A few days ago, Sophia managed to wet her bed and mine, all in the same night. Because I was a little too tired to bother with changing her sheets, I let her come to bed with me after the first incident. And then she managed to repeat herself in my bed, less than two hours later. As if this wasn't bad enough, she was cuddled up so closely to me that she also wet me.
Naturally, this wasn't something I could sleep through, and there were no more beds left. So, I had to wake up Joel and we changed the sheets. Then I changed Sophia's clothes for the second time that night, and then changed my own. Lots of changing.
In the morning, my plans for the day were a bit derailed as I stripped Sophia's bed, and hauled all the urine-soaked items to the basement to do a few loads of laundry. Situations like these do not generally make me very happy, so I was muttering to myself as I tromped down to my dungeon of a laundry room.
I was definitely not grateful for the situation by any stretch of the imagination.
Somewhere between starting the first load and beginning to sort the other hampers, it hit me. There are probably hundreds of women who would give anything to have the kind of morning I was having. They'd probably even give quite a bit to have the kind of night I had, wet beds and all.
What if I didn't have a washing machine to quickly take care of the problem? What if I didn't have sheets or beds to be wet in the first place? And, worst of all, what if I didn't even have Sophia to wet them?
That would be a lot worse than the minor inconvenience of waking up at 2 am to change the sheets and having extra laundry to do the next day.
How many things in life are like that? It's impossible to count. I'm guessing for nearly every annoyance or complaint you have, you can turn it into a gratitude. Here are a few more I thought of.
Dirty Dishes. Boy do they ever pile up. Sometimes, like laundry, they seem never ending. Unless I begin to use paper goods entirely, they will always be there. As much as I hate doing them, it means I have food on my table and children who aren't hungry. It means I have a sink to wash them in (no dishwasher here) and cupboards to keep them in.
Laundry. Doing all of the mountains I do week after week gets pretty old. But it means my children have (lots of) clothes to wear. It means my husband and I have clothing. It means we will stay warm through the winter. It means I have sheets and blankets on my bed. And I'm not out in the river scrubbing my hands raw to clean it all.
Toys all over the house. I may trip on them and I may throw up my hands in defeat when the kids forget the fact that we have a playroom and bring everything to the kitchen (and the living room, and their bedrooms, and my bedroom, and the bathroom) to play with, but it means we have plenty of toys for them. It means I have a big enough house for them to be strewn all over the place. It means I have children who want to be where I am, and not upstairs alone in the playroom.
Cleaning the toilet. Quite possibly one of the worst jobs in the house, but it means I have a toilet. It means I live in a day and age where things are so darn convenient, I don't have to bundle myself up and traipse through weather and mud to get to an outhouse. It means potty training is a heck of a lot easier.
Vacuuming. This is the one chore that always seems to be moved to the next day because I run out of time. But when I finally do get to it, it means I have a way to clean my floors that is quick and easy. It means I don't have to pull my rugs outside and beat them with a stick. It means I have rugs to clean, and children to grind crackers into them.
Paying bills. There is nothing more exciting than watching your entire paycheck go flying out the window to tithing, to the bank, to the insurance company, to the electricity people, to the preschool and music teachers, to the student loan, to the mortgage. But it means we have the money to have all of those things. It means my husband has a job. It means we are responsible adults.
Exercising. Nope, don't love it yet. But the fact that I can do it means I have a body that is working. It means I am basically healthy. It means I have time to think and ponder, or time to just watch TV. It means I am overcoming my tendency to not exercise.
I think I'll end there, but you get my drift. There is always a silver lining, and I have been trying to focus more on that part of my laundry-filled life, instead of the part where I have to do laundry and I hate it. Because, as it turns out, I don't hate it. I love it, because I am truly blessed.
Now, what are you not grateful for (but really you are)?