I love the entire process of cooking. This includes thinking about what to prepare, getting the ingredients together, and preparing and serving the meal.

When I’ve whipped up something that I think is spectacular, I look for my family’s approval. I want them to love the feast that I’ve laid before them and I want to hear things like, “You’re the best cook ever, how would we ever eat without you!”

However, one thing I despise about cooking is what happens afterwards…. the washing of the dishes. The pile of dishes staring back at me undoes all of the positive feelings I had about cooking in the first place and makes me rethink my strategy – “Maybe I should’ve just stuck with pasta. That would’ve been MUCH simpler!” I promise myself that I’ll never cook like this again.

After a recent conversation with a family member, my perspective changed.

As we were indulged in a discussion about meal prep, he mentioned giving thanks in all things. We are to thank God that we not only have the resources to prepare a meal but also the resources to clean up afterwards.

It shed a whole new light on the clean up process for me.

With a slight change in perspective, a sink full of dishes turned into a sink full of blessings!

I was blessed to be able to put food on our family table. I was blessed to be able to have others share in what I had prepared. I was blessed to have what I needed to tidy up in preparation for round two the next day.

That was only the beginning because all of those blessings were made possible by other blessings that preceded it.

This reminded me of gratitude.

When we’re grateful, we don’t have to worry about the negative because we’re too busy pointing out the positive. We’re content with what’s going on in the moment and not caught up with the cares of yesterday or the worries of tomorrow.

We’re more helpful, compassionate, and thankful and tend to move through challenges with a smile of appreciation instead of a frown of despair.

Gratitude helps us to be happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.

And aren’t these the things that we ultimately strive for? When you’re tempted to complain, try to find the glimmer of hope in your situation no matter how small it is. Be grateful. Give thanks.

“In all things give thanks.” I Thessalonians 5:18

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