I was rinsing dishes my youngest son was washing for the third time because he didn’t get them clean the first two times. In my mind I was reluctantly going over my “to do” list for the day—washing clothes, folding clothes, baking, cleaning, cooking …. The phone rang.
It was Marie. She wanted to talk to my husband, who wasn’t home. As we continued talking she said, “I’m really looking forward to vacuuming today. It’s been almost a year since I moved into my place after living in a car for months. I’m glad I have rugs to vacuum!”
”It’s amazing what we take for granted sometimes, isn’t it?” I looked around my home with a new perspective. Items on my list suddenly switched from things to sigh about to things to rejoice about:
- Active, happy children who wear the clothes I wash
- The ability to smell and taste warm-from-the oven chocolate chip cookies
- A house to live in and a vacuum cleaner to use when it needs to be cleaned
- Good health and energy to do the work before me
- Opportunities to teach my children not only skills like washing dishes, but also character qualities like perseverance.
Christmas is just around the corner. My conversation with Marie not only reminded me of my need to be thankful, but also of the fact many people are living in difficult circumstances. Yes, I need to be thankful for the many blessings in my life. However, I should also help those around me so they can enjoy Christmas too. I can:
- Make or find that special gift for my child who often frustrates me.
- Invite lonely people to join us for Christmas dinner
- Spend an evening caroling around my neighborhood
- Volunteer to look after children so a single parent can go shopping alone
- Donate food or time to a local food bank or shelter
Will you join me in rejoicing and reaching out this Christmas? What will you choose to be thankful for? How will you reach out to those around you?