Thanksgiving is in less than 24 hours and I am sure there will be many of you spending time over your sink washing the dishes used by your family and friends. Among the many things we can be thankful for and find joy in...one can be those moments that we spend bent over a pile of soapy suds.
Here are my TOP TEN ways you can add JOY to washing dishes....
10. Find books on tape or conference cds to listen to as you do dishes. One of my favorites, and I have been guilty of listening to this over and over, is "Victoria Botkin's Curriculam Advice". A great place you can find good resources to listen to is http://www.visionforum.com
9. Consider those moments an appointment with God...a divine appointment of sorts. I know I will be in front of the sink at least three times a day maybe more. Considering this a place where God is waiting for me brings a little excitement to my day. I can use this time to praise him. For every dish I pick up I thank him for one more thing.
8. "You home is the first place your children can learn to serve God. Teach them how to service it will JOY" This I will admit is where I need work. Doing dishes is another place where you can trian your children in mastering a responsibility. This takes patience, a gentle tone, and careful instructions. Teaching your daughters (or even your sons) to serve others with joy is a priceless gift we can give our children. It is a gift they will use when they are married with their spouse and a gift they will use to train the next generations.
7. Find a old mason jar or vase or a pretty cup and splurge on a bouquet of flowers. In season you can pick these in your own garden, out of season a big bouquet of wild flowers costs about 5.00 and it usually can fill 5 mason jars. These with an asprin in the water can last up to 2 weeks! Such a great way to stop and smell the roses (or flowers)everytime you do dishes!
6. Ok so this may be one I use more than I should but it helps! Buy your favorite candy or cookie and "reward"yourself with a cup of tea or coffee and your favorite treat after a days work.
5. Use this as a picture moment...have the children help you and get your camera ready. Don't worry about the soapy suds that will be all over or the dishes that aren't quite clean but see how many pictures you can take of those little hands working hard. This is something you will look back on after many years and smile! (Don't forget to have towels on hand!)
4. Hang up a scripture or quote you are meditating on above your sink and use this time to focus on those words and how you can apply it to your day. I have a small picture frame I painted with chalkboard paint to keep my scriptures or a good quote on.
3. Just because this little area of your home is where you find one of the dirtiest jobs doesn't mean it can't be beauitiful. Try and find simple ways to add beauty to your dish area. You can hang a mini clothesline with small clothespins to hang pictures of friends and family.
You can also hang herbs you are drying out above your sink. Such a great aroma this can add to your day!
2. Find a spot close to your sink to add a fresh potted plant or grow potted herbs. Not only will this give you a chance to create something beauitiful, but by seeing this "grow" you can pray for each one of your children or grand children as they "Grow" in Christ.
1. The number one way I use to bring joy to my time of washing dishes is to use it as a prayer closet. Below is a list of "Kitchen Prayers" you can hang up in your kitchen by your sink and pray through as you doing dishes. Before you know it, you will be conversing with the Lord throughout your day and experienceing great JOY in your everyday tasks.
(As you wash the following dishes lift up certain requests to the Lord)
~Cups: Pray for God to give you a thirst everyday for his word. Pray for unsaved family and friends.
~Silverware: Pray that whoever uses these will Honor the Lord in all their hands find to do. Pray for God to show you ways to be hospitable
~Plates: Pray for the health of those you know who are sick. Ask God to give you the wisdom to make healthy chocies as you feed your family.
~Bowls: Thank God for each one of your children by name (gradchildren, etc). Pray for their needs and praise Him for their strengths. Pray for orphans.
~Baking dishes: Pray for your relatives. Pray for their needs and prasie God for the ones He has put in your life.
~Mixing Utensils: Pray for Missionaries. Pray for their needs and ask God to show you how you can be a light in the lives of those you interact with. Even if it is only the Meijer cashier!
I hope you can find a few ways that can bring JOY to your dishwashing time. I would love to hear if you try any of these!
Stay tuned in this series on "How we can bring Joy back to our Kitchens" for my next post on "How to Bless your husband in your kitchen"
Many Thanksgiving wishes from my family to yours!