Monday, November 22, 2010

Gratitude for Work

That may sound strange, but I am so thankful that I can work, that I know how to work, that I was taught to work, that I like to work (love would be lying).

Mondays are my designated work day.

I'm grateful to get on Petunia and work up a sweat.  I've been injured enough and bedridden enough in my life to know that a healthy body and exercise are a blessing.  I try not to take them for granted.
I'm grateful for my favorite old shoes--I strap them on and my body automatically knows that it's time to work.  Someday my whole foot will peek out of that hole on the left side.  That will be a sad day.

I'm grateful for the two full bags of trash I hauled to the dumpster and the two full bags I took to DI today.  I love to organize and de-clutter, and these bags prove I've been working.
I'm grateful for the baskets and baskets of laundry I get to wash and fold every Monday evening. I cherish how this act of service to my little kids reminds me that I love them.
I'm grateful for seven extra loads of laundry today--from all these blankets being left out in a surprise rainstorm yesterday.  Seven blankets on the tramp means four kids wrestling and playing and loving each other.  I happily work to refold them, the echoes of their laughter and tears alive in my memory.
I'm grateful for the mess of music strewn across the piano.  I'll gladly straighten up that stack of paper. It's work to learn music, and it's work to remind kids to practice.  It's beautiful when they finally understand and practice just because they love the sound.
I'm grateful to teach Joy School to Hyrum and his friends every few weeks.  I enjoy the mornings that I have free, but every time they come, they reward my preparation with funny comments and lots of pretending.  Worth all the work.
I'm grateful for weeds in our garden.  We have few, and Brad pulls most of them, but I like to wander out there and work occasionally.  It reminds me of the hours I spent "weeding" and working as a child, rows of peas and potatoes, acres of lawn.  Life isn't supposed to be easy.  It's supposed to be work.  Then we reap the rewards of our labors.  Broccoli will be ripe in a few weeks.
I'm grateful for the random messes in my life--clay on the table, popcorn in the closet, moldy pancakes found in a pot.
Kids grow up and leave, as I well know.  And as they leave, so does the evidence that they once lived here and needed me.
Bodies age and wear out and break, preventing people from doing all that they wish they could, or all that they used to do.

I crawl into bed every night, exhausted from my labors of the day.
Exhausted, but ready for tomorrow.
I love my job.  I will wear myself out in their service.
And that's one of the greatest blessings in my life.



  1. Great outlook Jen! It truly is a blessing...all of it :) Nothing like the satisfaction felt after a day of work.

  2. Okay be thankful for laundry..that is my goal!

    There are so many people who would be beyond blessed to be able to do any of these are right to be grateful!

  3. Thank you for this...I'm thankful for you...and your ability to turn things around and make me recalculate my many blessings!

  4. That is so true about the laundry! I even have to smell it too. Makes me smile when I think of warm bodied little boys...I want to bottle up every moment so I can pour it out in single measures when they are all gone. I can't even think of the days when it's quiet and clean here and my meals are only made for two...kills me.
    Love, love, love every sigle minute of momness. Best job I was ever given.

  5. So beautifully said. I especially like the "life isn't supposed to be easy, you work and reap the rewards" part. That is so true and so often we forget that and try to take the easy route. Thanks for the reminders today.

  6. Looks like you are doing my absolute favorite Joy School project every-lucky moms!

    And are you sure you're really thankful for laundry, 'cause it sounds good....but *really*???

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  8. Thank you! I needed that post today! Today, I am grateful for a little boy that makes me work (even when that work is washing extra laundry because the boy wet his pants while in time out! Grr!) OK, so maybe I need to work on really being grateful. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. I agree. There isn't anything that can't be accomplished with work. I think in the end, that is what is going to seperate a lot of people...those who want to work and get satisfaction from it and those who think it has no value. Great post. Kinda made me sad thinking that evidence of my children is going to leave...sniffles.

  10. I'm glad you're valuing it now, while you can.

    I did love those days when my children were at home, but I think I took it all a little bit too much for granted. Sounds like you are not making that mistake!


  11. PS. I agree that work is a blessing! I first understood that when I had to go on bed rest with Ryan. I wanted to get up and clean my house more than almost anything.

    To you AND the family.


  12. I love your perspective on work :) I also think it's wonderful to have so much housework and work in general because they remind you of how much you're needed in the family.

  13. Very well put. I feel this way about so many things. I got my work ethic from my father, the hardest worker I've ever known - without a complaint. The ability to work is a gift. Any ability is a gift and should be used to the fullest.

  14. This is one of your best posts. I heartily agree with the beauty and value of hard work and you expressed it beautifully.

  15. I'm grateful for your blog! Happy Thanksgiving my friend..xoxo

  16. I really liked this post. It reminded me of so many sweet things both in memory and in the present. I have to draw the line at broccoli though. That is nothing to be thankful for. (Let the weeds choke it, I say!) It looks so pretty and green on your plate, but it's EVIL.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your beautiful family!

  17. So you have food hiders too? I killed off my momma's ficus in the kitchen before she finally figured it out!