Hand Wash Only

I’ve pulled this “Add New Post” screen up a handful of time. Nothing seems to come out. 

So here I am, trying yet again. 

I don’t know where I have been for the last two weeks. Well, actually, I have been plenty busy. And while I’ve had more than a few thoughts or ideas come to mind about what I could share next on my blog, nothing seemed to be coming very easily to me. Nothing seemed to want to come on its own. And nothing seemed that urgent that it needed to be shared. This isn’t a bad thing. I don’t ever want to feel like I log in simply to write something. I want to write something, I want each post to have a message or idea behind it. I don’t ever want to feel like I am wasting anyone’s time.

I feel like lately I am a ticking time bomb. Like a full glass, just waiting to tip over and spill onto everything. And it is the questionable-at-best contents of the glass, not the spill itself, that is the worst part. I’ve been moody. I’ve been impatient, I’ve been quick to anger and I have been selfish. Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth will most surely speak. And mine has most surely spoken (screeched) these past few weeks. Our dishwasher was broken last week. Rob was quick to fix it, so thankfully we weren’t out a dishwasher for very long. But it did make for some long dishwashing sessions A thought occurred to me as I stood there, hand-washing dishes last week. I had to pick up each dish, one at a time and scrub it. Some were harder to clean than others. But after I gave up on finished my chore, I thought about how much more tedious it is to clean one thing at a time, verses the normal dishwashing I do. I’d take unloading and loading a dishwasher any day over hand washing each dish. I hate scrubbing silverware the most for some reason. Especially forks. All of those prongs mean plenty of crevices for junk to hide in and linger, even after you have already gone over it once with a sponge.

How badly I wanted to just throw those dishes into the dishwasher. Out they’d come in an hour, clean as a whistle. Don’t you love your dishwasher? You don’t have to look at or even think about them as they are being cleaned. The work for us is pretty minimal when a dishwasher is involved. On a deeper lever…don’t we want our sanctification to always be like a dishwasher? Instead, especially in where I am at the moment, it is sometimes mind numbing, frustrating work. It is sometimes as tedious as one. dish. at a time. It is standing there, scrubbing, rinsing and scrubbing some more. It is raw hands from the hot water and soap. It is time-consuming. At times it is some downright nasty work – have you ever cleaned the drain after you’ve done dishes and the food stuck to the plates comes off with the water? EW. Rob HATES this part worst of all.

And then of course, once you finish….there is more. I don’t know about you, but…I love my dishwasher.

I feel like God is trying to teach me something about those “one thing at a time moments.” Every time the keys go missing when I’m in a hurry to get out the door. Every time a child immediately messes in their diaper after being changed. Every time a toddler wakes up and needs attention at 1 a.m. Every time my 3-year-old argues and talks back. During each and every one of those instances where I’m ready to snap I forget that the Lord has something greater for me. It’s been one thing after the other. And nearly every time, most not every, I flounder. I may do what needs to be done. But it is the contents of my heart, of my glass, that the Lord is most concerned about. He doesn’t want you and I to simply go through the motions. And He doesn’t just want our actions. He is concerned with your heart and all of it’s contents. The things that will flow out of you. He wants to take them and make them refresh, life-giving and loving. He wants to make them come from a heart of patience, understanding and goodness. And sometimes, He will allow to relive some of the same instances over and over again to refine us into the person we should be.

No pressure, right?

Right now, I feel like I am in a one dish at a time phase. The Lord is handing me one thing at a time. He is trying to show me something greater. Those little things that add up to an entire day, those little things that Ashley has been irritated about, stressed out over and wanting to give up on. He doesn’t say it will always run smoothly. That nothing will ever go missing, that kids won’t color on the walls or that babies won’t go poo in the bathtub. But He does that for those that pick up their cross, and follow Him earnestly He will make His disciple.

Sounds good to me.

So now, as you are facing another week, as I am slightly dreading another week, I pray that it is a good one. If you’re like me and you’re washing one thing at a time, take it slowly. One thing at a time is ok. Just trust and focus on your work at hand.

And if all else fails, maybe this will make you laugh.

Plan B


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