I’ve written beforeabout my wonderful relationship with my steam cleaner and its advertised “ten rows of steam-cleaning action.” For a while, though, we hadn’t had many big messes, and I think my cleaner friend was feeling a bit neglected. So, it must have made a deal with Rachel to get it some attention. The result? Daily quality time together, machine and Mommy, last week.

At those times, especially when my husband opens Rachel’s bedroom door and announces that we have a mess to clean, I am anything but thankful. My initial thoughts are: “Why me, Lord?” “This is so unfair!” “How much gunk can carpet take?” “Why can’t we overcome autism, and why does it have to be so hard?” (And it’s not always lotion and shower gel that we have to steam clean. …)

But when I pull out that machine, my heart gives a little jolt. I think about how horrible it was to scrub shower gel and poop out of carpet by hand, sometimes several times a day. That’s when I start thanking God for my “ten rows of steam-cleaning action” and for my father who saw a need and filled it out of his generous heart. I don’t know what I would have done without that cleaner — spent every waking moment scrubbing carpet? And I don’t know what I’d do without my dad and my Heavenly Father who have provided for us above and beyond.

Oh, and I get really thankful when I put all the “poopy” laundry in the washing machine and let it do all the work, too. Whew! Thanks, Dads!

Editor’s Note: Jennifer is recovering from surgeries related to her cancer diagnosis. She wrote this prior to undergoing surgery. She, thankfully, did not have to clean the carpet last week.