How often have you quickly thrown a load of clothes in the washer in haste and then walked to the kitchen to begin the task of doing the mountain of dishes? Being a wife and mother can be a daunting task, filled with thoughts of when will it ever end? Give that thought a moment…Do you WANT it to end? Have you ever thought what the end of those tasks may mean?
This conversation plays over and over in my head so often when I get discouraged and dismayed at the piles of work that lies before me. After a long day of work, on days where I have been stricken with illness, or life just isn’t in tune with my need for rest and play, household tasks stare me right in the face. Then I remember the “Why” of these things. Why are there dishes? Why is there a mountain of laundry? Why does the house need cleaned? Why are there so many baths to give and bedtime stories to read?
I try to remember that in a specific way, each of these are blessings given to me from God. He has blessed me for all the things I prayed for and my heart desired. He has given me a loving husband who takes care of the needs of our home and my automobile and our large farm. God has blessed me with two beautiful children, boys at that! These boys give me joy, they make me grow both in my knowledge, but also in my wisdom and allow me to expand my cooking, baking and cleaning skills! We are blessed with dogs, big and small. These little blessings know nothing but unconditional love. They roll on the floor, they eat and drink, they need let out to enjoy the seasons and run, and they have seasonal needs for hair brushing and that comes with cleaning behind their shedding hair. I am blessed with a home with which shelters our lovely family during storms, heat and cold. This home has been the home of our family businesses for the last 16 years, faithfully fulfilling needs daily for relationships, fellowship, faith, rest, play and so much more. We are blessed with a large, remote farm, almost a mile off the road that breeds wildlife; turkeys, deer, rabbits, coyotes and more. Everywhere I look the blessings are overflowing and abundant.
As God reminds me of my blessings, I then meekly remember my responsibilities for thanking God for these blessings. The responsibility I have is to keep these things maintained so I can continue receiving God’s blessings and to show reverence and thankfulness for those blessings, so they continue to be blessings, both to us and to others.
With thankfulness and prayer, I wash dishes with a smile on my face and thank God that I am able to make meals with wonderfully provided ingredients. The dishes are a product of the joy of having family around me and I am thankful to have these people around me. One day my boys will no longer be here in our home but rather moving on to create their own home. Likewise, laundry is created by the human beings and family in my life. I want my family to go out of our home with respect for themselves and their homes by wearing clean, neatly ironed (as needed) clothing. I want my family protected from illness and therefore towels, washcloths and sheets go into the mountain of fabric in the hallway! Without these mountains of laundry and dishes, would I be lonely, sad? Do I really wish these tasks weren’t here or that I didn’t have them to do? I quickly shoot a prayer up thanking God for Mount Faded Glory and Mount Hanes!
I remember those bath times of the past. They were chaotic at best, as my boys are six years apart. The youngest was a fish and wanted to stay in the tub for an hour, dreaming of being a real fish, he would jump out of the water and slam back into the tub (hence a hole in our second floor tub that had to have an emergency patch that is still there today and we giggle every time we look at it). My oldest hated to take time to clean himself, but once he was in, we would have to remind him that water would turn cold if he stayed in there! There was the time(s) that the youngest transitioned from baths to showers and decided that if he wet his head, that equated a shower. My “mommy chip” (another blog) would have to kick in and I would have to do the hair sniff test and send him stomping back to take a “real” shower. Taking a shower simply was not in his plans when there were so many other activities to do! Boys.
Story time seemed to last forever for our youngest, one more, one more, one more and then he would play for hours in bed before falling asleep. He needed a tranquilizer to get him to fall asleep, or so I would dream. Now, at 21, he eagerly heads off to shower and bed between 8:30-9:00 in an effort to get his rest for work the next day. Those chaotic days are simply memories now, but how I miss those days. They were the days that these sweet memories are made of. They are so sweet and make my heart so full. These precious memories of the past remind me how blessed I was and still am to have chores to do with and for my family. How sad it can be when we no longer have those times. Instead of the squeals of children and the stress of bedtime, I am reminded of the silence as the wall clock in the living room echoes its tick-tock, tick-tock. As written in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” New Living Translation
How many times I have had to remind myself that God says in Proverbs to work as if you are working and doing everything for God. (Colossians 3:23-24, Ephesians 6:7)Aren’t we doing just that with our lives? Everything that we do is a reflection of God’s love for us set to shine out into the world for others to see. When Satan creeps in and plays with my heart on those days that seem so overwhelming, I try to bring my thoughts back to God and the blessing that He has granted my desires and prayers. It is my responsibility to take care of these things and to be thankful! So, I go to praying and smiling as I do the dishes, the laundry, the household chores, the other chores that instead of being chores, can be a means of praise to God. Sometimes I add music to my praise and worship of these tasks and I like to pick some of my favorites Newsboys, Casting Crowns, Alan Jackson and This Hope. These are some really meaningful praise and worship songs for me as I try to regain my composure and to be thankful in my chores.
As you do the laundry and dishes today, dab on an encouraging drop of Joy and be sure to pray as you do. Thank God for the blessings you have; food, shelter, family and faith! You really are blessed and in an effort to continue receiving blessings, pray and be thankful for each and every blessing! Try this each day for a week and look back at the end of the week to see how your attitude has changed and how it has changed those around you. Share your discovery with your friends around you and start a group of sharing and support each other as you begin a new way of life! Don’t know God? Want to learn more? Contact us and we will share resources in your area to begin your journey!
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