Often as I was in the midst of raising 5 young children, the dirty clothes would become a looming impenetrable mountain in my laundry room. Seriously, if I let it get away from me, meaning: “didn’t wash clothes every single day,” there could be laundry a foot deep that I had to maneuver my way through just to get to the washing machine. So many tears…. My tears. Crying to my husband about how terrible it was that laundry was consuming my entire life. The struggle was real. One day, he surprised me with the latest and greatest (and BIGGEST) washing machine and dryer ever made. These newest appliances were going to save my life. Or at least my sanity. Or my husband’s sanity. I literally could dump an entire large basket in and wash.
It was amazing.
For a while.
Those latest and greatest (and bought pre-“DaveRamsey,” I might add) actually weren’t all that great when it came to being dependable. The washer stopped working right after our warranty ran out. If we had only been sane enough to read the reviews prior to purchase, we would have seen that every single owner hated those machines with a passion.
However, I learned some great lessons from that season so, I will look on the bright side and share them so that no one has to learn them the hard way like I did.
- First, I should have been grateful for my five kids and their mountain of laundry because there are many women who are praying in earnest for children.
- Second, we really didn’t need all of those clothes and some of those clothes weren’t dirty, just worn. They should have been put back in the closets and drawers.
- Third, don’t put anything on credit. If you can’t pay cash for it, you don’t need it. #DaveRamseyRuinedMyLife #JustKidding #DaveRamseyRocks #FPU
- Finally, there are mamas around the world who walk hours and hours carrying their families’ clothing, to get to a place to do laundry in dirty contaminated water. Most will fetch water in a bucket from a water source that is murky and shared with the local animals. These mamas then scrub every piece by hand and lay it over a bush or in a tree to dry. After drying each piece in the African sun, they fold it all and carry it back home.
And I whined about my laundry.
I read a book a few years ago that changed my outlook on my life. One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voscamp challenged me to look at everything, especially the small things, as “gifts.” She encouraged readers to see the gift of the simple. She challenged readers to embrace the season they are in. Love the moment. Find joy in the journey. She taught me and millions like me, to be thankful. As Paul writes in Philippians, “I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances” (Phil 4:11) we also should have the desire for contentment. David calls us to “Enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts” (Psalm 100:4). We can find similar words throughout the Bible. But why? As I learned from “One Thousand Gifts,” if our hearts are focused on our blessings, we will find that sadness, discontentment, depression, jealousy, etc will have no place in our lives.
While I believe that everyone would benefit from making a list of one thousand gifts, I know the idea could seem daunting. So, today, I encourage you to simply find ten things God has blessed you with and focus on them. Write them down. Put the list somewhere you can see over and over. Thank God for those things. In doing so, you will find “gifts” in the most unlikely places and joy in your journey.