Friday, June 10, 2011

It is More Than a Dishwasher

Dear Ladies,

When I was a little girl, I did the dishes by hand with my sisters.  We didn't have a dishwasher.  I can still remember my attitude toward this duty in my home.  Let's just say, I wasn't skipping to the chore with joy in my heart.  My view of this chore was way to narrow to give it any credence or relevance in my life.  It just had to get done!

That is an awful excuse to hear when you are growing up trying to become a young woman in a home full of sinners...who are your family!  It just seems to make the chore more meaningless than ever.

Since my children were three years old, they have always helped unload a dishwasher.  As they grew older they would handle this task with out any help.  I have always been the loader of the dirty dishes except for when they were teenagers and they could do it when asked.

Some things were lost with the modern convenience of a dishwasher.  There was this memory of the social aspects of doing the dishes by hand.  Though my sisters and I were not always kind to each other, we did manage to have some great times around the dishes.  I can remember the soap bubble fights and the laughter.  Some times are discussion would turn to a more tender nature, but we did not have the vision for the reason for the chores set before us.

The other day, I saw in my daughters countenance when she approached the all too familiar chore...the dishwasher.  She pulled open the tin box and reluctantly dropped its door open.  It may have been the early hour of the day or just an overall lack of my ability to communicate a bigger message.  Yes, I may not have been communicating this vision for her correctly...or at all!

You noticed I didn't blame her in this circumstance.  I could have.  I could have address this behavior as I have a thousand times before.  But something was missing from this picture and I had just see the light bulb go on in a rather unlit place as it had stood moments before. Thank you Lord!

She, like I, had no big picture.

I took my sweet girl and we stood over those dishes that extended out on the tray before us.  I looked at her and I remember thinking, I love when God gives me these moments.  I am without words sometimes as to what I want to convey.  So I pray.  Sometimes with my child and sometimes just in my little head.  I pray to be gentle, to be heard, and to have a hearts response from this child that belongs ultimately to Him.

Then I launched in...

"Those dishes,  they will teach you something about life and family you need to know." 

By her bewildered look, I knew I had not shared this before.

"Those are clean dishes that sit there waiting for someone to put them back where they belong.  But they are, believe me, my dear daughter, more than clean dishes.  They are a training ground to something greater.  Your character is being formed by these dishes.  This simple chore has the ability to take you from lazy to faithful and diligent.   Yes they are just dishes, but because you come every day to tend to them, one day you will have a greater gift.  This will train you for a wide sphere of influence and role model.  When you have your own family you will be faithful and diligent.  You will have many other tasks to do and you will stand, possibly one day, over your own dishwasher and share with your child what this little contraption can produce in you if you let it."

I went on to form questions for her future use...

"It is more than a dishwasher.  It can form your character.  Can you be counted on?  Can you be consistent?  Can you take all your thoughts captive to Christ, when the feeling of grumbling appears to destroy that which you are reaching for...your character?  How willing are you to be serving this family on a daily bases?  What does God say about serving one another?  Because a family that have streaks of independence will run a muck in our homes causing discord and unhappiness."

All these questions will become tools for her to study her own heart and its desire for independence.  Is independence the chief goal of man?  I shall be talking about that more later.  I think the Bible is quite clear on this subject.

I am pleased to say I am praising God for His work in my daughters heart in the area of the dishwasher.  Maybe the bigger picture helped her.  Seeing  how God intended for families to work together forms character and christian attitudes towards one another for His glory.

I guess I should mention, that I took the conversation to even a wider view and let my daughter know that if she saw that I was busy and tending to other tasks for our home, she should take the ownership necessary and load the dishes as well.  She is serving her dad and helping his family function by serving her mom in this way.

It is more than a dishwasher.  It is about belonging to a family.

1 comment:

  1. great post and great reminder to look at the chores as teaching moments...
    had a great time today. thanks for opening your home...