Clearing the Counter

You might have seen the video made by a church making the rounds on social media in the last few weeks. You can watch it here. I won’t ruin it, but I will say that it has to do with perspective and thankfulness.

I’ve intended to blog in the last month, many times. Sometimes I’ve been too lazy to type out my thoughts. Other times–most times–I’ve had other, more pressing priorities to address than blogging. Frankly, I’m one of those people that can only skip daily tasks occasionally to write instead. The glaring needs, especially in a large household with many children, just can’t be ignored often or we will all drown in the detrius and chaos that is a large household with many children. So I don’t go ahead and blog unless I’m fairly certain I can spare some time away from the tasks around here that never end–meaning thirty minutes of blogging won’t mean four days of trying to catch up on the rest. I exaggerate, but only a little.

As a writer, having ideas to write and being unable to commit the time to doing so can be annoying, even highly frustrating. But I learned many years ago some hard truths. First, I would not die if I did not immediately drop everything and write. Second, the world would go on turning serenely if I did not write my burning ideas for posterity. The same was not the case if I decided, say, to skip making dinner. Both of these truths, but especially the second, were humbling for me to realize. And yet they are both true. The vast majority of the world does not need me to blog. But a small portion of it needs me–and primarily me–to do other things. Simple things; necessary things; loving things.

So I write this evening with this small thought, borne from the inspiration of the above video: that while life may be full of things that we desire to possess, either by material ownership or active doing, it is full already of things that we have been given, that are priceless in their own right. Last week, I cooked and baked a lot, and my counters were more cluttered than normal. While I felt disturbed by the mess, as usual, I didn’t feel the kind of selfish irritation such an obvious job that needed to be done used to provoke in me. I used to think, “I have so many better things to do!” Now I think, “I sure would like to do something else. But this is what has been given to me, and that is its own gift.” Dirty dishes mean food, and nourishment, and abundance. They mean deliciousness enjoyed. They mean beloved people and meals together and sharing and togetherness. Few things are better than these. I am deeply grateful for them.

Clear counters are good, too. At least until tomorrow.

And yes, I actually washed them all, and did not hide them in the oven. Which I may have done in the past.

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