Washing Dishes

ImageOne thing I dislike about being married is the extra dishes in the sink.  However, one thing I really like about being married is having someone to care for.

Before I got married I didn’t really enjoy doing things around the house like cleaning the bathroom or vacuuming.  I always, always, always, detested doing the dishes but I did them anyway because, well, rotten food stinks.  I still dislike doing the dishes but now I do them for more than just the smell of a clean kitchen.  I do the dishes because my husband works really hard, comes home really tired.  The only reason I could ever like doing dishes or cleaning the bathroom is because it is a way I can serve the man that works so hard to provide the bulk of our income.  I feel very fortunate that I can work part time and spend the rest of my time keeping the house, or as I like to say, “doing wifely things.”

This week we are moving to a new house.  Currently we live in a two bedroom, one bathroom mobile home.  That’s pretty much it.  There is no modern conveniences.  We don’t have a clothes washer or dryer.  Coin laundry it is!  We don’t have a dishwasher; even more reason for disliking dishes.  We don’t have a garbage disposal.  We don’t even have one of those sink hoses with the spray attachment next to the kitchen faucet.  My whole life I’ve always had access to those things and yet for the past six months, I feel like I’ve been living in the stone age.  Moving to the new house, we have three bedrooms, two and a half baths, brand new refrigerator, washer, and dryer.  We have a dishwasher, garbage disposal AND even the sink sprayer.

As I go between the two houses during this move I think to myself, “I am never going to take for granted having a dishwasher and clothes washer and dryer ever again!”  However, in the back of my mind I wonder if I’m really going to live up to that vow.

When I was in Indonesia, there were so many things that I became thankful for.  In my last week there I experienced some of the poorest people I’ve ever met (see my post on week three of A Journey Overseas).  I spent a few days with some families who live in a slum village.  The houses didn’t belong to those who lived in them and they didn’t pay rent.  They are squatters.  The streets are lined with sewers; as in you better watch where you are walking otherwise you’ll step right in the flowing stream of stinky goop which foamed and bubbled and carried trash throughout the village.  These are the same streets where the children play.  Needless to say, these people had none of the modern conveniences which I so long for, nor do most of them have access to clean running water or even a toilet.  Yet, I stand at my kitchen sink washing the dinner dishes with a full stomach and my attitude stinks just about as bad as the sewers did.

My husband, Andrew, and I are extremely fortunate to be moving into this house.  We could never afford to rent, much less own, a house as nice as the one we are moving into.  It is through a blessed circumstance, and the generosity of people who care about us, that we are able to move into this house for just the cost of the ongoing expenses of the home.

I have had many conversations with God about this house.  The one we have most often is that I not take my life for granted.  I can have a really hard time remembering that the treasures I have, the money in my bank account, the house I live in and the car I drive are not my own but they are the Lord’s for it is He that provided them to me.  It is really easy for me to look at my friend’s homes or cars or lifestyles and want what they have and wonder what I did to deserve the crummy life I have.  I look at where I’m going and I look at where I am and I realize that my life isn’t as bad as I thought.  Living in the mobile home is helping me to see the true blessing of this new house.  Then I think back to the families in the slums of Indonesia and I think, even the mobile home that I have lived in for the past six months has been a huge blessing.  I continue to pray that I would be reminded of that every day.

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