Joy and a Vacuum

In everything give thanks
Graphic by Jennifer Shipman / Photo by Tessa Rampersad on Unsplash

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Does anyone really like to vacuum? I’m told people do. I can’t understand it personally. It’s not completely loathsome but it certainly doesn’t bring me joy. I can’t say I look forward to vacuuming day. (Which, truthfully, is whenever the dust bunnies start to breed and the crumbs grow new crops.) So, in our house this is a chore for The Man.

And then one day the vacuum died. Our faithful, heavy, clunky Hoover went out with in a blaze of glory. (Seriously – there were sparks and singed carpet involved.) You never really appreciate having a vacuum until you don’t. And, of course, things never die when it’s convenient for the checkbook. The tub has cracks in it, the dishwasher’s rusting and the washer goes off-balance so often it needs a psychiatrist. We were trying to save a bit for our anniversary. I really didn’t want a new vacuum right then. It can be tough to hold on to contentment when everything seems to be falling apart at once.

But a vacuum must be had. So the arduous research begins. Except it’s not arduous at all. A Facebook call for advice yields a nearly unanimous vote for one brand of vacuum. A brief internet search determines we can manage a particular model, and it will be ten times better than our dearly departed clunker (may it rest in peace. Sniff.). Then mom calls: they want to help us out. Oh, for the goodness of loving parents. Then the local warehouse store is carrying the next model up on instant rebate for only $10 more than what I’d planned on buying.

Doesn’t God always have other plans? We see minor disaster, he sees opportunity for blessing and growth. “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” ~ Proverbs 16:9

Not only were the financial worries wiped away, but this. vacuum. is. AMAZING. It’s lightweight. It goes just about anywhere. It has attachments and gizmos I have never imagined. The dirt it sucks up is horrifying. It has fancier headlights than my car. I think it might cook dinner and babysit if I asked it to. I look forward to vacuuming. It brings me joy. Wait, what??? Yes, I just said that.

Maybe the infatuation will fade, but the point remains. Out of something so foolishly frustrating came something so beautiful. I’m not just talking about the vacuum: I’m talking about an attitude adjustment, an up-welling of gratitude. God uses the foolish things of the world, does He not? Through a tiny non-crisis with a vacuum He teaches thankfulness; He teaches joy.

I’m thankful for the 10 good years our old vacuum gave us.
… for my husband performing this chore for so long.
I’m thankful for our parents and their always loving help.
… for the timing of sales and good prices.
I’m thankful for an amazing piece of equipment so vital to my good(ish) housekeeping.
… for the luxuries of a first-world country.

And do you know what happens to a thankful heart? It is joy-filled. It is content.

 

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