The regular re-occurrence of messes in my house, specifically in my kitchen and dining room, has seemed to take me by surprise the past few days. Which is, in itself, surprising.
Blame it on middle of the month fatigue or simply wanting to be busy doing other things, but the monotony of cook, eat, clean, repeat has been getting to me.
I love to cook and I have written about how I prefer to keep a tidy house when possible. Tonight, though, the dishes and the food from dinner are still left out and the chairs not pushed in under the table. It was the same last night. And the night before.
I have paid for it in the morning with a sink full of dishes to deal with before breakfast. A welcome to hump day kind of greeting like I mentioned on Instagram this morning.
Dirty dishes get tiresome. Cooking can seem burdensome. A little spilled milk might actually be tempting to cry over when combined with the toast crumbs from breakfast and the weekend’s spaghetti sauce already on the floor.
It is so, so easy to whine and to drag my feet grudgingly as I go about the simple and humble tasks of caring for my family and my home.
I read a blog post earlier this week that has given me a great deal of perspective. The writer describes a common struggle with comparison and the (not-bad-in-itself) desire for our homes to look a certain way. But instead of turning to Pinterest to figure out how she could make improvements on the cheap, she took a look at what she already had with fresh perspective. And what she has is amazing.
Likewise, in the midst of the cook, eat, clean, repeat cycle of my daily life right now, I am choosing to look at these tasks with fresh eyes. And it’s making me oh, so thankful. Well, at least, the seeds are being planted and I at least know what to fight for when I’m tempted to curl up on the couch with a box of donuts and ignore the dishes.
Here is my dose of perspective.
I can listen to solid Biblical preachers and teachers every morning for free on my iPod while I wash dishes. As if that wasn’t even enough, I don’t even have to take the time to download anything because it does it automatically in the app. Oh yeah, and the view outside my window? Birds and trees. Not bad at all. (My daily podcasts of choice? John Piper’s Ask Pastor John, and Albert Mohler’s daily news and events in The Briefing).
I have plenty of nutritious food to feed to my family and the means with which to cook it. This is big. And really something that I take for granted too often. Here is another dose of perspective on this topic. I should be so much more grateful. I easily forget, but I’m working on it.
There are three small kids in our home, excited and ready to eat three or more times a day. Every meal is an opportunity to gather together and enjoy each others company. Conversations are rich with silly moments, teachable moments, and honestly, plenty of moments requiring a bit of discipline too. What’s more, we have the blessing of seeing our youngest eater jump into the world of meal times shared with the family. These little hands? They are busy working hard developing the motor skills necessary for self-feeding. So.worth.the.mess.
If the messes have seemed extra big recently, it may just be because we have had extra fun visiting with friends and family. And this is something I have learned not to take for granted. Thanks for coming to visit friends. You are always welcome. And don’t worry about the mess. I got this.
My kitchen is equipped with incredible conveniences. Refrigerator. Dishwasher. Double-oven. Yeah, I should stop fretting the time it takes to load the big appliance that does most of my washing for me. And my too-small refrigerator? It may take some creative problem solving and angling to make everything fit, but that’s a good problem to have. Besides, geometry was always a favorite subject.
And, not to be forgotten, I have a husband who brings me home donuts and then sits and watches MasterChef with me. Pretty sure this warrants its own ranking in my thankful list.
Less complaining. More gratitude.
Less stressing the mess. More savoring time with the mess-makers.