• Kate Clinton

My Kids Shed Skin Like a Snake!

Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
I really don't like doing laundry. The thought of it makes me get sweaty. The whole time I am preparing clothes for the washing machine, moving the clothes to the dryer, folding the clothes, etc., I am filled with angst. I am often tempted to fold only half of the clothes in the dryer and then add the next load in to dry and hope my husband gets stuck folding that gigantic mess. Except the dyer can only hold so much, so that plan rarely works. My kids don't just take off their clothes and put them in the baskets in a nice, neat manner. They seem to shed their clothes like a snake sheds its skin. Perfectly inside out and all still attached to the next article of clothing. The T-Shirt is inside the sweatshirt, that is still tucked in to the pants with the undies in them, all inside out. Even the socks are still attached to the legs of the pants. It really is a feat to be able to accomplish something like that. It's also super annoying and makes my time in the laundry room twice as long as it should be. And of course, everything needs a stain treatment. I enter the laundry room with a pretty bad attitude.
And I really don't like getting groceries and putting them all away when I get home. It is such a process. You have to go to the store and walk around picking stuff up to put in the cart. Take the stuff from the cart to the cashier. Back in the cart. To the car. Into the house. Then each item has to reach its proper place. It's a half a day affair. I think it should count as a work out. And my kids always want to eat. It seems like I am constantly feeding them. Cleaning up after feeding them. Preparing to feed them. Or listening to them talk about food. Our grocery bill is ridiculous. Groceries can make me grumble.
One day I was in the laundry room, pulling underwear from inside out pants that were stained with dirt and grass, and I thought I might try to listen to God's teaching and be more thankful. I began to thank God for a healthy boy that could run around and play in the mud and make those stains. I thanked God that we had the money to buy all the clothes in the hamper, waiting to get washed. As I looked around the laundry room, I found more things to be thankful for. Thankful I didn't have to wash laundry by hand like they had to do in the “olden days.” Thankful that they made laundry detergent without scent for us sensitive skin people. It turned out there were all kinds of things to be thankful for in that little laundry room! I actually bought two old wash boards to remind me to be thankful. I also found the cutest poem that I read on the days the laundry baskets are full and my attitude is going downhill......

“Today I will be Thankful
for all the little socks and the grass stained jeans
and the endless piles of laundry,
for there will come a day
when the laundry basket is empty
and these days will be
profoundly missed.”
-Author Unknown
I am learning to catch myself when I grumble about groceries. I thank God for the money to buy them. For the strength to carry them. For the home to put them in and for 4 healthy kids that eat all the time.

A funny thing happens when you start being thankful. You find more and more to be thankful about. And your attitude begins to change. Grumpy is replaced with gratitude. Annoyed is replaced with delight. Complaints are replaced with counting blessings. And those tasks that were so burdensome before can become perfect opportunities to be thankful. We all have those days when the laundry piles up and the kids are screaming there is nothing to eat after you just spent a fortune and 5 hours getting groceries. But start with finding one thing to be thankful for. Put up some sort of visual reminder that will pull you out of your crazy moments and remind you to count your blessings. They are there. I will leave you with the some of the lines of the famous hymn, “Count Your Blessings” by Johnson Oatman . And I will be working on counting mine, as well!
“Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God has done!
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you were called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.”
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