Anybody that knows me well knows that my brain runs constantly. We're talking: lists, to-do's, projects, work, worries, stress, meal ideas, book editing, and musical musings among other things like... oh, I don't know: parenting, ministry, and wife-hood. Needless to say, my plate stays pretty full most times, as I am sure is the case for many other mamas out there.
Which brings me here, now, in December 2019, wearing an old apron and a full face of make-up, typing away the past and hopefully some clarity for the future as I ponder my biggest accomplishment of the night: an empty sink.
Oh, the sink.
A sink full of dishes means there have been meals taking place throughout the day. I understand not everyone gets to sit around the table and have an elaborate breakfast, but even that cup of coffee that you enjoy with your morning devotional, isn't that just a picture of peace and God's grace in a brand new day beginning? Think about it. Why else would there be so many pictures of hot coffee next to a Bible on Instagram?
How faithful is our God that every morning He wakes us up under the light of the rising sun? How many people got to see the sun one last time yesterday and didn't live to see another day? Oh, but the sun was new for us this morning.
Whether it took place through the slits in our curtains, or the warmth on our shoulders as we took out the trash or had a little stroll around the block, we would have noticed if the sun didn't rise, and yet, sometimes we hardly remember to be thankful for it.
And of course, a sink full of dishes also signifies family.
A little plastic bowl here, a large fork there. Oh, yes. There was a family that ate from these. Memories took place here. And yet, how often I look over to the sink and feel dread?
A full sink means gooey leftovers and germy sponges. It means messing up my manicure and an aching back. So many times I leave it until the last minute, or wake up to it the next morning, meaning I have less time to get other things done because I'm too busy playing catch-up on yesterday's chores.
Yes, the sink is anything but an inanimate object in my home. Often, it decides my mood, my ambition, and even my drive for the day.
Does that seem a bit over the top? Well, it probably is... still, the fact remains. The power of joy or dread is in my sink. Joy, when it is empty. Dread, when it is full. But how, oh, how, can I learn to be content at the sight of it?
I have a confession to make: I have a really hard time finding contentment in my day to day life. It sounds horrible, but sometimes it drives me absolutely bonkers to think that some women are out in the mission field winning souls or feeding orphans, and here I am in my cushy home, writing about the woes of relatable topics.
I sound ridiculous to myself. I mean, there are sisters out in the world right now doing amazing things for the Lord and all I have to show for the day is_ what? Three square meals and a house that smells like Lavender floor cleaner? It's not to say that I'm ungrateful for the life that I live because I love it and God has blessed me, but sometimes I wish that I could do more.
But then, the thought came to me the other day as I prayed: If I can't find closeness with God in this season of my life where I'm finally getting a little taste of stability, then when will it ever be a good time?
See, the problem with thinking (like I have for so many years) that you have to be doing something of great measure for God if you truly want to be close to Him, is that your worth stops being about what Jesus has done for you, and it starts to be about what you can do to try to make yourself look better in His eyes.
But the Bible says that God is no respecter of persons, which means, essentially, that trying to look better for Him is just a plain waste of time. So where does this leave me? Well, my friends, I'm afraid this means I quit.
I quit trying to be this super working wife. I quit trying to lead with my resume. I quit trying to have all the answers. And, above all... I quit trying to make sense of things for everyone else that I can't even make sense of for myself. This is the moment where I have to pause and look up and say, "Dear God, help me!" As is often the case when I have a full sink. But here I go: The water's hot, the sponge is soapy, and I have no concept of time as I survey the mess on my hands. Perhaps, as I give it over to God, he can teach me to find my joy in doing even this menial task, unto Him.
Forgive me for trying to make my life about me, and Your service about me as well. Help me, Lord. Your blessings often come in the form of something that seems beautiful on the outside, but can use upkeep and polishing, much like dishes, and I am ashamed to admit that instead of looking at those things with a heart of gratitude, I'm too busy trying to convince You that I have better ideas about what it means to serve. Forgive me, God. Thank You for Your patience with me today, thank you for my family, my friends, and for another day. Thank You Lord, for being willing to meet me not just in my prayer closet, but in the kitchen and in my heart as well. I don't have all the answers, but I ask that you give me a fresh revelation of who You are with this coming day. Teach me the secret of contentment. Most of all, take me deeper, Lord. Into Your Word, Your presence, and Your will. I love you.
In Jesus' name,
Amen, and Amen.