I woke up this morning after a restless night to find that my puppy dog had left me a surprise! Not just one surprise, five little surprises. Evidently, she ate something she should not have eaten at the park. As I opened the door to the living room and looked out across the floor, there were piles of poop everywhere in all different shapes, sizes, and textures! (It wasn't enough to just wipe it up. Nope, this job required some elbow grease!)
As I take out the bottle of clorox, my husband enters the room with a look of shock on his face. As I reach for the paper towels, he says, "You are so much better than me to clean this up." I just smile and say, "No, you kill the roaches and bugs. I'd say it's an even trade off.":-)
So there I am in my robe, almost 8 months pregnant, cleaning up this yucky stuff trying not to barf. I smile to myself and think, "God must be preparing me to change dirty diapers!" I've just finished reading a wonderful book called 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She talks about her journey in learning how to see God in all things, even the not so pretty ones. I began a list of my own. For me, it has been easy to thank God for the humming birds and the flowers... but the poop?! I kind of laugh to myself and think, "Well, how can I praise God through this poop cleaning?" As I'm on my hands and knees scrubbing with my little brush, I begin to thank God that we have a dog. She has brought us much joy and laughter and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I thank Him that I'm scrubbing it off of a wooden floor and not carpet. And I'm thanking Him that there is NOT a whole lot of poop on the furniture. (Although I will be scrubbing a cushion or two). I begin to practice the art of thanksgiving, and it makes me laugh!
Not much longer, I receive a call from a close friend with some hard news. She tells me how God spoke to her this morning and how He has given her a peace through a very difficult trial. We talk about how God is in control of ALL things and our trust in Him even when things don't turn out the way we had hoped. She encourages me with her faith to accept His way and not her own.
At the end of the conversation I tell her about my "poop" story and how God is teaching me to praise Him through the messy parts of our lives . To praise Him when we don't understand the difficult trials we go through. To praise Him even when cleaning up poop! She laughs with me over the telephone, and I begin to smile and think that my little cleaning session was well worth it just to hear her laugh. We end our conversation talking about how we are grateful for what God has given us. I thank Him again after we hang up for friends like her to walk along side us and share in our journey, even if it is crazy and messy.