Sometimes I just need to wash the dishes…

Summer is wonderful for so many reasons!  Warmer weather, free-er schedule (or no schedule), growing plants (which around here includes grass), evening family walks, days at the park with friends, watermelon (!), dirty floors and sinks from little people playing outside…simply beautiful to me!  Nevertheless, after three weeks of such freedom I have found we need to come back, together, to some old habits and rhythms so we can keep the peace in the spontaneity.  So…

Sometimes I just need to wash the dishes by hand instead of stacking them in the dishwasher.  Some days, instead of tracking in the dirt some more, I need to sweep.  On rare occasions, I need to find the joy in taking time to dust, sweep, and vacuum.  There is this sense of connection I have with Jesus when I choose to clean things instead of ignoring the mess.  I used to be more type A; I’d say I’ve moved to type A- to B on most days now. (smile)  I can usually go with the flow of toys pouring out, juice poured into another cup, more food on plates, marker colors on skin…but sometimes…some days…the pouring needs to come from my hands extending to the the left-overs of fun.

After the fun is fully had and I stand and observe the remnants of laughing children, a few “it’s my turn!(s)”, and more crumbs on the recently swept floor, I…well…I breathe and pray:)!  Then, I take the first step or handful and get to re-creating peace.  It’s not a peace of seeking worth from organization or control.  No, it’s that peace Christ says He gives…and that this world does not.

John 14:26-28

New Living Translation (NLT)

26But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

27“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.28Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again…

I clean the dishes by hand and watch as food we’ve delighted in and had our fill of washes off to leave a pan ready for more.  I wipe a table and return the flowers to the center and see a table ready to invite again.  I vacuum a floor and see the clean lines and tracks as a welcome mat for more feet and cars to find their place on.  I dust blinds and tables and bed frames and notice what was hidden underneath…me…this desire to slow down, live patience, take one piece at a time, and uncover the gifts of beauty.  I call little boys to a room full of legos and say “it’s time to clean up”, and I watch as slowly but surely little hands learn to make clean what was messy.  I’m hoping that if it starts young, it will develop stronger for their future.
As a day draws to an end, I look around the space we live in, laugh in, cry in, correct in, encourage in and, well, I breathe deep a sigh of exhaustion…but of the best kind!  It’s the tired of spending for eternal treasures, of pouring out from springs that never dry up, of cleaning that which will need it again – oh, but what a purpose to have…His…because I am one that will need cleaning again.  I will need His hands to “re-create” me over and over, and I know I will never be let go or discarded or left to “devices” of this world for wholeness.  No, he will wash me with His own hands, and I will be clean.  So, sometimes I just need to wash…because I want to be like Him.