(sorry I'm going to write about a bathroom...)
Yesterday, I cleaned our upstairs bathroom. I haven't done that in a long time. Usually Russ will graciously clean the toilet and scrub out the tub, and the kids wipe down the sinks and toilet seats regularly for chores. But it was starting to look particularly dingy and I hadn't done it in a while... and I got it into my head that come hell or high water I was going to clean the bathroom before Thursday was over. And I did. Scrubbed and scoured and squirted bleach cleaner and used my Method lavender spray and wiped the mirror, window, and floors. I even took down the shower curtain and liner and put those both through the wash. Done. It looked (and smelled) fantastic!
I have a little ritual, which I'm sure no one else in my family has ever noticed: after I've deep cleaned the bathroom I light the jar candle that I keep in there and let it burn until I go to bed that night. It makes the entire second floor smell fresh and is a pleasant reminder of the fruits of my labors - a sparkling, sweet-smelling bathroom. (Rest assured, that candle does not get lit often and is still half full even after five years of living in this house. So don't think I'm a bathroom cleaning fanatic...)
Last night, I lit the candle and sat on the edge of the tub thinking, "This is the cleanest room in the house. I could stay here all night." I was suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude for my clean bathroom and even the rest of my home (which isn't clean), in light of the many stories we've all heard recently of the persecuted Iraqi Christians forced out of their homes and driven from their neighborhoods.
What a gift that bathroom was to me in the midst of an ordinary day full of every-day busyness. I think I need to be a little more intentional about appreciating the beauty and blessings of the big things I often take for granted - like a secure home, freedom to worship, and an intact family.
For the blessings of home and family...