Lessons from Doing the Dishes


Lessons from Doing the Dishes:

A mundane chore was the teacher of stillness

by Jessica Lawson

I'm standing at my little 1970s built apartment's sink, scrubbing dishes with the pine scented Mrs. Meyers' dish soap. Mrs. Meyers knows what's up. I shift my weight because I've noticed that I usually leave the empty sink with a stiff knee. See, I have a tendency to sing, or think, or really think, or just be...

Circle circle.

Scrub the front.

Scrub the back.

Sweep the leg.

That'd be so cool.

Gross this noddle has been on this bowl since ... when did we eat spaghetti noddles? A week ago?

Gross! Oh wait. It's a chow mien noddle. Oh thank God, that was yesterday.

Circle. Scrub.

Rinse. Drying rack.

I know we have a dishwasher, but really it's a gloried sanitizer.

Plus ... This is our time.

Circle circle.

Scrub the front.

Scrub the back.

This is our place. This is our time. This is where I chat with You.

There are no regimented bible studies, no required readings, just me chatting with my Father and my Creator.

Splash some soapy water on my shirt.

Same spot as always

God, why do you have me in this season I'm in? I'm sure it's going to make sense soon. Ha. Nudge nudge. I hope. But I want to understand Your thinking, I want to know Your ways.

Scrub the front.

Scrub the back.

Whoops. Scrub the back twice, pesky noodles.


I got a free sticker from Scripture Type, this amazing handletterer who designs masterpieces of scripture. That free sticker went straight to the back of my phone and when I would turn my phone over this truth would stare straight to my busy Martha like heart:

"Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NLT

If Martha and Peter had a child it would probably be me. The busyness of Martha mixed with the raw overexcitement of Peter produces an eager to please Christian. I spiritually grew believing I needed to do amazing things for Jesus. And through passport stamps for mission trips, snowed-in church retreats, speaking opportunities in front of hundreds, and other instagram worthy moments I realized I didn't KNOW God. I didn't KNOW what He thought of ME. I didn't know how to connect with Him. I didn't know how to be still. I didn't know how to pause. I knew how to jump out of a metaphysical airplane for Jesus. I knew how to give away my car to a stranger for Jesus. BUT I DID NOT KNOW JESUS.

God called my fresh husband and I to live a lonely, boring life for the first year and a half of our marriage. We moved to a boring state. We lived a boring 9-5 kind of life. And I grew to learn that this "boring" life was actually a quiet life.

A quiet life led me to figure out that I needed those times of doing mundane things to have a quiet moment with my God. To ask Him how He thinks I'm doing. To seek what He is valuing for my life. To learn how to pray better. To love the little moments as much as the big moments.

This quiet life has taught me to be content. And this contentment, this way of peace, has translated to sharing the faithfulness of God in the burdensome mundanity.

Kindred, I see you working 40+ hours a week. I see your loneliness in your routine. I see your back aching from your uncomfortable office chair. I see your heart for more.

But God is calling you to find more now. I didn't need to find more outside of my outdated apartment. I just needed to listen for the opportunity to connect with my God.

God is asking you to look at your life and to make room for Him. Maybe it's a weekly or daily or every other day task that you can pause and be quiet. To not put Netflix on. To not put loud music on. To ignore that new podcast. But to let God lead you through the quiet so you can find peace and joy in your quiet life.

WE as Jesus-followers have a divine job description to step into the Israelites' role. They were meant to be the example to the rest of the world as to how to walk with God. When Jesus rose from the dead the script was forever changed. We now are added to the family. We don't have to be an Israelite to carry on this mission. God chose us. He adopted us. And that truth is an amazing thing about Jesus.

For you restless hearts for the Lord, Jesus did way more than we could ever do. And He is asking you to check your heart for WHY you feel like you need to do amazing things for Him. Be still friend. Do the dishes, talk to God. Let Jesus lead you to amazingly boring things that show the rest of the world that He is ALL we need.

Photos by Imani and Annie Spratt

Sincerely KindredComment