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Joy in the Midst of a Sink Full of Dishes

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Joy in the Midst of a Sink Full of Dishes

There is an unhealthy amount of anxiety involved in leaving dirty dishes in the sink to either go to bed or go out to meet a friend somewhere. What is this power that dirty dishes, or any other cleaning necessary, has over us? Only the one we give it.

We are the makers of our homes, whether we work outside the home or not. We set the mood, both spiritual and emotional. Our plates are quite full and though the journey of womanhood, motherhood, and all that these entail, are beautifully godly, it is also human. A human journey, dependent on God’s grace, as we prepare for eternity.

How can we, then, balance our godly roles in life and family, with our human need to be “enough” and have our house in order? By realizing our priorities and not sweating the small stuff. Granted, the “small stuff” may be different for everyone, but the idea is the same; don’t worry over things that can wait, to the point that it steals your joy for the day, the hour, or the moment.

We must take to heart the words of our Savior when He said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything else will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

If we’re already doing this, we mustn’t slack off. Are we more passionate about getting those dishes done than we are about spending time with God daily? We might say a quick, “No way!” but do our actions betray us?

While it’s a good thing to care for our homes (as we should), we must not be bound to the idea of perfection. One single spoon in the sink after I’ve finished washing dishes can really irritate me sometimes. How sad is that?! Kind of ridiculous, in fact.

So what are our priorities? What do our daily routines prove that they are? One thing to consider is whether we are able to delegate a chore or two around the house. Perhaps we already are, but is there something else? In my case, I have a nine- (almost ten) year-old son who is perfectly able to help wash dishes. Is it his chore yet? No. With the crazy volume of homework he often gets, it leaves little time for chores, BUT we can work it in if we tried. I’d be doing him a favor by helping him be self-reliant, and I might have one less load of dishes to do. He might not do it the way I would, but I trust he will improve.

Even with a sink full of dishes, or any other chore needed to be done (and there are many), we can, and should, find joy in it. It’s truly a matter of perspective. We don’t have to do the dishes, we get to. Our families are with us - fed, cared for, and together.

Don’t let a single chore steal your joy or godly perspective! When it tries to, if you can’t overcome it at the moment, or you get an invitation for coffee, leave those dishes for later. Look up - it’s a great day to be alive! Perspective, perspective, perspective! Worship, pray, play, talk, sit outside for a while. I love being outside, hearing nature and looking at the sky, as I quietly pray. Everything you do, do it for the glory of God.

If you’ve spent enough time away from home either in meetings, or coffee breaks with the girls, be wise about the decisions you make. Your family needs you at home. Be godly, be wise, be prudent, and find joy - even in a sink full of dishes.

Love, Cynthia Rey

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