It’s supper. Baths. Pajamas. Brush teeth. Night-night stories. Prayers. Goodnight hugs. One more story. Goodnight kiss. Lights out. Deep breath in and out, I take a minute in the dark hallway to celebrate the small victory of getting three children tucked away for the night without tantrums.
Then I’m in the kitchen—dishes, the never-ending story. I should really choose meals that don’t require every pan in the house. “Don’t worry about the dishes.” That would be nice to hear, and maybe followed by, “I’ve got them tonight.” Yeah, that would be nice, someone should tell my husband.
It’s a sleepless night. Early morning coffee. The kid that didn’t sleep all night is the first one awake. Breakfast. Get dressed. Errands. Put away the groceries. Lunch. Naps. Finally, a moment to breathe, I can read the last few chapters of the book I’ve been reading for the last six months. I walk through the kitchen on my way to the couch.
Now, I just did the dishes last night, how is there a sink full of dishes staring me in the face?
What if a friend drops in, she will think I never do dishes! “Don’t worry about the dishes, we’ve got a sink full at home.” That’s what she had said last time. Wow, those words were nice to hear, but I loaded the dishwasher anyway as we talked. Can’t let that happen twice, then she might think we actually live and eat here.
It’s a busy weekend. Only home long enough to make a mess between birthday parties and obligations. Church on Sunday. I come through the doors Sunday night and wonder where that smell is coming from? Oh . . . the sink. Mount Vesuvius of dishes ready to erupt if one more piece of silverware falls the wrong way. I should handle these now.
Elbow deep, I’m scraping fossilized cereal off bowls and digging discarded pepperonis out of the drain so the flood waters can subside. Watching the water swirl away, thoughts swirl in. Did I even read my Bible this weekend? I know I spent most of my day at church, but I missed my own alone time with Jesus two days in a row.
“Don’t worry about the dishes.”
God, is that you??
“Don’t worry about the dishes.”
Mmmm, it is you. The words are echoing in my heart.
“Don’t worry about the dishes. Even if they will be there in the morning. Rest your mind. Don’t put so much importance on something that will not matter five years from now.
Don’t worry about the dishes, I care about how well you keep your heart, not how well you keep your house.
Don’t worry about the dishes, if someone can’t build a friendship with you because of your dishes, then I will send you someone who can. Don’t worry about the dishes, take the time to be a happy mother to your children. They will remember if their mother was happy, but they won’t remember if there was a sink full of dirty dishes. Don’t worry.”
If worry could add an hour to my life, I might have enough time to do these dishes every day, but “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” So the world keeps spinning if I go to sleep without loading the dishwasher? And I can accept invitations to impromptu playdates without the guilt of I should really be cleaning my house right now?
So, do I worry over dirty dishes? Ask me again tomorrow, but for today my answer is, I don’t worry about the dishes.