Years ago, my dear friend Susan said something that has never left me. She said that she was feeling really negative one day as she was picking up clothes that her daughter had left lying around. She caught herself and decided to reframe the situation, telling herself, "I'm grateful that I have a daughter to pick up after."
I have thought about this story many times (including quite a few times just this week!). The last few weeks have taken quite a toll on our house. Running here and there all over town to the kids' events, with brief stops at home, and children too busy to do their normal chores has left this place in need of some serious TLC. So much going on! My sweetheart is finishing up a longer-than-usual trip through Latin America (almost done - hooray!), and I'm so ready for him to be home. Simply talking with him each evening gives me the boost I need to keep going when things are crazy and the days are long. I've missed that - a lot. Phone calls are great, but I need a big hug!!!
Today was the day to do something about all of the messes that have been low priority for a while - time to seriously clean house. My big kids are heading west to music and football camp this weekend, and I knew I needed their help. As I looked around, I felt so discouraged at first. Then I remembered Susan's words and thought I'd give it a try. Here are some things that I'm grateful for today:
I am grateful that my children have shoes to wear. All of these were in one closet in our laundry room! (Yep - I was shocked! ) I am grateful for the memories connected to them - the football games all of these cleats have been in, the beach trips in our water shoes, and many more. Finally, I am grateful our church is having a SHOE DRIVE as a service project this week as part of Youth Conference! Yippee! About half of these babies are going to be a blessing to the needy in Honduras.
I am grateful for this boy! Everyone needs a kid that loves to throw things away. He's mine. I put him in charge of the "shoe closet" and he came through with flying colors. I gave him a few basic directions, and told him, "If in doubt, throw it away." This is what my closet looks like now:
I am grateful we have clothes to wear. These are my "sorted by kid" piles ready to be hung. I am ALMOST through the baskets upon baskets of laundry in the laundry room. (Then we'll bring down what's in the kids' rooms and keep washing.) I am profoundly grateful that I don't have to wash these by hand!
I am grateful for Cub Scout Day Camp. Isaac is a Ranger this year, and Joseph a participant up at what I call "The dirtiest place on earth." They come home completely dust covered and filthy each day, but grinning from ear to ear. I went as a leader Monday and had the BEST time. Sometimes boys just need to be goofy and get dirty without being grouched at, and I'm glad they get to do that this week.
And finally - I am grateful that I get to speak to a couple hundred
teenagers at Youth Conference, teach the women at church, and sing at
church all in the same 24 hours. I am glad that people feel like they
can count on me and that I have something valuable to contribute. (And
truthfully - I am WAY excited about the Youth Conference. I have a
special place in my heart for teenagers. Love their guts.)
So - much work still ahead, but it sure feels a lot better when I choose to count my blessings.