thank God for Crazy Messes
I might not always realize it at the time, but I am grateful for the unexpected things that happen.
The muddy footprints on the freshly cleaned floor, the steak sauce on the ceiling, bathtubs overflowing with bubbles, and crayon scribbles on the wall all are stressful and messy at the time.
Later though, it is the crazy, unexpected messes that turn into family stories and make us all laugh at the memories.
6. Thank God for So Much Driving
Sometimes I really have to remind myself of this one, but I am thankful for the constant driving.
Shuttling my children back and forth to activities and friends’ houses can quickly get exhausting, as can trying to juggle the schedule to fit everything in.
But it’s wonderful to have children who are involved in the world and interested in learning new skills.
I am grateful at each sign of their burgeoning independence, and happy that they can try their wings a little at a time.
I am also grateful for the kindness of my friends, who sometimes offer to drive a child or two somewhere, and gift me with unexpected time!
Thank God for My Family
So whenever I am tempted to groan about boring, repetitive chores, my busy life, or how tired I am, I take a moment and reflect instead on the everyday blessings that I have been given.
It makes a world of difference, and I am moved to thank God even for the exhaustion that comes from raising a family.
It is a reminder of the blessedly full life that I lead.