Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Bubbles, Reflection, and Attitude

Forget gently falling, soft snow. Forget brightly wrapped packages under the tree. Forget Christmas music and sugar cookies all the things that I'm supposed to blog about Christmas week.

I need to talk about my dishwasher.

Why is my dishwasher claiming my entire attention this snowy winter day in the single digit countdown to Christmas? Because this past weekend my dishwasher audaciously decided it was time to RIP.

Therefore the weekend witnessed me handwashing an entire universe's worth of dishes. My Christmas present from Aaron is now a new dishwasher pump because #romance.

But here's the truly surprising thing, and the reason I want to talk about this domestic travesty.

I really enjoyed hand washing those dishes. Instead of loading up two trays full and pushing a button and going on my merry way, I stopped everything and cleaned through my kitchen dish by dish. (I am basically a Pioneer.)

This concept is newsworthy to me because I've always always always hated hated hated washing dishes. I remember as a little girl working alongside an adult guest in our home who said that she loved washing dishes.

I remember thinking in all my 10-year-old wisdom, "WHAT KIND OF SORCERY IS THIS?"

She said something about finding joy in the satisfaction of a job well done. Of watching dirty things become clean.

Yesterday in my dishwasherless state, I remembered this moment from my childhood and found myself nodding along with her.

Not only did I enjoy the cleansing of dirty dishes into shiny, clean dishes one soapy swipe of the sponge at a time, I found it rather therapeutic. Hot water, foaming bubbles, fresh sponge, a moment to just think.

I thought about how getting back into teaching music has helped me claim back the confidence that my rocky start to motherhood shattered. I thought about church that morning and the excellent sermon and how I feel like I'm starting to understand the tiniest bit the joy of fulfilled promises. I prayed for my children. For my husband. For my week. I prayed to add beauty and truth to the world through my music and my written words.

As I scrubbed a particularly stubborn plate, I prayed, reflected, and dug into the quiet of the small moment. Making dirty things clean...the satisfaction of a job well done...the forced slowing down through a task that normally takes zero attention.

I was startled to realize that a broken dishwasher can be a gift. A small wake up call to slow down for just a minute and count the soapy blessings in front of me.

No, I will not be churning my own butter or washing clothes by hand. I'm not saying we ditch all things that help us keep house! I'm just saying that as disappointments come (and they will)....as my dishwasher breaks the week before Christmas just when I need it the most...instead of whining about this inconvenience, I prefer to look for the good, for the beauty in the midst of the disappointment. (And is it just me...or do things break the MOST right before a big thing like a holiday?) Sometimes the good is small and requires some sort of magnifying glass to see. But sometimes, like this weekend, it stares me right in the face. And for that I'm grateful.

As I dried an entire universe worth of dishes, there was a smile on my face. This Christmas month the entire schedule has felt like an avalanche, and I am grateful for these moments of reflection. And for glistening, clean, orderly dishes.

Merry Christmas, friends. May your week be full of love and perspective, even when unhappy moments hit, as we celebrate the fulfilled promise of his birth.


  1. And helping with dishes is something that some of the littles can start to do. That gives them a sense of helping and accomplishment, too.

  2. Great insight. Happy Christmas to all!

  3. When I read your posts, I want to hug you. Every time...I am thankful you are in my life...And I love doing dishes and laundry. =)

  4. What a great perspective on a seemingly boring chore!


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