“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you“ (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

When I was a young mom with three little ones, my days were full, but I felt empty. It seemed I spent every minute of every day doing all the exciting mom things on repeat: wiping noses, drying tears, changing diapers, and picking up toys. I loved being a mom (still do). I was blessed to be able to stay home with my babies, but I was exhausted and felt spiritually dry.

A wise mentor advised me to get up a few minutes before the kids so I could have time with the Lord before the chaos of the day began. She encouraged me to read a little, even just one verse a day if that’s all I could manage, and to chew on it throughout the day.

One particularly frustrating day, when my 10-year-old was moody and my 6-year-old was hyper and my 2-year-old was toddling, I read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 and quickly moved on with my day. I got lost in my thoughts of what used to be…

”I used to do important work in a law firm. I used to make decent money. I used to have big conversations with adults about law and politics and life. Today, I’m doing laundry; a never-ending pile of laundry.”

“Give thanks in all circumstances …”

“Fine,” I said begrudgingly. “I’ll give thanks.” I took a pair of my husband’s dirty work jeans and thanked God for the hard-working man who provided for our family.

Next up was the snippy 10-year-old. “Thank you, Lord, for Andrew. He’s such a smart, funny kid.” An even smaller pair of jeans came next, complete with an embroidered flower and a hole in the knee. “Thank you for my sweet girl. My playful, adventurous, flower-loving, tomboy toughie of a girly girl.”

My heart began to soften.

Then came the final blow: a tiny pair that belonged to my toddler baby boy. “Thank you…oh, Jesus, thank you for my baby. He is the joy of my heart and the delight of this home. Thank you for this funny, creative, adorable treasure of a boy!”

And right there, at that washing machine, a whole worship service broke out in my heart. I was overwhelmed by the goodness of God for all He had blessed me with. Sometimes all we need to help get through the hard days is a changed perspective and a step of obedience. God truly deserves thanks in all circumstances. Even the snippy, hyper, toddlery ones.