|Photo: by Svadilfari @ Flickr|
I made major progress in the war of the dirty dishes this week when I realized the best and most graceful thing I could possibly do about this little point of contention was simply to wash them. This is typically my job and I try to just keep up with it so it doesn't get too bad, but every now and then they'll pile up. My husband will see my mounting anxiety as I glance into the kitchen, and like my prince he offers to do them. Only he doesn't always do them that very second, and I have a very bad tendency of starting an internal stopwatch from the moment that he says those words. From that point on I keep checking that stopwatch and like a boiling kettle, I slowly get angrier and angrier until I start screaming and boil over. Not a pretty sight.
For some reason, instead of taking his offer as the graceful and kind gesture that it is, I use it as an excuse to hassle him about not checking items off his to-do list as quickly as I might want him to. The other morning I woke up with that stopwatch still running from the night before. I grabbed a drink from the kitchen and as I was heading out I realized how incredibly petty and stupid of me it was to just leave the dishes there if they were bothering me so much. A little voice in my head asked "Is this really how you're blessing your family?" And then I knew. It took only a few minutes of climbing off my high horse to clear up the pile and dump a great load of simmering resentment off my heart.
We all have our own struggles, but if you're simmering about something you want someone else to do, instead of getting angrier and angrier that they're not acting the way you want...why not just do it yourself? Give them a little blessing, take the load off their shoulders, and move that kettle off of the flame. In the great dance of marriage, dishes really aren't worth a moment of anger or discontentment. Just do it.