"I just wanted to tell you something... I've actually been meaning to tell you for a while... your post about Josiah and the mustard has stuck with me every day.. I get so wrapped up in every day motions that I forget to be thankful for every moment that I am given to simply be a mother. I know what it's like to lose out on your chance to be a mom due to God having other plans. It is because of you that I'm striving to be more positive. I'm trying to not micromanage and to just be thankful. Your words meant so much and really keep me going, especially through all the changes in our lives! I guess long story short, I just wanted to thank you! I'm grateful to have met you and I learn something new from you every day. I hope God continues to bless you and your beautiful family always!"
I read this and my eyes welled with tears. I shared it with my husband, and I thought....this....THIS is why I'm blogging. I want to inspire and encourage others.... I want to share my experiences and my lessons learned. I want others to see God through my story, and I want him to get the glory for it. So, here's the original post of this story:
"Last night, I was humbled by the least likely of situations. A few weeks ago, Josiah had emptied out an entire bottle of rice vinegar in his room......I thought that was bad until last night, when he emptied an entire bottle of yellow mustard, BRIGHT YELLOW mustard, all. over. his. room. When I discovered this, my husband had just taken Josiah to give him a bath, and I was in the middle of doing some work for church service the next morning. I was horrified....worrying about the carpet, irritated that I was being distracted from my work. So, my husband stripped his mustard-lathered sheets, blanket, pillows, and stuffed animals and put them in the washer, and I headed down to the corner store for some carpet cleaner. I came home, and while my boys were in the bathroom having bath time, I was in Josiah's room cleaning carpet, wiping down books, toys, toy bins, legos....you name it. It took me quite some time. After awhile, I don't know how to explain it except to say that I felt in the moment. I suddenly became aware of my attitude and was compelled to change it. I suddenly was overcome with gratitude. With each thing I wiped clean, I gave thanks for that thing and what it represented in our lives. For each page of a board book, I thanked God that my child had books....that his parents were literate. For each patch of carpet I scrubbed, I thanked him for our home, and for the fact that we had floors, and plumbing. With each spot of mustard I blotted and wiped and for the empty bottle I threw away, I thanked him for an abundance of food.....so much so that we could afford to waste it without fearing going hungry. Each time I wiped clean something that had been given to my son as a gift, I gave thanks for the person who had given it to him and for their love and presence in his life. When I looked at how much area my son had covered with this mess of mustard, I gave thanks for having a healthy and able-bodied child who is able to move and walk and jump and run. I suddenly realized in that expanse of time, that this was my reality at the moment. The damage was done, there wasn't anything I could do about that now but to clean up the aftermath, but what I COULD do, was to be grateful...in all circumstances....even in this one. In that tedious work, I found some solace in my gratitude for all my blessings - I was literally counting them, and each time I named something I was grateful for, another thing immediately took its place. I know this was a firstworld problem. I am keenly aware of how many people in this world go without so many things, but last night, in my gratitude, I was reminded of those people again, and reminded also to not take even the simplest things for granted. God truly works in mysterious ways.......even through an empty mustard bottle."
This situation was a reminder to me to give thanks in all things, and to pray continually. After that experience, I challenged myself.....I thought, what would happen if I always looked at situations this way? What would happen if, instead of getting upset and worried, I simply gave thanks and counted my blessings. What if my initial, go-to reaction from now on, was one of gratitude? I've tried to put this new thinking into practice, and here's what I've found - since I've started intentionally giving thanks, particularly in situations that would typically elicit a negative response, not only have I found an endless supply of things to be thankful for, but I am humbled and overcome by the evidence of God's love, grace, and provision in my life.
So....what will you thank God for today? Here's a hint.....it may very well be hiding in a seemingly undesirable situation - start there!