How do you feel when you see your husband's dirty clothes on the floor or your children's toys strewn around the house? What do you think about when you see dishes left on the table? When someone asks you for something or to do something for them, do you huff and sigh? Do you do things out of obligation with feelings of irritation? After all, your husband is an adult and should be able to pick up after himself. You have told your children to clean up and you have shown them how more than once. And when someone interrupts you to ask you for something, don't they know that you are busy. So when these things happen are you feeling obligated to do the work all the while feeling frustrated and angry that you have to do it in the first place, or are you able to feel gratitude? How do you feel gratitude for this? Let's see.
There are many married women in the world whose husbands are overseas in the military gone for months to over a year that have no physical contact with them. There are some whose husbands are gone more than they are home due to work. There are even some who are widows before their time. In these cases they are frequently left being a single mom. One woman I know whose husband is gone frequently for work shared a comment her mother made about her father's dirty clothes (her father was often gone for work), "My mother said that she was grateful to see his dirty socks on the floor because it meant he was home." So when you see your husband's dirty socks or underwear lying on the floor, do you pick it up out of obligation all the while feeling irritated or do you pick it up out of gratitude taking it as a sign that the man you love is home with your family.
There are women who have lost a child, there are women whose children have a handicap or illness that will keep them from a full life, and there are women who try as they may, can never have a child of their own. In all of these cases I am sure they would give anything to hold their child one more time, wish to see them live a life where they could play on their own, or even have a child so they can make a mess of their toys. So when you see toys lying all around your house, do you get mad or do you feel love that your children are there and they are able to play?
There are many women in this world who struggle to feed themselves let alone their families. Some are homeless and feel hopeless. Some are friendless and family less and they feel they have no one to turn to. Some feel lost and can see no way out. So when you see dirty dishes, do you feel frustrated or do you feel grateful that you or your family has food to eat? When you walk into your home, do you begin criticizing because it is not the ideal situation or are you grateful you have shelter and a place to live?
In every situation though not always ideal there is something you can be grateful for if you choose to see it. Now I'm not asking that you feel gratitude so you pick up your children's toys for them. I'm simply saying that when you see the toys don't get frustrated, be grateful and it will allow you to be patient while you have them come and learn to be responsible for themselves and their things. As you talk to them out of gratitude, you are teaching them how to treat others. As you guide them in cleaning up after themselves, feel gratitude so that you appreciate your time with them rather than feeling like you are wasting your time having to help them with something they should be able to do on their own. As you feel gratitude, they will feel your love for them rather than your frustration. And this will build bonds of love and trust. This will allow them to listen to your council, take your advice, and confide in you with the thoughts and feelings of their hearts. You will receive all of this because in expressing gratitude you are showing and giving love. This will apply to all of your relationships and any situation you may find yourself in.
So the next time you are doing something out of obligation and have feelings of irritation maybe it's time to stop what you are doing and switch gears. Take a moment to think of what you really love so that you can find something to be grateful for. When you do this and can act out of gratitude, you will give love and naturally draw what you love closer to you. Since like attracts like, as you give love you will get more love. As you give frustration you will get more to be frustrated about. So decide what do you want more of in your life and act accordingly.
Give your love to your loved ones; give your frustrations to God. ~ Dr. John Lund
I believe that doing this will make all the difference. The difference will be reflected in your relationships and the way you feel about yourself and your life.