She started unloading the dishwasher with a heavy sigh and droopy shoulders. She was obviously not happy with the task at hand and truthfully hadn’t been happy with any task lately, content to only do what she wanted to do.
I stopped her and reminded her that part of being in a family is taking part in the tending of that family and it’s stuff. And I also encouraged her to remember that she should be grateful that there were dishes to put away because that meant we’d had food to eat. And the very fact that she was unloading a dishwasher meant that the task of actually washing dishes had been done for her and she had the easy part. We talked a few minutes about not despising the work that often times comes with the gifts we receive in our lives.
And right then and there my own gentle words that I was hoping to encourage and teach my daughter gratitude with turned around and smacked me in the face.
We’ve had a busy six weeks. I mean ridiculously busy and things keep crowding in on my to-do list. I realized that while individually I did not mind the tasks at hand, cumulatively I was drowning. And I was letting the feelings of overwhelmedness (I think I just made a new word) wash me down a river of resentment. I couldn’t enjoy anything because it was all beginning to look like just one more than thing that had to be tended.
So I hugged my girl and took a minute to rejoice in the work of parenting and for the ways our Father uses those situations to parent me. And instead of looking at a great big pile of must take care ofs I needed to look at each task as the gift of work from the hand of a loving Father who has given me much. The work my friends, represents the blessings of family and friends and clients, home and church and school activity. And I don’t want to fall prey to despising His generosity.
So whatever is crowding your to-do list at the beginning of this week, whatever crazy holiday schedule is looming on the horizon, remind yourself that God is the giver of good gifts and that the work that can sometimes come from those blessings and opportunities is a gift in and of itself.