This past year has been one for the books! And our world is still filled with surprises! From living through a pandemic, to the wildfires in California, to the snow storm in Texas and everything in between, it sure does feel like we’ve been on a wild ride!
And as I was thinking, I realized that it’s pretty easy to be thankful for the good things that happen to us and even easier to see those blessings as they come. But what about the challenges we face in our days? We all know that life can get messier than the squares we post on Instagram. In fact, life often has a way of presenting us with challenges that we weren’t expecting and frankly don’t have a desire to welcome into our space. In those times, are you able to recognize how blessed you really are? Are you able to see past the difficulties and identify what you have? If you’re anything like me, it’s not always that easy.
As of lately, in the craziness of my days, I’ve decided to go on a hunt for the good in times when it’s easier to complain. Why? Because I know that I have little eyes watching me, and that I have little ears listening to me, as well as little people trying to imitate me. Those sweet babies encourage me to be better than I was yesterday by inspiring me to think outside of the box. In doing so, I’ve found 12 unlikely things to be thankful and have listed them below:
I. Dishes to wash
Dishes, dishes, dishes! They are like a never ending cycle of work at my house. Or so I used to think until I took a look a little deeper and realized that all of the dishes that accumulate throughout the day mean that we have food to eat. As I took that truth in and let it sink in, I began to find joy in cleaning those dishes so that those who entered my home would have what they needed to fill their bellies and their hearts
II. Laundry to do
ALL OF THE PILES. ALL OF THE SMELLS. ALL OF THE STAINS. All of that equates to one simple truth – you and the ones you love have clothes to wear. Thank GOD, right?! There are some people who don’t have many or any clothes. So, the next time you see a full laundry basket at home, try to smile and think about how blessed you truly are.
III. Crumbs under the table
Food crumbs under the table are such a blessing in our household because it means that we gathered together for a family meal. We are also BIG on spending time with the people we know and love over a good home-cooked meal. So, when I see those little food crumbs and start to clean them up, all I can do is smile and think about how blessed I truly am.
IV. Early wake-ups
Early morning wake-ups have been a constant in our lives for the past six years since we’ve had kids. Although I might not always want to wake up in those early morning hours, I just remind myself that I am needed in those times. And that I am providing a foundation of trust, security, and love to my little ones.
V. Lots of noise
Sometimes, a lot of noise can be distracting or seem stressful to hear – especially after a LONG day of work. However, I know that one day, our nest will be empty and the noises of children laughing, playing, and screaming will be only a thing of my memory. So, I’m learning to embrace the noise because it means that our home is filled with love.
VI. Endless questions from the kids
Inquisitive minds search for answers to questions about the world around them. Questions are a way for the little people in your life to learn and be taught. The endless questions mean that those little people’s minds are growing. And, as all of the questions come, I’m learning to be ever so patient and teach my children – because if I don’t, someone else will.
VII. Toilets to clean
While cleaning is something that I enjoy doing – toilets are not number one on my list. But the fact that I have toilets to clean are such a blessing because it means that we have indoor plumbing. When I look at the blessing that comes from me and those that I love not having to use the restroom outside or in an outhouse, I realize that cleaning toilets is a greater blessing that I ever could have imagined.
VIII. Flat tires
Getting a flat tire can be such an inconvenience when you are on the move. But if you can recognize that the fact that you have a vehicle in the first place is such a blessing to begin with – it can help change your perspective of the uncomfortable experience you’re having at the moment. Flat tires can also be a way of slowing us down and giving us some time to think when we’ve been going nonstop.
IX. A home to clean
Shelter is a basic necessity that not all people on this planet have access to. It’s so basic and constant in most of our lives that we can take this blessing for granted. Instead of complaining about what you have to do, decide to make your way through every square foot of your home with cleaning products in hand and a smile on your face.
X. Little sniffles
When you or your loved ones have the sniffles, it can be serve as a blessing because you are able to receive additional love or give it away. I know that when my babies get a little under the weather, I’m able to provide a lot more cuddles as their little bodies are trying to recover. Even in sickness, I’m learning to cherish the good that can come from it.
XI. Long commutes
I know that the pandemic has taken commutes away from a lot of people, but some people still have this blessing in disguise. Long commutes can be draining at times. Sitting behind the wheel for hours each day was something I had grown accustomed to when I was working full time outside of our home. Back then, I used to get tired as I drove to and from work some days. But long commutes are great spaces to think, dream, and be at peace. You can listen to a new podcast, or turn on your favorite radio station and jam out!! If you have a long commute in your day, especially in life today since the pandemic, know that you are blessed because you get to have some quiet, alone time. Just make sure you use it wisely.
XII. Exhausted at the end of the day
Being totally and completely exhausted at the end of each and every day is something that I have grown accustomed too lately. Chasing four kids around while cooking, cleaning, emailing, planning, crafting, working, dreaming, etc. has me ready to turn in the towel at 9PM most nights. But now, I’m learning to look at that exhaustion through a different lens. I’m learning to identify my exhaustion on those nights as a sign that I have given my all that day to care for my family and pursue my dreams. But most of all, I’m learning to be grateful that I’m still alive. I’m still able to work so diligently when other people don’t have that same opportunity. Life is an amazing gift, so in my exhausted moments when I want to meltdown, I’ll remind myself of the true gift I really have to push me even harder.
I hope that this list helps you as much as it has helped me. Just remember during this crazy season of motherhood that we’re in, that there is good in the midst of the messiness – you just have to look for it. Life is full of opportunities and things to be grateful for – sometimes you just have to look a little bit harder to find them.
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