Is there a household chore that you really don’t like? For me, the washing up is top of the list because it is never really done. We don’t have a dishwasher and it can be a real battle to stand at the kitchen sink throughout the day to be greeted with more dirty plates. But you know what I’m starting to realise? That means that my family have been fed. Rather than grumbling at the conveyor belt of utensils and the dance of the cutlery, I am turning soap-soaked hands into worship to the Lord.
Using my senses is a great way to get through the monotony and mundane. We now have a bird feeding station in the garden where I have seen a family of sparrows line the fence as the mother demonstrates her care by feeding her young and showing them the way. I have seen gold finches and blue tits. A couple of over-sized pigeons too. This has brought joy to see these winged creatures dance delightfully across the garden as I scrub away the remnants of lunch or dinner. I look out to the garden as I am reminded by the sparrows that the Lord provides for our every need and that we have value, even at the kitchen sink:
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:26-27 NIV
I use my ears to listen to podcasts whilst I immerse myself in scraping of plates, the washing, the rinsing and the stacking. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to learn new things or grow in the things I am interested in. Podcasts are a great way to make the most use of the time and not even notice that I’m doing something I usually dislike. I find myself looking to wash up when I know I get a few minutes to unwind and listen to some words of wisdom and encouragement.
With every meal prepared and cooked and every time the dishes get done, I am demonstrating with my hands that I work to serve the Lord and to look after my family. It is a joy and a privilege to be able to use my hands to bless in a practical way. Enough of the grumbling – dishes are humbling.
Cooking is something that I have grown to enjoy. From the first days at university where I thought having grated cheese on pasta was a meal to the alarm of my flat mates, I feel I have come a long way. And I did get an ‘A’ in Food Technology… I enjoy looking for new recipes and I am even getting the hang of meal planning at long last. It has been revolutionary to our week and to our finances. Being able to cook nutritious meals when possible and try new tastes makes all of that washing up worth it – as I keep telling myself when it gets hard.
If dishes get left, the smell kind of lingers. It’s not great and it is a motivating kick up the backside to get the washing up done. Plus I love the feeling of a clean kitchen in the morning. There are times when I have been tired and things get left, but I have found that it just leads to a cluttered mind for the following day. I’d much rather fill up my kitchen with smells of baking and lovely meals than yesterday’s leftovers… Can anyone else relate? Hopefully this doesn’t paint a picture of disgust, but the reality of being a busy mum who daily fights the urge to be lazy and avoid the dishes as much as possible.
Giving God the glory in the messiest parts of life through using our senses can bring meaning and purpose to the most unlikely tasks. He is interested in every part of our lives to the very detail. He loves us and calls us to turn to Him with open hands and hearts.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 NIV