Sometimes life feels like it sucks. It can just suck life out of you, you know?
Laundry used to be kind of fun when the kids were little and things were peeny and precious to put away.
But now they are growing up and things get bigger and boring and blah. I know that might seem weird to some of you but I have a feeling that I am not alone in this.
That's right, you're nodding your head in agreement, aren't you? Solidarity sister!
So lately everything has just gotten blah. Blah to pick up their crap. Blah to vacuum. Blah to unload the dishwasher. Blah to do the laundry.
And it's been that way for many months. Maybe even a year or more.
But then I realized something and it has seemed to change everything!
I remembered back to when I found myself a new bride and so excited about everything our friends and family had blessed our home with...colanders, throw pillows, wooden spoons, and sheets. They were all new and crisp and wonderful. It was all such a gift and we felt so blessed and loved.
Then those started to get boring but a few years later we found out we were expecting our first child. And soon we were registering and then getting! all kinds of amazing new things...outfits that were tiny, baskets, bins, combs, and clippers. Again, friends and family gifted us with all of these fun and fabulous things. I mean, how great is getting pregnant when you get to be the Momma to a perfect angel girl and get fabulous prizes?
I get a little of that zing and "wow" each Christmas and after each of the children's birthdays when I am trying to figure out where I am going to put all of these toys.
So if you'll notice I seem to be amazed and wondered by things when they are gifts. When I feel super appreciative that someone gave it to me.
But then I am dumb and forget the whole point of being a Christian and having Jesus on my side because, hello? Isn't everything a gift? Isn't it? I mean, think about it real hard friends. And so I have raised my appreciation level of things that are just things but things that are also so much more. And that's the word that has changed everything...
I appreciate things more when I see them as gifts.
Milk is a gift.
Silverware is a gift.
The nasty muddy kinked hose in the back yard is a gift.
Underpants are a gift.
And here's where I'll focus on underpants.
A few months ago I confessed to a few friends that Emma had over 60 pairs of underpants. Clearly I had some type of problem. No one needs a two month supply of unders, no matter how lazy their Mom may be.
So I purged and decided what to keep and we are down to a "healthy" number of 30.
Don't judge me.
Well maybe you can judge me but I am doing better.
When I wash the underpants of Princess Emma I now feel happy as I gently fold them and stack them. Each pair is a gift from God. Each pair is cute and fun and hopefully makes Emma feel well taken care of, protected, and loved. She knows she doesn't have to worry for basic needs and that she is always provided for and cherished. By God and by her parents.
And appreciating things helps me to handle it better, to put it away nicelier (because you know that secretly is a real word), to spend more time feeling the cotton, and the softness of material.
So there it is: the secret to keeping my home tidy is appreciating what I have.
Now that I have been appreciating things I want to see all of the pieces back in the game box when the night is over. And the pajamas in pairs and nicely folded in the drawer. And the bed made and the bedskirt straight. And the dishes done and the dishwasher empty. I want to see everything taken care of that God has gifted us with. And in doing that I am finding that my house is picked up, tidy, and neat.
And for me, that is everything.
It's no longer feeling like a job or a struggle because the gift in and of itself is that I have been gifted with these things and this life.
And what a glorious gift it is!
I hope you can see things in a new light today friend, and can start to appreciate things in a new and exciting way!