A Year of Spiritual Writing: August 2014

When I was a teenager, my chore was rinsing the dishes and loading them into the dishwasher. I loathed this chore. I thought, “why do I have to be responsible for taking care of my parents’ coffee cups which never stopped coming – I’d finish rinsing and loading one week’s worth, go to unload them, only to see a counter full of ceramics towering over me saying, “I am the dirty coffee-cup monster and you will clean me!” It was disheartening to use my “teenager time” and not see an end in sight. I vowed to give up dishwashing when I was out on my own or married…is that what they call a pipe dream?
   Dishwashers have pipes. When Seth and I were first married we didn’t have a built in dishwasher, but rather a hook-up one. I quickly learned that my teenager chore was preparation for life – but really, what was going to be the “right way to do things” and what was going to be the “wrong way to do things.” According to my husband, his way was the “right way,” mine was the “wrong way.” This conflict of opinion surfaced when we discovered that our placement of the silverware in the basket was different. He always set the the handles in the basket, with the forks, spoons, knives facing up and out (waiting to draw blood or be dirtied by a nasty hand after they’ve been cleaned, but I’m not biased). I’ve always put the dangerous little devils in the basket facing down with the handles up, so when you unload the part you put in your mouth, it stays untouched and clean.
   For a number of years we both did the dishes, yet when I unloaded them after he had done a load, I would still get angry with him for doing it his way. I’d complain to him, we’d have words where he’d assert his way was better; I was driving a wedge in my marriage over a silly utensil. I should have been happy he was helping doing the dishes. Now I do the dishes; it’s my chore, mine to do because I grumbled too much about his way of doing things.
   Ritchie’s sermons about our mistakes as a church – limiting others from the Kingdom of Heaven because they don’t fit the mold of what we believe a Christian should be, say, and do – has really hit my home. I wonder who has turned from Christ because of my hypocrisy? We need to pray for our judgment of others and our ability to cooperate and work together. Just because someone’s background isn’t “ideal” to your state of mind, doesn’t make her any less valuable to the church’s mission (i.e. I wasn’t raised in this denomination, and I think I’m contributing as best I can). In other words, your way of loading the dishwasher is just as good as mine!
  And in other news, I began involving my kids in loading the dishwasher. I try to loosen my control by letting them load it how they want to, (even if I fix it when they’re not looking)!

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