Guest Blogger,  Housekeeping

Choose Gratitude

Special Note: This article is part of an intentional home series by Davonne Parks, author of Chaos to Clutter-Free. To view the rest of the articles in this series, go here.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to bring a woman from a third world country into my home. I imagine her excitement upon noticing my sink. So many beautiful dishes! Running water! Oh, look at those soap bubbles! I can almost see her giggle as she washes my plates, absolutely thrilled to help take care of them and put them into cupboards.

I imagine, when we’re finished cleaning the kitchen, that I’ll offer several hand-me-down outfits to her. She would exclaim excitedly again, trying to figure out the fastest way to get word back to her friends. There are clothes! Enough for all of us! I can’t wait to show you, to share with you, my friends!

As dinnertime nears, I would open my fridge and she’d gasp with astonishment. So much food! You are rich! Children, we will eat well tonight! Thrilled beyond words, she would ask me how to start a cooking fire in the stove.

As I’d show her how to turn the knob, I’d contemplate her generosity and her excitement to share the work in my home. I would know she sees that I have enough for many people. Much more than I truly need.

And I would realize that I am blessed beyond measure. Compared to most of the world, I’m rich.

After months of wrestling within my soul, after feeling that cleaning isn’t important, and wishing that I was doing something else, the blinders have been removed from my eyes and my heart as I finally understand:

The best thing about cleaning isn’t having a clean house afterward. The best thing about cleaning is simply having things to clean.

Homes to care for, dishes to eat from, food to enjoy, toys for our children to play with, plenty of outfits to wear…it’s all so much. We are abundantly blessed.

No amount of possessions or blessings can cultivate a thankful and content spirit—that must be a choice we make from within.

When there are mountains of laundry all over the place, are you thankful that your family is blessed with plenty to wear, or are you annoyed about the work needing to be done?

I admit that, too often, I’m annoyed.

But we can train ourselves to choose gratitude instead. We should regularly pay attention to how we feel about messes in our homes, and gently redirect our thoughts as needed:

  • When we see a pile of laundry, let’s say, “I’m so thankful that we have so many clothes to wear.”
  • When our sinks are piled high with dishes, let’s tell ourselves, “These dishes are evidence that we’re creating memories around the dinner table.”
  • If our kids’ bedroom is a danger zone, we can decide, “I have an incredible opportunity to teach my child an important life skill today!”

We have a choice—we can be thankful to have clothes to wear, food to eat, and a home to enjoy, or we can be irritated about the mess. Let’s choose to have an attitude of gratitude.

Personal Thought/Application Question: Do you tend to feel annoyed or frustrated when your house continually gets messy? If so, write down your three biggest home annoyances; then list ways you can choose to be intentional about thankfulness.

Davonne Parks believes that your role at home is valuable and she wants to help you thrive in your environment. Click here to receive immediate access to the FREE printable library she created just for you.



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