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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)

TITLE: An Attitude of Gratitude
By LaNaye Perkins


It was the dead of winter and very cold outside. Linda sat in her comfy recliner as she looked at flooring in the catalog. Oh how she desired to have a home with beautiful floors. Every time she looked at her own floors, her nose would wrinkle in disgust. She and her husband had saved money to replace them more than once. However, something always came up, and the money went elsewhere. Resentment rose up once more as she thought about the floors that taunted her so.

The holes in the linoleum on her kitchen floor were as big as platters . The outdated pattern barely showed in the high traffic areas. Adding to her frustration was the fact that the edges of the holes were so brittle they would break off every time they got stepped on. This caused the holes to grow larger by the week. Soon she wouldn’t have any rugs big enough to hide them.

Her gaze turned to the hideous carpet in the front room. It was called “Jungle Passion” and had a maroon background with large orange and purple flowers. Once she had considered shampooing the carpet, but her husband convinced her not to. He feared that shampooing would only cause the pattern to stand out more. They both laughingly agreed it was best to just keep it vacuumed and disinfected with Lysol.

As her gaze roamed through the house, Linda prayed with an abundance of self pity. She told God how she wished He’d bless her with new flooring. After all, she deserved to live in a house with pretty floors, didn’t she?

Finally, her prayers ended and she slumped into the recliner to feel sorry for herself.

After several quiet moments, Linda heard a whisper in her spirit. Why would I bless you with new floors, when you can’t even appreciate the ones you have?

Looking around she saw her home with brand new eyes. She saw all the dust bunnies in the corners and the cobwebs hanging in various spots on the ceilings. The front room was bad, but the kitchen was much worse. Shame reddened her cheeks as she thought of how she’d refused to mop its floor for several months. It was filthy, like the rest of the house and all because she had been throwing a temper tantrum for several months over the floors.

Oh Lord, please forgive me. You are right. I should be praising you for all you have given me. Lord, I’m going to start right now. I thank you for this house that we live in. I also want to thank you for the furniture you have supplied, the clothes that my family and I have to wear, and the food we have to eat. I thank you for it all.

Most of all, I want to thank you for my flooring. All of it, even the “Jungle Passion“ carpeting. I know the color isn’t what I like, but I want to thank you for giving us such a well made and thick carpet. It’s been in this old house for over ten years now, and you can’t even see any wear on it. Thank you for providing it, I know it has helped to insulate the floors and keep us warmer this winter. And Lord, thank you for the linoleum in the kitchen. I‘m thankful Lord that most of the floor is covered and keeps the cold air from coming up through the kitchen floor. It only takes two throw rugs to block those holes and it could be a lot worse.

Lord, I promise, from now on I will have an attitude of gratitude. I promise. In Jesus name, Amen.

The whole time she prayed, Linda was gathering supplies to clean the house. The first item on her list was to scrub the kitchen floor and put a good wax on it.

When her husband came home that night, he smelled a bouquet of various cleansers and polish from the front porch. When he opened the door, he was blessed by the sight of a sparkling clean house. Linda kept her house clean from that day on and she kept her attitude of gratitude.

There is one more thing to tell in this story. Three months after her fateful day, God blessed Linda with new carpeting and linoleum for her home. Isn’t that just like God?

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This article has been read 833 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw01/17/08
Precious and timeless reminder here to be thankful and content with what's around us.
Joanne Sher 01/17/08
Excellent lesson with very vivid descriptions. Her "turnaround" seemed a touch quick to me, but that IS how God does it sometimes, isn't it? I could see this so clearly.
Jan Ackerson 01/18/08
That "Jungle Passion" carpet really cracked me up.
Debbie Roome 01/22/08
Excellent lesson. I have a "jungle passion" carpet in my house. I'm looking at it with new eyes tonight.
Peter Stone01/22/08
That gave me a few laughs. Firstly, you are describing the carpet in my upstairs room, secondly, saving money for me normally equates to a matching bill arriving in time to gobble it all up. (I keep trying to convince God to give me a bit more than I need...) And an 'attitude of gratitude' is great!
Holly Westefeld01/22/08
Convicting. When His still small voice doesn't do it, a smack on the head usually gets through. :-)
Debbie Wistrom01/22/08
How I can identify, I will vaccuum when I get home tonight! Thanks for the reminders.
Karen Wilber01/22/08
Amen, sister! I love the transformation of the MC's attitude. Thank you also that she did finally get her new floors. I was feeling sorry for her myself.
Loren T. Lowery01/22/08
I'm smiling at this testamonial, because it is all so true. You had some great description in here and I liked the way youu portrayed the relationship between the husband and wife being able to laugh about the same thing. Her insight as to how to change things around had to be inspired and directed by God.
Betty Castleberry01/22/08
Great lesson. The writing is good, and I like your MC. Excuse me while I go shine my floors...
Catrina Bradley 01/22/08
I see I'm not the only one convicted to clean what I have and quit wishing for new carpets. I think this is my favorite part: "Once she had considered shampooing the carpet, but her husband convinced her not to. He feared that shampooing would only cause the pattern to stand out more." Wonderfully done.
Dee Yoder 01/23/08
I love it! I love the way your MC turned her heart of envy around and made it a heart of gratitude. The descriptions of the house were so good, I could "see" every carpet and linoleum-dirty and clean!
Lisa Graham01/23/08
Very unique writing on topic and wonderful message. Excellent!
Sara Harricharan 01/23/08
This is very good! I can so relate to the MC here with wishing I had something so bad, but not really appreciating what I have. One of my favorites this week!

RED PEN: In the on instance where she's wishing that she could have the carpet, you already use italics for the prayer later on, maybe you could've put her actual thoughts in italics and added it on, just a thought! ^_^ This is really nice!
Marita Vandertogt01/23/08
Good lesson on a reason why God sometimes seems to withhold His blessing until we learn to appreciate what we have. And I love your description of the jungle carpet. A red ink point - sometimes writing something like this makes it stronger if its in first person. But either way, still nicely done.
Beckie Stewart01/23/08
I enjoyed this reminder of an attitude of gratitude. Why receive more when we don't appreciate what we have. Great lesson shared well.
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/23/08
Your character was so real with her bad and good points--someone I'd like to know. Good job
Paula Titus 01/23/08
Isn't it funny how a simple story about 'flooring' can lead us to conviction and bring a message worth its weight in gold??! Wonderful writing :)
Tim Pickl01/23/08
I love the last line, kind of a 'p.s.' or 'oh, by the way!' That would be another story! hmmmmm.... :)
Sally Hanan01/23/08
Great entry! You tapped in to many peple's thoughts.
Red ink: She was sitting in her recliner already, but then you slumped her into it again.