From Grumbling To Gratitude

I’m going to be brutally honest here.

I hate folding my husband’s undershirts.

I’ve never been a fan of folding laundry, but his laundry is the worst.

When we first got married, folks would ask, “What’s been the biggest surprise in marriage?”

“THE AMOUNT OF LAUNDRY HE ADDS.” was always my reply.

My husband owns dozens, and I do mean DOZENssss, of white hanes undershirts. I don’t know if it’s just the quantity or what, but every time I begin folding our load of freshly cleaned whites, I start to get cranky. Annoyed.

I’m okay for the first 3-5 shirts, but as the pile stays enormous, I start talking to myself.  “Stupid white shirts. Ugh. These are so annoying.”

Recently, I’ve become hyper aware to the times I complain or grumble.

It was one of my prayers for 2016. (I wanted to be more “do everything without complaining or arguing” and less, well, like I had been.) Funny enough, God seems to have answered that prayer pretty instantaneously and dramatically, as I am constantly catching myself whenever a whine or lament sweeps across my brain or jumps out of my mouth.

So, last week as I begin to fold my husbands 500 white t-shirts, I caught myself mid grumble.

“Why am I so agitated by this? Why am I letting these shirts change my mood?

Why am I letting these dumb shirts steal my joy?!”

Oh yeah, I said it. STEAL MY JOY. That phrase is one that always stops me in my tracks (when I preach to myself, of course).

I love my husband; I adore my husband. Why did his undershirts have such a massive influence on my mood?

I took a deep breath. Okay, five deep breaths, and begin to plot how I could fold his undershirts from now on without getting angsty.

Those undershirts represent my husband, who is one of God’s greatest gifts to me. Truly. I started thinking about the seasons of heartbreak, ache, and the years of prayer that transpired before God gave him to me. And I realized, if Tyler suddenly died tomorrow, I would probably give anything to fold his 500 white t-shirts. I would fold 5,000 t-shirts every day of my life, if that meant I would get my husband back.

I started to cry. Folding those ridiculous undershirts.

But seriously. Maybe that is horrible reasoning.  It’s certainly emotional manipulation at it’s finest, but I don’t care. It worked.

It turned my grumbling into gratitude.

I don’t know if that trick will work forever, but I hope it does. I folded the rest of his shirts cheerfully, and finished the laundry in a better mood than I started. The next time I folded his laundry, I didn’t have to go through the whole emotional rollercoaster, I immediately started folding with gratitude– just grateful for the man God entrusted to me.

I don’t know what it is that you loathe doing or what insignificant thing steals your joy. I’ve noticed several in my life– little things that are trivial which I allow to majorly affect my attitude.

Enough is enough. Stop it. Figure out how to turn your grumbling into gratitude.

in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess 5:18)