This is just a rough estimate, but if my calculations are even remotely accurate, I spend about 87% of my day washing dishes. My husband refers to the kitchen as my office, which is not as cute as he thinks it is. Someone should send him a memo. We don’t have a dishwasher. Well, we do: me.
I babysit for a few different families and there is almost always a myriad of children frittering about my home. Some days, I literally do head counts to make sure one hasn’t ventured away. Not sure where they would go, but hey, kids will be kids. If there is a way to create mischief, they will find it (I mean, am I right?)
Kids have this dreadful habit of getting a cup, taking a drink, putting that cup in the sink, and getting a new cup every time they are thirsty. When you have 6 kids all partaking in this process, the result is a whole lot of dishes in need of washing, hence the large chunks of my day dedicated to such a task.
Now, I could ask one of the kids to wash some dishes, right? Or ask my husband to help? Well, I’m a bit nutty, you see. I don’t like other people in my kitchen. I know this is insane, but I like my dishes stacked in the strainer a certain way and no one else does it the right way. So, I’d rather just do it myself. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about washing dishes so let’s get to the point, shall we?
The other day, I was at the sink, washing away, as I do 87% of the day. My phone was plugged into the speakers I keep in the dining room attached to our kitchen. David Crowder was playing. I listened to the words he sang.
Behold the Lamb of God
Who takes away our sin
Who takes away our sin
The holy Lamb of God
Makes us alive again
Makes us alive again
My hands immersed in soapy water, worship music playing, a thought entered my head: can I glorify God while washing dishes? Stick with me here. I thought of 1 Corinthians 10:31, which tells us to do everything to the glory of God. I took a moment and just ran my hands through the warm water. I continued to listened to the music. I looked at the plants sitting on my window sill. With dishpan hands, I decided I was going to find joy in washing dishes.
This may sound a bit laughable to you, but is it? See, life is made up of moments like the aforementioned. So much of my time is dedicated to snuggling with my kids while we watch Moana (for the 8 millionth time. Thank you, Netflix). At night, nearly every night, my husband and I are curled up watching sitcom reruns. My days are filled with picking up toys, taking walks to the park, folding laundry, reading children’s books, and, yes, doing dishes. If I can’t find joy in these moments, will I ever find it?
I’ve decided that I will choose joy, even in the mundane moments of life. Why? Because God loves me. Because He sent His son to die for me, as David Crowder sings about, I will be joyful. Why would I dare gripe and moan over something as frivolous as dishes when I am forgiven and free! If I choose to be joyful while scrubbing my pots and pans, is that not a way to glorify God? If I choose to be joyful instead of annoyed, is that not producing good fruit? I think so!
Joy comes from the Lord. It is not dependent upon our circumstances. When we convince ourselves that we will be happy when x, y, and z happen, we create an unattainable goal for ourselves. Those who covet what they don’t have generally spend their days miserable. Those who learn to be thankful for what they DO have, well, they’re at peace! And if all you have right now is Jesus, well, you’ve got all you need.
If we make a clear decision to be at peace, to be thankful, and to be joyful, perhaps that is a way for us to glorify our creator. I encourage you to examine the mundane moments of your own life. Think about your commute to work, grocery shopping, balancing your checkbook, and cleaning your house. Are you producing fruit even in those moments?
It’s easy to be fruitful when we’re on vacation or at a fancy dinner. It’s not so easy to be fruitful when we’re scrubbing our bathroom. But doesn’t God want all of us? Doesn’t He want every moment? Shouldn’t we reflect Christ, even when no one is watching?
Let us glorify God, even with dishpan hands…
Suggested: No, I don’t want to be happy…