Thursday, February 6, 2014

Oh, the Horror!

One of my biggest fears has come to life. We do not have a dishwasher in our new home. For those who do not understand the magnitude of this statement, let me reiterate the implications of this horrific fact. I must wash all of our dishes. By. Hand. Yeah. Seriously.

            Washing dishes has always been my least favorite chore. I’d rather scrub a public restroom than do a load of dishes by hand. But, alas, our cute, little, vintage home was built without the dire need for a dishwasher in mind. Or any space in the kitchen to add one. So, I must struggle on, day after day, to battle this dreadful beast that is my sink full of nasty, slimy, disgusting dishes. And let’s not even get into the horrors of the dishWATER after it has spent several hours soaking the pots and pans from last night’s adventures in cooking. That line of thinking is too scary for me.

            It seems like I am constantly scrubbing plates and rinsing spoons. As soon as I get the breakfast dishes done it’s time to wash the lunch series. And I’m a spoiled American who grew up with an automatic machine to do all that work for me. It’s not been a fun adjustment. It makes me seriously question my desire for more children who need more plates to eat off of which will need more scrubbing! Just kidding. I still want ten kids. But they’re washing their own dishes ;-)

            There is some good that has come of this awful situation, however. This whole process of washing dishes has taught me some powerful lessons as well as provided some opportunities I would not otherwise have been able to enjoy.

Lesson number one: It really does all depend on your attitude. On days that I go into the kitchen grumpy and grumbly about having to scrape clean yet another pan of burned-on well-done eggs, I am the most miserable, irritable woman you’re likely to meet. On the other hand, when I get up on time and am prepared to meet my tasks for the day as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23), I am able to focus on the blessings of my life; such as not having to lug gallons of water up from a stream in order to wash dishes in my warm kitchen.

Washing dishes by hand has provided some unexpected joys; such as enjoying a great view of the sunrise (when I actually start my chores on time, which happens rarely), and having a great excuse to stand and watch the snow fall (which happens a LOT!). It has also been the instigator of the happy new routine of Joshua reading to me while I clean up from supper. I love that time with him, and I love that he takes that opportunity to read to me in order to make my job a little less distasteful.

My mom has a favorite saying (among many). “You can learn to enjoy any chore if you have a mind to.” This is so true. And while washing dishes is still far down on my list of things I enjoy, it’s slowly slipping from its rank as “Number One chore I detest”. Now if I could just keep up with all of them…

For any others out there struggling to maintain a good attitude toward some dreadful chore, here is the key to making it easier:

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

  Even while washing dishes.