This year, I’m celebrating Mother’s Day by doing dishes.
My daughter’s end of the year school program was beautiful this weekend. The headmaster beautifully called the evening a celebration, not a performance. A chance for these children to share in the joy of all they have learned and memorized.
And so, doing dishes is likewise a celebration of what we have learned, what we are able to do, and the heart attitude that is cultivated in us as women as we do dishes. Dishes is a celebration of womanhood, life and provision!
Last year at this time, I had no strength to do dishes. My health was too depleted. I was stripped of the ability to serve my family in the most basic ways. Even too weak and discouraged to pray many days.
So let me tell you today. Very blessed women get to do dishes! That means they have strength and food and mouths to feed! I didn’t have to do dishes. But I’m so pleased I am able! Please do not take your strength for granted.
Before you start thinking I am one of those people who enjoy doing dishes, let me be very clear. I am not. It is, ironically, my very least favorite chore. I often think it is even grosser than cleaning toilets or picking up dog poop. At least you get sunshine and fresh air when cleaning up the poopy yard. That’s just me.
And if you are celebrating your Mother’s Day by doing dishes too, let me help you see the beauty in this. (Because if you are anything like me, I’m too often tempted to put on my pity-party pants instead of my party dress.)
Let us remember our moms, who taught us to do dishes. And our grandmas, who taught them to do dishes. Dishes is what very blessed women get to do!
If you are the one doing dishes and cooking the breakfast and doing the laundry today, then please do not forget… that IS celebrating! It’s a celebration that:
- You have strength to do dishes!
- Dried up pasta in cereal bowls is beautiful evidence that…You have dishes! Maybe even beautiful ones. And you have the gift to be able to satisfy your children’s hunger with good things!
- A few neglected loads of laundry that suddenly have to be cleaned on Mother’s Day before work and school tomorrow is proof that… you have a family! And a job! And clothes! And you have strength to carry the load, in the literal and metaphorical sense.
- These chores are also evidence that you have clean running water and electricity. And that you have the Living Water and the Power of the Holy Spirit. And we don’t want to take any of those things for granted.
- You have a family! (and isn’t that really all you ever wanted? Even since you were a little girl?)
- And the fact that you are even here, is proof you have a mom who decided to endure the pain of pregnancy and labor in order to give you the chance of life.
Back to my daughter’s school… in the classical model of education, they teach a concept that I fully believe to be true. That teaching a child math is much more than learning math. Math just becomes the tool we use to teach them how to learn a new subject. So that later in life, when approached with anything new they need to learn, they have developed the tools needed to learn. Math mastery itself is not the end goal. It is the vehicle to teach them how to master learning something new. Math also becomes the vehicle to teach them the character and tenacity needed to work hard and persevere later in relationships, projects, etc.
Stay with me here. Dishes, likewise, is not our end goal as women. And a clean kitchen surface is not our crowning glory. (Thank goodness!!!) But, if our subject matter is dishes, then it becomes the tools that helps us learn daily disciplines and God-honoring, servant-hearted attitudes. Dishes becomes the means to the end goal, which is a heart whose posture is bent towards love, service, and gratitude.
This message applies to you whether you are a mom or long to be, whether you have a family or long for one, whether your mom is still in your life or not. Because I know for many, Mother’s Day ushers in more of a sense of grief than celebration.
Whether you are grieving, feeling taken for granted, or enjoying this season, know the Lord has not forgotten you…
So as you do dishes this week, do not forget the Lord either. Tell Him thank you for all that He is for you, all that He provides for you, and all that He is cultivating in you.
And if this resonates with you, do please share it. My gut tells me there’s a lot of mamas out there doing dishes tonight, possibly after a big beautiful meal cooked in their honor. ; )
Peace be with you. Happy Mother’s Day!