When I was growing up, my dad traveled and preached all around the world. He always brought a gift home for my mom, and usually some for the 3 of us kids as well.
Today I was thinking of the intricate linen tablecloths and napkins that he brought my mother from Japan.The detail of the needlework was amazing.
My mother used everything he brought, they loved to entertain. But this tablecloth was ' a beast' to iron! They didn't just send everything to the cleaners back then. So, one day when my mom was ironing that tablecloth for the next use...
She was probably grumbling a bit about how hard it was to make it look right, there were so many stitches and little places to make smooth... first she sprinkled the whole thing and rolled it into a ball and put plastic around it and stuck it in the fridge... later she took it out to steam press... as she labored over that tablecloth, the very one pictured above...
She began to think of the little women in the orient who sat and made these beautiful pieces by hand, and how difficult it must have been to even see the needle as they worked. She began to pray for each Japanese lady who did that hard labor, day after day, and for their eyesight as they labored, and for their families, and for their knowledge of Jesus.
Her ironing was changed that quickly... from drudgery to praise.
I have thought of that many times as I have ironed clothes through the years for my husband and our children. Not so much now, as we are blessed to wash & dry most of it and send the 'hard stuff' to the cleaners.
I wonder though, if I took the time, especially when I am irritated and impatient...
...when someone is slow in traffic
...or sneaks ahead of me in the grocery line
...or yells at their kids in the mall
...to say a quick prayer for whatever their needs might be, and to ask God to speak to their hearts in whatever place they are... if that wouldn't also be the very thing that turns my irritation into something much better.
I know this works... so do you. I think I can do better... there are lots of 'wasted' blessings all around me!
Every situation is a potential for praise. (and now that I've said that in black & white... I'm convicted by my own words!)