There aren’t a lot of things in life I loathe… but the stomach flu is definitely one of them. Dealing with vomit on any level is just, well, one of the last things I’d like to spend my time doing.
So when one of my children complained of their stomach hurting on Saturday morning, I was concerned. And my concerns proved to be warranted because later in the day, this child walked into my room looking terribly queasy and then proceeded to throw up all over our bed, our blankets, and the carpet.
I felt terribly for this sick child and immediately set to work cleaning them all up, getting them changed, and making a bed for them on the bathroom floor. Then, I went back to face the room strewn with vomit.
The scene was almost more than my weak stomach could handle. But Jesse was gone, so I didn’t have many options other than just diving in and starting on the clean-up.
As I contemplated the best method for tackling this mess, I quickly realized that my bad attitude was only going to make things worse. So I challenged myself to come up with as many things to be grateful for as I could about the situation. It was amazing how this changed my perspective!
Here were a few things from my mental gratitude list:
- A washing machine — I shuddered to imagine what it would be like if I had to wash all the throw-up covered bedding by hand.
- Running water — What if I had to go haul water from a well to bring into the house to clean the carpets and then wash the clothes?
- A cheerful child — Even while feeling really miserably, this child had a happy demeanor and was even able to find humor in the situation.
- A willing helper — One of my other children donned rubber gloves and volunteered to pitch in right beside me. Their servant’s spirit blessed me so much.
- A carpet cleaner — Investing in a carpet cleaner a few years back has proven to come in handy time and again. Today, I was once again very grateful for how it sped up the clean-up process.
- That the episode did not repeat itself — While the first episode took a significant amount of time to clean up, I was incredibly grateful that no vomit ended up on the carpet or bedding the rest of the night.
- That only one child was sick — If all three had been sick at the same time, I can’t begin to imagine what that would have entailed!
- That we were home — This could have happened in the car, at someone’s else house, or at the store!
Looking for things to be thankful for made the clean up go so much more quickly and it helped me have a much more pleasant attitude about the whole thing!
I know that a stomach bug is a very minor thing in comparison to what many of you are facing today. But can I challenge you in this? No matter what messes or struggles or difficulties you’re facing right now, choose gratitude in the midst of it. It might not change your circumstances, but it will certainly change your outlook!