“You need a house blessing,” my dear friend and college roommate told me over the phone a few weeks ago.
I didn’t know quite how to respond.
I had been telling her what a mess my house was, that my girls and I were up to our elbows in busy and how I needed to be somewhere else in 40 minutes. Either she was missing the point or I had misunderstood.
“What did you say?” I asked.
And again, she said, “You need to bless your house.”
Bumfuzzled, I kindly said, “What in the world are you talking about?”
“Just set the timer for 15 minutes and make everyone in the house help clean,” she said. “You’ll be amazed how much you can get done with everyone participating. You’ll bless your house.”
No holy water required.
As she finished explaining, I set the timer, muted the phone for a moment and told my girls to get busy cleaning.
This blessing was all about focusing positive energy to make a situation better. I added one rule. No one could stop moving until the timer went off. And the movement had to be swift.
We cranked up the tunes and blessed our house for 15 minutes.
No, we didn’t get things spic and span in that short while. As my husband pointed out, that would require something a lot more intensive than a blessing. However, our fast and furious 15 minutes helped us to make a noticeable dent.
We got the table clean and sparkly. We got the dishwasher unloaded and loaded again. We cleaned the sink and countertops and swept the floor. We got a load of laundry on to wash and all shoes out of the living room. We did a paper sweep of the house looking for all trash and the garbage out.
It wasn’t clean, but it was better — and sometimes, we have to settle for what’s possible. That short span of time was a great lesson on working together, a focused effort and making a difference. We made a game out of it to see just how much we could get done in 15 minutes.
Truth be told, we all had a better perspective once we were done — even my 14-year-old daughter would admit it. The tiny dose of housework triggered something in both of my daughters that let them know cleaning wasn’t something to dread. It was almost fun.
Like a Thanksgiving cornucopia, our lives and homes are overflowing with bounty and blessings. Ironically, it’s often all the blessings of our lives that lead to so much energy required to keep our homes neat and orderly.
During this season of counting our blessings, I encourage readers to make a Thanksgiving List. I started making Thanksgiving Lists just last year. It’s a list of personal memories that I’m grateful to have had. Last year, I explained that the list be as long as a person is old. For example, if you’re 37, you have a list of 37 memories — but the memories don’t have to correspond with a specific year. Thanksgiving Lists aren’t that stringent. The memories on a Thanksgiving List can come from any year.
The thought required to make the list is a great exercise. I challenge you to try it this and every Thanksgiving. Reflecting on the blessings of life is healthy. Just like taking time and energy to bless your home is good — or taking time and energy to share blessings with others increases our own.
While you’re counting your own blessings, make a pointed effort to share some with others. In fact, I challenge you to see how many ways between now and Thursday you can find to bless someone else’s life. Remember, it’s easy to bless the lives of people we know and love. The challenge is blessing the lives of the people we don’t know at all.
Jan Risher’s column, Long Story Short, appears on Sundays. She’d love to hear your experiences of sharing blessings this week. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.