Yesterday, between the hours of 6:30am and 6:30pm, I swept my kitchen floor nine times. NINE. TIMES. I’m not exaggerating here, people — I intentionally counted. In case you’re wondering, I swept my kitchen floor eight times too many.
In a perfect world, my home would be clean and orderly every second of every day, because clutter all around me results in clutter in my mind. Believe me when I say that NOBODY wants me to have a cluttered mind. I already routinely forget parent-teacher conferences and costume day at school; I’m convinced I need to work hard to salvage what’s left of my mental capacity.
In reality, my home is a hot mess. I’m sitting in my office as I write this, and I’m staring at stacks of UPS boxes, baskets of craft supplies, to-be-filed bills that date all the way back to 2015, and a large stack of curtain rods (yes, curtain rods) underneath my desk that have been there since we moved into our home a year and a half ago, just waiting to be used. One day I’ll have curtains in my home and it will look lovely. That day is not today.
In my bedroom you’ll find a massive pile of dirty laundry by the door to the bathroom, and three baskets full of clean clothes waiting to be put away in their respective homes. You’ll find a large pile of right-foot shoes under the window. Why right-foot shoes? Because I have torn ligaments in my left ankle that require me to wear a hideously massive air boot on my left foot, so solo shoes are kind of my jam right now.
Notice that I haven’t even mentioned my kids’ messes.
And yesterday I swept my floor nine times.
It’s easy to let the frustration take over, to let bitterness take root. It’s easy to say all the things, like, “If the other member of this family would notice when something needs to be done and just DO IT, my home would be in great shape,” or, “They have no appreciation for the hard work I do day in and day out!”
That’s a glass-half-empty mentality, and it needs to be snuffed out now. The truth is, we as moms tend to hold ourselves (and our homes) to impossible standards. We often worry about how we look from the outside more than we consider our hearts and the hearts of our homes.
We need to recenter our minds on what matters in light of eternity. I’m pretty sure we’ll quickly see that our dirty floors and un-filed bills and mountains of laundry are insignificant.
Today I choose gratitude, and I hope you will join me in cultivating a heart of thankfulness.
I’m thankful for children who run and play and roll in the leaves and pine needles and dirt that they then track into my home from sunrise to sundown. I’m thankful that every time I need to sweep my kitchen floors, it’s because my children are enjoying a childhood, and many children around the world don’t get to be young and carefree like mine do.
I’m thankful for the neighbor kids who come over and trample through the yard and exponentially increase said leaves and pine needles and dirt that is tracked into my home. What a joy to have the chance to love on and influence so many little ones for Jesus.
I’m thankful for the pile of bills in my office, because we have been able to pay every single one. Each one represents God’s provision for my family, and upon reflection, methinks it might be just fine that they sit out as daily reminders that HE is our daily bread.
I’m thankful for the piles of laundry, dirty and clean, and the privilege it is to launder our many articles of clothing. I know people who own a solitary outfit — that’s it. And still I have the gall to utter a complaint, me and my automatic washing and drying machines.
There is so much room for gratitude in our lives, if only we look hard enough. I find that more often than not it simply requires a shift in my perspective, a renewing of my mind, and a refocusing on the things that really matter. The things that eternally matter.
With a thankful heart,
This article originally appeared at Feel Free to Laugh.