After each meal in our home the Bible is read, and then everyone gets busy cleaning up the dishes. It doesn't take long before the dishwasher is full, I always say, "If no one wants to wash the remaining dishes, please allow me," and the response is always, "No one is standing in your way!" 

What they don't realize yet is washing dishes is truly a blessing. In my case, it means that Mrs. V. Heddy Ake has not come to visit that day. She won't tell me what the 'V' stands for, but I am sure it is 'vicious'.

When one is healthy, cleaning the kitchen seems burdensome. But to an bedridden invalid, it would be a blessing to be able to wash dishes.

Washing dishes also means I probably have the luxury of time. My day is not so filled with other tasks or places to go that I can spend the time it takes to wash dishes.

When there are lots of dirty dishes, it meant everyone was home for dinner. (What is not to like about spending time with your family?) And because we were able to prepare a meal and sit down and eat it indicates there were no major calamities facing us at that time. We have known days of serious affliction, and know assuredly, that someday trouble will assail us again. But for this day our world has a steadiness to it.

Alice Morse Earle penned these words: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that's why it's called the present."

Those are good words to remember.

Cooking and cleaning are routine responsibilities, often thought of as mundane. We might dream of the great things we could do if we weren't spending our time with a mop bucket and cleaning rags. (But isn't the most important work we do is taking care of our family?)

Things can get out of whack in a hurry if we don't perform day-to-day chores. When the laundry doesn't get done, it's panic time when there are no clean towels or (gasp) underwear… We too often forget clean laundry is a blessing.

Life situations can change in the twinkle of an eye. Maybe that's why Sunday comes once a week, or the sun rises each morning, and sets each day, just as a reminder to thank God for the blessings he has bestowed upon us. What if we woke up tomorrow morning with only the blessings we had thanked God for yesterday?

There is something about gratitude that makes us enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts until wisdom."  Psalm 90:12.

Renae B. Vander Schaaf, freelance writer, lives on a real working farm in northwest Iowa. To Contact Renae B. Vander Schaaf, please email her at [email protected]